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Issue Five / Entertaining Ideas,Essay
“The smell of sweet basil and the laughter of other guests floated past the dining room as we emptied our baskets onto the table”

Sharing Pesto

Words by Beth Murphy & Larissa Murphy Photographs by Carissa Gallo

Preparing for seasonal cooking with a garden’s basil harvest.

We arrived at our mother-in-law’s house with the essentials—olive oil, nuts, garlic and cheese. She greeted us in her flowered apron, glasses of wine in hand to share. The smell of sweet basil and the laughter of other guests floated past the dining room as we emptied our baskets onto the table. She led us to her sun-drenched patio where we carefully pulled fresh leaves off the basil stalks, an overabundance from our friend’s garden, preparing to make our first batch. With the basil ready we went back inside and gathered around the table, each at our own little station. We dipped bread into a bubbling skillet of Fontina and garlic and enjoyed fresh pesto pizza from an earlier batch. Processors started whirring and the hum became the background to laughter and conversation. As batches of pesto were finished, they were stored in jars for the fridge or spread on wax paper and shaped into logs for the freezer. In the coming months, slices will be cut from these logs, ready to add to any dish. As the evening quieted down the floor was swept of fallen herbs and the dishes were scrubbed clean. A wonderful summer harvest was shared with dear friends.

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