OK. I admit it. I still get really excited when something I make from scratch tastes better than the store-bought version.
This past weekend I made pesto for the first time. Why did it take so long for me to give it a try? After all it’s an easy recipe with few ingredients, and it’s one of my favorites. I never made it because I could always buy it. I had seen chefs whip it up on TV, stumbled across recipes here and there, but surely it (like ketchup or mayonnaise) wasn’t worth making.
I was wrong.
After gathering ingredients, I made it in about three minutes. Presto, I had pesto! And there is a difference. Last night I spread it over pizza topped with sliced tomatoes (coated in garlic oil), mozzarella, and Parmigiano. Granted, you can’t go wrong with those ingredients, but the pesto really kicked, far more potent than the jar stuff.
It’s the same with gardening. These past few years I’ve tended a small veggie patch. Right now, end of season, my zucchini plant is in overdrive, spitting out two or three every couple of days. Huge, brightly colored yellow and green zucchini, perfect in their rustic imperfection. Even after a few years of doing this, I still get a sense of amazement that I grew this, and that it tastes like zucchini! Strolling through the produce aisle last week I checked out the small, damaged zucchinis. They were a sickly green hue. I thought to myself, “thank goodness I don’t need to buy those!”
In my limited experience, some vegetables are fussier than others, but there is absolutely nothing to growing zucchini. We plant them in April, water them every couple of days, pull a few weeds here and there, and now we’re reaping the benefits. It’s food at our back doorstep, handy when making an omelet and you realize you’re one ingredient short of a really good one.
Thursday we’re having a Moroccan-themed evening with friends. Forget the store-bought hummus and baba ghanouj. I’m making my own!