One of the great things about sharing your love of gardening with friends is pooling the harvest together. We have some friends in the neighborhood that have had great success with their tomatoes this summer. Last night we were taking a stroll by their house and they sent us home with a lovely assortment of homegrown tomatoes. Such a treat, considering mine are a pretty pathetic lot this year.

My yellow pear is doing quite well. It took me all summer to realize my cherry tomato produced greenish-yellow cherry tomatoes. All this time had been waiting for them to turn red… Must have had a mix up earlier at the nursery when I brought them home. I moved my black heirloom and red Roma late in the summer, which I knew was a gamble. This picture is of the decrepit black heirloom… Hard to see with the nasturtium climbing around it. Poor thing. I should really just pull it, but my family has this weird thing about just finally killing off plants. Just don’t have the heart.

I just got in this mood the other night after setting the tomatoes on the counter. I guess I’ve been in a little bit of a funk, so I needed to just work it out through some cooking. I went out to the garden, picked a ton of basil, started blasting some Bob Dylan, and whipped up some pesto. In Italy, it seemed like fabulous pesto is around every corner, but I can’t seem to find anything good in the US unless I make it myself. It’s super simple to make as well. Here’s the recipe I used from Gourmet magazine. I think I listened to the song “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” about ten times over the course of the cooking.

The recipe made enough for hardy helpings of pasta, plus some for the freezer. You are suppose to pick your basil often, as with most herbs, to encourage more leafy growth so I plan to pick more over the next few weeks. We shall see how crammed I can make that freezer of ours. The tomatoes were tossed with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper and served as a salad. Baby potatoes were roasted with some herbs to round out the meal.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson