Knit and Pray

Friday, November 8, 2013

I haven't posted in a long while and feel the need to reach out.


November hit with a bang. Just blew in before I was done with July.
     Have no idea how time moves so quickly - - - except that I am living life more fully these days.
I struggled through a long illness from last November until long about August I realized, "WOW, I finally got over all that pneumonia and staph infection."
     I seriously try to pack as much living as possible into a few days. Yes, you are right: it is exhausting. But oh so worth it.When it work.


Yesterday, we got an adorable picture of one of the great grands. She was desperately ill earlier this summer but has bounced back with vim, vigor, and vitality. That was a huge thanksgiving for us so life becomes even more precious.

Pumpkins in the field scream that my basil plant is going to be GONE / done / finished very soon. In Texas, the first freeze can hit with no warning in November and life changes whether we are ready or not. I am never ready to give up my fresh basil.



So, I am trying to beat nature at its own game. Not an easy task.



This is what my basil looked like in August. In spite of the heat and fresh basil went into most everything I cooked.


     

The August afternoon that I snapped this photo, I made Basil Oil. First time for me. Turned out pretty tasty.


      I heated some first class olive oil, threw in my chopped basil, and let it heat up awhile. Then strained it  into a clean jar. Yeah, just one. I thought my harvest would yield three jars but I've enjoyed the one. It stays in the fridge until I heat frozen chicken strips or make my fabulous fratatta.

      Sure enough, as soon as I turned the calendar to November, the weather forecast sounded ominous so Tuesday just before supper, I grabbed my garden scissors and went to work.

 There was enough healthy basil left for a good harvest to freeze.
 Gave it a good washing in the sink then let it drain awhile. I wish my pictures came with smell effects. Heavenly !!!










Grabbed a clean autumn kitchen town proclaiming the giving of thanks and gently dried the stalks. Striped the stems and finely chopped the leaves, sending even more aroma into the kitchen air.
 Stuffed the chopped basil into plastic ice cube trays, covered in filtered water, and let the freezer do its work.
  Couple of days later, dumped the frozen cubes into a colander....








 
....then quickly into zip lock bags....properly labeled and dated, of course !!!!

What a thrill. For all those winter soups and stews, my freshly frozen basil is handy to sweeten the pots !!!




         Now, IF I utilize my time properly--and HURRY---I have to cut some stems of my thyme and oregano. I'll tie each into a bundle and hang a different herb in seldom used closets. After a few weeks, I'll strip the leaves and store them in a jar I found at Wally World today!!! Imagine. How easy can that be? And fragrant !!! For the moment, I have to start a quick-soup for supper. Great recipe I'll share next time.

I'll leave you---any of my family and friends (cyber or in the flesh)  with one of my favorite thanksgiving scriptures. Today I'm taking it from "The Message." Philippians 1:1. 
" Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. "

Blessings with huge Thanksgivings,

Liz