Yesterday, I decided it was time to harvest my basil. There were little flower spikes starting to appear, so I cut it way back. I got a good armload of basil, so I decided to make pesto.
Pesto is easy. You gather fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and toasted pine nuts. There are many other things you can add (garlic, almonds, pistachios, other hard Italian cheeses, etc) but those are the basics. I think I usually add garlic, but I forgot it this time. Then you throw everything in the food processor with enough olive oil to blend well. I never measure anything. And I always put in a lot of pine nuts. I love pine nuts.
The armload of basil yielded almost five cups of pesto. I decided to use two cups for dinner and froze the other three, separately, for later.
Here are the dinner ingredients. Sadly, only the basil was from my garden. Our garden space at home is limited by the big trees blocking sunlight to most of the yard. I plan to come up with a solution when the kids are all a bit older.
I like to have the kids help with dinner when possible (translation: Sometimes, when I’m well rested and feeling very ambitious.) Son #1 cut up the veggies to sauté. Son #2 helped pick all the basil leaves off the stems and wash them for the pesto. Son #3 mostly stayed out of trouble. Son #4 ran around half-naked and half-potty-trained. Baby girl intermittently interrupted everything because she wanted to snack and play and have everyone’s attention.
But, somehow, dinner got made.
High protein pasta with homemade pesto, topped with Parmesan, extra toasted pine nuts, and a sprig of basil; zucchini, asparagus, and green beans sautéed in olive oil; store bought bread with butter the kids made over the weekend.
I used to make things like this every night when we had three kids. With five kids this is a seriously fancy meal. We’re not vegetarian, but we generally avoid red meat and meatless days are pretty common.
And here is a dose of reality. I hate that most people heavily edit their lives on social media so that everything appears perfect. My life isn’t like that, and I have no problem admitting it. Here is how my looked kitchen when dinner was half-way made (that means without the dinner dishes!) Some of the dishes were from the previous day. It happens. The rest were from breakfast and lunch. The dishwasher was clean, but hadn’t gotten emptied yet. And yes, there was junk on that corner of the floor (it probably fell off of the counter.) It all got cleaned up eventually. And I got to bed around midnight.
I absolutely love all five of our kids. I do not love the volume of mess, especially dishes and laundry, which they generate.