Saturday, September 19, 2009

Laundry and Basil at Seven

{Up Early on A Saturday Morning}

Just some pictures from a beautiful, quiet morning in the desert for you weekend bloggers with a morning cup of tea. And tips for keeping cut basil fresh. GET YE SOME AT YOUR FARMER'S MARKET THIS WEEKEND if you don't already grow the stuff.  It's basil season, people, and that's a wonderful time of year.

I *finally* unpacked my suitcase and started some laundry. (P. and I got back from Maine over a week and a half ago. No excuses.) It's so dry here that even blue jeans dry faster on the line than in the dryer. Sheets dry in ten minutes. Tops.

But dry = good for growing exotic Middle Eastern fruit, like these Persephone-worthy pomegranates from my friend Nora's garden. A little creature got to them while they were heavy on the tree, but we don't mind. Can't wait to crack these beauties open. Maybe throw them in with goat cheese and simple broiled chicken for a baby spinach salad? Ooh, and with an orange-champagne vinaigrette. Any other suggestions for these marvels?

The bootleg irrigation system I rigged up to keep my plants alive while we were gone is still snaked haphazardly around the pots just waiting to trip someone, but it's a happy kind of mess. I'm just grateful things are growing now that the days are beginning to cool off in the desert.

I have a big stock tank full of basil. It's the only edible plant I've started from seed that's really thrived over the course of the punishing Mojave summer. Now that the nights are cooler it really seems to grow before my eyes, and I can't keep up with the bolting flowers!

Hints for Keeping Your Cut Basil Fresh {that You Probably Already Knew}: Cut the top bunch of leaves from the main stem right above a set of new leaf buds to encourage vigorous outward growth. For the love of all things sacred don't put your basil in the fridge; it'll wither and blacken and beslime. Store cuttings out of direct sunlight in a container with fresh water for up to a week, just like you would flowers. They'll look sad and droopy for the first day or so, but they'll bounce back and stay sweet and peppery and delicious. Have a great weekend! Go get your basil!


  1. I love your tips for keeping Basil Fresh!!! I've been making Fresh Pesto each week with the basil I buy at our local Farmer's Market :)
    Wonderful photos!!

  2. i love the first picture-gorgoues light!

    i was supposed to be in ninetynine palms for a documentary!


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