Sunday, August 3, 2008

my basil plant is naked.

first things first, the massive "to be read pile" from last week has diminished, magically, somehow.

Kitchen Confidential - after reading about 20 pages, i realized i've read this before! got it from the library a few years ago! it's still as funny, irreverent, and probably frightenly honest as before. My husband is reading it, and froths at the mouth at how much of an asshole he thinks Bourdain is. well, the guy admits in the introduction that he's an asshole, and that being on all those drugs probably isn't a good thing anyway.

Action Philosophers - doesn't take long to read a comic book. Although my brain melted around Sartre, and never recovered. Good book, but not as good as volume I. i may be thinking twice before buying volume III.

The Servants, by Michael Marshall Smith - was shorter than i expected. review forthcoming on SFRevu. eventually.

Soul Catcher - by Frank Herbert - not as bad as i feared, but not as good as i hoped. More a treatise on Stockholm Syndrome than much else. It also felt very much like Herbert's The White Plague, which wasn't written until a few years later, i think. Angry protaganist is going to teach the world a lesson! and does it, but spends the whole book trying to justify their decision. it's like watching a old skool slasher film through the eyes of the bad guy. It's also very strange reading a non-SF book from an SF author. you keep expecting something SF'y to happen, and then get all dissapointed when it doesn't. like reading Voices From the Street, by Philip K Dick, i was weirded out by how relatively normal it was.

I'm a little leery of the Michael Flynn book, The January Dancer, because i was so dissapointed (and bored!!) with his Eifelheim of a few years ago. So hopefully this one will be better, and different.

Martin's A Storm of Swords will be my reward for getting through the Flynn book.

So, by now you are wondering "why is her basil plant naked????" well, cuz i cut nearly all the basil off, to make pesto!

basil? check!
pine nuts? check! (wow! who actually has those?)
parmesan cheese? check!
garlic? duh!
olive oil? check!

everything you need to make pesto! well, except the food processor, which i don't have. Here is how people without a food processor make pesto: put 1/2 cup pinenuts in a ziplock back. push the air out, zip up, and roll over with a rolling pin a few times to mush the pine nuts. put chopped basil (about 2 cups loosely packed leaves), 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and 2 minced cloves garlic in ziplock bag, close up, and roll over with the rolling pin. every few rolls, mush it around the bag. you want it blended as good as possible. when you're sick of mushing it around and rolling it, scrape it into a bowl. add some olive oil, and mix with a fork. add more olive oil, and mix with a fork. add some salt and pepper. mix in more oil (up to a 1/2 cup, total), till you get the consistency you want. be aware, it will dry out over time, so if you're going to keep it in the fridge for a few days, you might have to mix in a little more oil to get the consistency back to where you want.

now you can make my super duper Summer Pesto Pasta!
8 oz Penne or small Shells
small sweet pepper
two small zuchinni
salt & pepper
your awesome homemade pesto

while water is boiling for pasta, saute peppers & zucchs in some butter in a skillet. season with salt & pepper. make pasta. just before draining pasta, add a ladleful of pasta water to your veggies. drain pasta and mix with veggies. Stir in Pesto. enjoy!

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