Our summer is a whirlwind of activity. We rarely leave the island in the winter (all 10 months of it), and we make up for it in the two months we call summer.
I'll show you where we've been and what we did some other time.
Today I am just back from the mainland with a bunch of groceries.
While I am filling Bakery orders, I am putting up basil and parsley.
It's a labor of love, let me tell you.
It requires time and patience, neither of which I possess.
Yet here I sit.
The putting up of parsley and basil goes something like this:
1. Clean the everlovin' heck out of your hands, especially fingernails- most especially thumb nail, which does all the actual work.
2. Place all the parsley in a colander and run under cold water, agitating vigorously to get all the nasties off. And there are plenty of nasties.
3. Place the freshly cleaned cuttings on paper towels and spread out completely to dry. The leaves have to be completely dry when you put them up, or they will crumble and be useless.
4. Wish you had minions to do the next part.
5. Sit for about an hour, pulling each tiny leaf from its stem at the very base. Use your thumbnail to 'cut' it off. Enjoy the smell of the oil even as it discolors your thumbnail.
6. Know that your neighbors will think you are turning into an alien with green thumbnails.
7. Decide that's probably one of the better things they have thought about you.
8. Wish evil thoughts on them. Decide that's un-Christian, and focus energy back on smelling the yummy parsley.
9. Pack leaves tightly into jars and throw in freezer.
10. Enjoy being able to grab that container for the next few weeks, pull out a few leaves, and have fresh parsley on hand. (I'm lucky to have any left at the end of the week, but I know it lasts for a long time. I once found a container shoved in the back of the freezer months later. Jackpot!)
11. Decide to make dough right now, for a quick pizza margherita.
This is what I was doing this afternoon. This HOT afternoon.
While I was filling Bakery orders. So my kitchen was approximately 500 degrees, like my oven.
In between orders, I worked my magic with the parsley and basil, washing and setting it out to dry. It has to be perfectly dry, or it will not freeze right.
A few hours later, it was ready. Now, this is important: it can't sit around once it's dry, or it will wilt.
Wilt=rot = freezer burn = not fresh parsley in the freezer= waste of time and energy and food.
I was ready. The leaves were ready.
I was hot. I was home alone. I was sitting at my kitchen table. I was HOT.
So I took off my shirt.
And it was awesome. Nice breeze blowing in from the patio...
Good tunes on the ipod....
...and a freakin' knock at the door.
Ack! I jumped up, yelling. I have no idea what I was yelling, but I guess it sounded like "C'mon in! I love to be caught topless in my kitchen!" because the door opened, and there was my neighbor.
It was the fastest I'd ever pulled a shirt on in my life. And it was backwards.
Hard to say whose face was redder, but of course it could've been the heat.
The ultimate horror (because, frankly, I could give a crap about getting caught topless in my own house) is that he made me leave with him to let somebody in the school, and I had to leave my parsley and basil sitting on the table.
I was not happy.
I came home to find that some of my leaves had wilted.
It's like putting Ruth Buzzy next to Pamela Anderson.
I made pesto with the wilted leaves.
We don't really like it. I'm going to foist it on some unsuspecting guest.
Maybe the Dude who walked in on me!
I tie up all those denuded stems and throw them in soup.
I didn't make soup today. It was too hot to think about soup.
(Oh,no. I baked. THAT was a good idea.)
I put the tied-up stems in a ziploc in the freezer for the next time I make soup. The stems keep pretty well.
I swear, that nail was immaculate when I started.
I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like a Star Wars kinda thing.
I've never seen Star Wars. Or Star Trek.
Or any of the 19 Rocky movies.
That intel blows The Big Guy's mind.
It'll be gone in a week.
And I did basil, too.
And all is right with the world. Because I have parsley and basil in my freezer.