Posts Tagged ‘natural’

Thyme, mint, and Basil OH MY! ….. (but mostly Basil)

 

 

 

We survived hurricane Irene without a hitch. It was the first time our area had been threatened since Max was born and truth be told I was very anxious. We prepared as good as we knew how and hunkered down. I am so thankful that we had no real damage, nor did we lose electricity. We were truly blessed.

What was left of my garden fared nearly as well, the peppers are still standing and promising to give me a few more before calling it quits for the season. I had grown basil between my tomato plants and when the tomatoes were finished and removed, the basil took over. It was waist high and resembled a shrubbery rather than an herb. It did not weather the high winds quite as well as the rest of us. Upon going out and assessing the damage I found the basil laying on its side. I had meant to harvest it for some time so now was as good as any.

Have some basil....

Preserving herbs is very easy and very rewarding during those winter months when everything outside is brown and dry. The more hardy herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano) do well tied into bunches and hung to dry. Once all the moisture is gone seal them in an airtight container and they will keep for up to a year. The more delicate herbs (basil, mint, tarragon) do best frozen. You can place whole or chopped leaves in a ice cube tray, cover with a little water and freeze. Once frozen pop out of the tray and place in freezer bag, thaw as you need.

My favorite way to preserve Basil is homemade pesto. I love being able to add that summertime freshness to meals in the dead of winter.

All the measurements are approximate. This recipe should really be adapted to you personal taste. Remember, I was working with an ungodly amount of basil, so you may have to adjust the portions according to however much you have.

Homemade Pesto

yummy

8 cups washed basil leaves, stems removed. (makes about 2 cups chopped basil)

1/2  cup pine nuts

1/2 cup Olive oil

1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

4  medium cloves Garlic

salt to taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulse basil and olive oil in food processor until coarsely chopped.

Add Pine nuts, Parmesan, Garlic, and Salt.

Process until desired consistency.  If it seems dry, add more oil.

At this point TASTE, TASTE, TASTE. Make needed adjustments, I always end up adding more salt and cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoon into ice cube tray and freeze.  When frozen, remove and place in freezer safe bag.

Now you have homemade pesto in convenient portions that will be approximately 1 oz. each.  Ready to used to season chicken, accompany pasta, or spruce up sauces.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet you’re wondering what I did with all the left over basil (yes, there was left over basil). Turns out it makes a very fragrant, if not colorful centerpiece!

Thanks for reading:)

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Never use a serrated knife to cut paper towels: a how-to & how-not-to on baby wipes

“We’re out of baby wipes.” says my darling husband. I take a deep breath, I had just come in from a long day at work and had absolutely no intention of leaving the house again that night. Well, I’ll just make my own. How hard can it be?

Now, I had reason to be optimistic, I had been making my own wipe solution for sometime. The thing is, hubby and I see things differently when it comes to reusable diaper supplies. I believe in them, he doesn’t. He, being the primary care giver, generally gets the last say. On this though we compromise, and by that I mean he buys disposable wipes that he uses and I use cloth wipes in a homemade solution. I had thrown around the idea about making my own disposable wipes for quite a while but I could never find the time or motivation. The thing is, that same morning after I stumbled out of bed to change snuggle bugs diaper I happened to be out of cloth wipes (laundry not being one of my strong points). What I didn’t realize was overnight a blister on my thumb had burst. I reached for the generic store bought wipes, bleary eyed and half comatose, Holy searing pain Batman!!! I threw it down.  What the heck is in these things, hot acid?!? No wonder the kid didn’t like having his diaper changed.  So later when I got home and learned we were out of the skin eating, scream inducing baby wipes, my decision was made.

Ok, here is the recipe for my solution, I have tried a couple different ratios and this is the one that I like the best:

2cups boiling water
2tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (or olive oil)
1tbsp Castile soap (I like the tea tree or rose scented)

Easy enough, easy to double if making a larger batch, AND will NOT sting even if used on an open sore. On top of that both coconut oil and tea tree are naturally anti-fungal and super good for baby’s skin.

Now, what to use for the actual wipes. As I  previously stated I have used cotton wash cloths soaked them in the mixture and stored them in a wipes warmer. Works like a charm. But what about those who want disposable wipes? I had read somewhere that you can use paper towels. To do so you need:

1 roll heavy-duty paper towels
Some sort of sharp object
Empty round wipes container (the center pull out kind)

Let’s see, first things first.  Cut the roll of paper towels in half with afore-mentioned sharp object. Well of course i started with the obvious choice, heavy duty scissors…… Not so heavy duty after all, barely left a mark. Hmmmmm it’s just paper, maybe I could slice through it with my razor sharp chefs knife!…………. Well that got through all of about four layers. *scratches head* Paper is made out of wood and you use a saw to cut wood, (can you see where this is going?) let’s see…… A saw has teeth, this serrated knife has teeth…….. it will be perfect! (insert goofy grin here) ………. Well, it cut, or rather shredded it’s way through the roll. Half way through you would have thought I had taken up shearing sheep in my kitchen. By the time I finished I stood knee deep in a winter wonderland of fluffy  paper towel snow. But at least I had the roll in 2 halves. Victory is mine!

The next two steps are to soak one of the paper towel roll halves by setting it upright in a bowl with wipe solution. Then set it aside and let cool. Once cool the cardboard center should slide out. Gently squeeze excess solution out and place in round container. You should be able to grab the end of the roll from the center (where the cardboard used to be). TaDa you have homemade chlorine and alcohol free wipes for your little persons bum.

On a side note I have so far been unable to find the round wipes containers and so have been forced to unroll the entire roll of towels and refold to fit in a standard rectangle wipes container. It works but is a bit more time consuming.

Thanks for reading:)

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