Monday, July 4, 2011

Pipevines and Pesto

So, I told you I've give you an update on the Pipevine Swallowtail eggs that I saw being laid on the Pipevine right? Well, I ended up finding hundreds of these wicked looking caterpillars. They are black and red-orange with lots of threatening tentacles sticking out of them. So cool. Lots of gorgeous butterflies to come. It is amazing how just having 1 unique plant in your yard can change the dynamics of the fauna in it. It impresses me that they are able to find a plant where there was never one before. Here are the caterpillars munching the Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa) at my house. 

You thought you were hiding under the leaf, eh?
See the black poopers and munched leaf evidence?

Pesto: Harvested my first crop of basil for freezer pesto. It takes 8 cups of leaves just to make about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. So, I found this recipe at Everyday Food, which now I can't find, but essentially it is: 8 c. basil leaves, 2/3 c. olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 c. walnuts (toasted on a pan) and S & P to taste. The new thing that this recipe calls for which I've never done is flash-blanch the basil by dropping it in boiling water, immediately removing and running cold water over. This is suppose to keep it green, but I noticed it started to change and there are so many walnuts in it anyway it doesn't end up being very green so oh well. I loaded this into freezer containers for later fare. It's suppose to last 6 months in the freezer. I know I've pushed that limit before. 
It's kind of unattractive, but oh the flavor!

I think my camera may be dying. She is taking fewer and fewer focused photos. She has been to other countries and been to a beach or two, got rough-handled in baggage check, probably x-rayed and I could barely see her scratched screen images from her travels, but she has done me well. As a result I may not have much to blog about until her replacement or unless she sees this note and steps up. 

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