1. It’s basil, duh-yum, which contributed mightily to the tasty herb frittata I made for din tonight, and will star in many tomato, pasta, salad, and egg dishes to come this summer. All Hail Basil.
2. The pot, which was originally my Grandma & Grandpa Meyer’s, for whom I have such a big, soft spot in my heart that it’s pretty much ridiculous. My grandparents may very well not be looking down at the plantings on my deck…but if they are, every year there’s something tasty planted in that pot. Often basil, sometimes parsley, occasionally dill (I rotate crops, ha). I don’t think my grandparents were herb people, but they had a killer vegetable garden that coaxed annoyingly picky little Stephanie to eat things like fresh green beans, new potatoes, and baby onions. So Grandma & Grandpa, this basil’s for you. (Recipe posted in comments, below.)
ICYMI, today was herb-planting day, much postponed because of our long, cold spring and our trip to Italy. I feel much better now that my herbs are snug in their pots, tomatoes as well. I went big, BIG on the lavender plantings, not because I’ll consume them, but because I cannot get enough of the heady, heavenly fragrance.
In fact, the whole day was good, one of those hot, sweaty, dirty days of weeding, planting, and watering which has always made me feel more productive and more satisfied than any other sort of work. I don’t garden nearly on the level that I used to (I bordered on addicted there for a few years, but I’m more uh, moderate about it these days), but I still love it. There is nothing – nothing – as satisfying as being post-planting filthy, back aching, yard in order, flowers and herbs in bloom, followed by a long, cool shower, a cold, crisp glass of wine, and a dinner cooked with the fruits of one’s labor (even if the “fruits” are just a handful of fresh herbs).
(My trademark post-gardening-satisfaction pose – both hands on hips, surveying my handy-work – was even documented once in a painting, completely unbenownst to me until my dear friend Polly noticed the painting hanging at Methodist Hospital as she exited after the birth of her son, Charlie; no, I wasn’t able to purchase the painting, dang – but it still hangs in the hospital, lo these many years later.)
Moderate it: fresh herbs make everything taste amazing for zero calories. Nutritious too, and a no-brainer to grow in pots (add sunshine and water; no need for a huge, tilled garden), give ’em a go.