While preparing and planting our garden this year I was quite insistent on devoting half a row to basil. It is one of my most favorite herbs since it is a tasty addition on pizzas, in pastas, sandwiches, and so much more I’m sure I’m failing to mention. As I was purveying our plentiful harvest last night, I noticed that we had a ton of basil! It was very close to going to bloom which is not a good thing if you want it to keep growing. If your basil goes to flower then it essentially stops growing and wilts away. With still a few good hot growing months left, I definitely wanted to keep my basil as long as possible.
So I brought out my trusty shears and clipped off the top half of each stalk, snipping right above where two new stems/leaves forked so it would keep growing. I then brought these fragrant green leaves inside and rinsed thoroughly. Even though we don’t use pesticides there is still plenty of dirt and, I’m sure, bugs that need to be cleaned away. I decided with all cuttings that I would make some fresh pesto for a pizza later in the week.
Pesto typically calls for basil (of course), parmesan (or other hard cheese like Asiago), olive oil, pine nuts, and salt to taste. I had none of these ingredients on hand other than the basil, olive oil, and salt. So I did what my mother taught me and improvised! I pulled out some walnuts and some aged cheddar as replacements and went to work.
I tore the leaves off the stalks and put them into my food processor along with about 2 tbsp. of olive oil, salt to taste, 1/3 cup of walnuts, and the rest of the cheese.
I pureed all of it up to saucy consistency, spooned it into a spare mason jar, and wahlah!, it’s ready for tomorrow night’s pizza creation. This will keep for 3-4 weeks in the fridge, meaning that there are surely more pesto based dishes in our future. Yummy!
This has certainly been a lovely weekend, both weather and project wise. I was finally able to get our yard back in decent shape considering we we have been MIA for almost three weeks and I was able to do some fun stuff, too. Like spend half the weekend at the lake house. And make some Christmas presents (more on that later this week). Perhaps one of my most favorite projects over this past weekend was the pillow covers I made.
Ever since I rearranged my living room a few weeks ago, I had been staring at blank feather pillow inserts. I did not have any existing pillow covers on hand that would incorporate into the new color scheme and no fabric that I could make into new ones. Or so I thought. After weeks of staring at the plain white squares I finally felt some motivation. Why not create my own seed bag style pillow covers? I had seen plenty in magazines in the last several months and they seemed easy enough to recreate.
So I brought out my supplies: craft paint, some cheap brushes I could stipple with, my letter stencils, and some burlap…all of which I already had on hand.
I measured my pillow inserts (18 x 18) and cut my burlap to size, leaving an inch extra on each side (19 x19). I then laid my burlap on a plastic bag so I didn’t stain the table underneath, arranged my stencils according, and stipled my desired color. Super easy.
I then took my freshly painted burlap outside to dry and set in the sun.
I opted to make one super sentimental by stipling “A & E” (hubs and my’s initials) with 2007 underneath (the year we were married). I love how it still mimics a seed/feed bag you would typically see while still holding a lot of meaning. For the second one, I just chose the words “Live, Love, Play”.
After the paint was dry to the touch, I hauled them over to my sewing machine and seamed the edges up. I decided to leave the left and right sides with a fringe for no other reason than to give the pillows some added interest. This was a very easy project that I feel had a great result. I hope you’ll try it out the next time you need some simple and quick pillow covers.