Here is my tried and true pesto recipe with adjustments made for when you have two small children.
First, get out of the house early and head to the local organic CSA farm where you have you summer farm share. Run out quickly to the pick your own herb section while your husband corrals the kiddos and picks up the veggies. Panic that you haven’t picked enough. Pick more.
Then head home to put the veggies in the fridge and herbs and flowers in a bucket of water so that you can head to the library. Realize that the library doesn’t open for another half and hour. Attempt to go to library when it does open, but stop and feed the baby because she wants to nurse and looks like she needs a nap. Attempt to leave again, but the toddler needs an outfit change and his bedroom floor mopped.
Finally, arrive at the library with the plan to grab books and run so that you can get the over tired baby home for a nap. Realize that you have walked in on a presentation about ancient Egypt that is WAAAAAY over your kiddos heads (and has no interest for the other kids in the audience) AND the presenter has set up shop RIGHT in front of the children’s picture books and there is no way that you can discretely pick out new books for this week. Finally make do with books that other families have returned and haven’t been re-shelved yet while the presenter carries on for another 30 minutes after it was scheduled to end with an audience that is totally bored and restless.
Head home and try to make lunch, adding more water to the wilting basil. Toddler has learned to open fridge door and attempts to shut his sister in the fridge. In protest, she dumps a bowl of red jello all over the inside of the fridge. Only possible solution – buy a new fridge.
Finally get the baby fed and napping and toddler fed and entertained. Take advantage and fold four loads of laundry.
Go blueberry picking with family and pick 12 pounds of blueberries.
Come home and cut the remaining basil in your own garden which is completely wilted and pathetic because you haven’t watered or fertilized all summer long.
Pull off the leaves from all off the pesto plants looking for nice healthy leaves without bugs, stems, or flowers. I always start to use a paring knife, but inevitably give up and do it by hand. I usually sit with my pile of plants and pick into a colander. Wash the leaves well – especially in case you missed some bugs.
Break for dinner and cleaning up the kitchen and making an emergency batch of “mopsicles” because you went blueberry picking a few hours ago, and the toddler CANNOT wait ONE MORE SECOND!
Finally clean up the kitchen and evacuate the kids because the sound of the food processor will send them into fits of anxiety for a week.
In the food processor, throw in all the basil, some pine nuts (but mostly walnuts because you looked at the price of pine nuts) minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese and some olive oil all in and turn that sucker on, savoring the few moments when you can’t hear them yelling “Mommy”.
Throw in a container in the fridge and wait until they all go to sleep and you can eat the pesto with a spoon!
Ann’s pesto recipe:
Difficulty level: Oh so easy
Time to complete: 11 hours
Prep Time 10 hours, 58 minutes
Actual cook time: 2 minutes