Intentional Weekend: Hearth and Hands

Good morning! I made homemade pumpkin spice coffee this morning (no sugar, organic pumpkin from my carefully guarded stash). Yum. I have lovely strips of Terrain squares waiting to be gathered into a tiered skirt for Katie. And there's a crisp, new stack of Ruby charm squares to be transformed into a similar twirly autumn skirt for Karoline. My basil is lush and full and green and ready to be harvested and loved into pesto for the freezer. I bought butternut squash at the Farmer's Market this morning, destined to  become stuffed squash for dinner tonight. And tomorrow, there are apples (after the first three soccer games of the weekend and before the second two).  Picking is good. I'm unplugging just as soon as I click "publish." I leave you this morning with a family recipe. Perhaps you, too, have some very bushy basil?

I pray your weekend will be blessed with the abundance of late summer becoming early fall. 


Here's our favorite family pesto:

2 1/2 cups fresh basil, washed and patted dry

1/2 cups walnuts or pine nuts or almonds (I let my budget dictate)

4 good sized garlic cloves, peeled and pressed

1/2 cup olive oil

1 pound angel hair pasta (reserve 2 cups of the cooking water)

1/2 cup romano cheese, grated

[secret ingredient: 2 ounces of cream cheese]

Chop the basil, add nuts and process together in the food processor. Combine the olive oil and the garlic and heat on the stove until it just sizzles . Remove from the heat immediately. Heating the  garlic takes away the bitterness--it's an extra step but my husband appreciates it. Blend basil mixture with the oil mixture.

{{At this point, you can spoon it into cute little glass jars or zipper freezer bags and freeze it until you want to add a taste of summer to your winter meals.}}

Cook the pasta.

Now, for Aunt Lisette's secret trick: While the pasta is cooking, blend the cream cheese into the pesto mixture.

Pull off 2 cups of the pasta water before you drain the pasta and add it to the pesto. Drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with sauce and cheese.

For a variation, blend some sundried tomatoes into the sauces while it's still in the food processor.