As you know, I am easing into gardening. Slowly but surely. I decided an inside garden might be the most effective kind of garden to have. After doing some research, I bought an aerogarden. The concept is that the garden grows in water and no soil and you add some miracle grow nutrients to the water. I like the idea of no pesticides on my herbs and knowing exactly where my greens are coming from. On top of that, we are in the middle of pandemic– I like the idea of being the only one touching my herbs. I realize I sound a little crazy when I say that– but it is true for me.
At first, my husband chuckled a bit saying “that little tiny garden…it should give you enough for a sandwich.” And, at first, I kind of agreed with him. But, it has been 54 days since my aerogarden has been growing and I think I have harvested herbs at least 12 times. Sometimes, I have so much that I can’t use it all! It is absolutely amazing! I have basil on pizza, sandwiches; rosemary on all the fish I cook and dill on a myriad of dishes. I even tried to go outside my regular cooking routine to make some thai basil curry chicken (which was fun and delicious I might add). It has been so successful in fact, that I may get another one. The plants supposedly last between 4 and 6 months and I love having fresh herbs on hand. For the next one, I might grow flowers or cherry tomatoes. Only time shall tell.
I have also had a number of cooking mishaps with my herbs. Last week I had so much basil, I didn’t know what to do with it. So, I decided I would make pesto. I was so excited…fresh pesto. I followed the directions carefully and the pesto was fresh and delicious. Then my husband mentioned something about making pesto and how you have to “be careful” with the garlic and oil …something about botulism. I thought he was teasing me. But a quick “google” showed me that in fact, he was not. Turns out you do have to be extraordinarily careful with your pesto. Live and learn. One website actually said with regard to pesto…”just don’t make it.” There were other things like “a novice cook could easily kill someone.” With that, I threw my pesto away. I have no desire to feed my family poison pesto and have a trip to the ER right now…in a pandemic. So sadly, all of my perfect poison pesto had to be thrown away for the greater good. Sad.
With that, I decided I would try something exciting with the mint. So, I found an amazing recipe for watermelon mint popsicles on the internet. I used our vitamix and blended a lovely concoction and froze my popsicles. While I really did quite enjoy my creation, my kids were not impressed.
“Could we just have a plain cherry or grape popsicle instead?” said my 7 year old.
“Something, tastes funny in this one…is it mint?” my 5 year old declared.
“It really is a grown up taste,” my husband said.
So needless to say, neither my pesto nor my watermelon mint popsicles were exactly a success. But that doesn’t mean I will stop trying. I am going to find some awesome recipes to use my abundance of herbs.
I suppose as we are trying all of these new things this year– some are going to be quite successful and others will be… well …poison pesto. But I guess it isn’t the outcome all the time, but the journey. I feel like I have learned a lot about cooking and gardening (even in my little indoor, fool-proof aerogarden). It is just another vivid reminder to enjoy the journey.