Basil Gone Wild!!!

A couple of months ago we got a new neighbor.  She is really great, and has a son the same age as Rat Boy (the resident 15-year old zombie killing expert), who is also homeschooling.  She also has plants…LOTS of plants…a veritable explosion of plants on the tiny back porch.

Not to be outdone, I pulled out looked for brushed off my green thumb.  Thinking about how many times I’ve run down to the market to grab some fresh herb that I just had to have, I decided (after lengthy browsing at Lowe’s) to plant a container of basil and thyme, the two herbs I most often use.  A couple of weeks later, I was back, looking for a larger pot 😛

The basil has grown like it’s on steroids!  It’s taking over the pot, the porch, and soon I fear the kat will vanish while taking her evening constitutional on the porch.  Something had to be done!!!  SO…I trimmed, and trimmed, and then trimmed some more, until the bushy basil resembled something under control.  Then I washed and dried the fruits of my labours, which was a considerable pile of fresh basil 😀

I’d read that the best way to dry and store fresh herbs is to rinse in cool H2O, then lay flat to dry on a paper towel, after which refrigerate in a ziplock.  So I did that with about half of the stems, until I ran out of room on the counter for the paper towels and leaves.  The other half I rinsed and stood in a glass of water, like a flower arrangement.  The standing basil dried in about half the time, I didn’t need to fluff or turn it.  Actually it’s still sitting in the glass, looking fresh and crispy and quite decorative.  The detached leaves did finally dry, and are now safely ensconced in the fridge.

Yesterday, after the lawn work 😛 I pulled out some leftover chicken, which had been grilled on the bone and then deboned for convenience in storing. I rough diced the chicken and a couple of stems each of green onion and celery, a couple of roma tomatoes, and basil. Threw all of this together with a little mayo, some brown mustard, a bit of basil for garnish (it is SO pretty) and voila…Yum-tastic!  Cool, easy, and bye-bye leftover chicken 😀

I put mine on little cocktail rye slices.  Hubby had his on Ritz.  Either way, great nibbling without having to turn on the oven 🙂  And when you live in Texas, and the temp is holding steady at an early 100+, oven avoidance is an art to cultivate…even if you have AC!