“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us.”
My mom kept several gardens on our 7-acre hobby farm when I was a kid. Our acreage was shaped like a triangle and my mom was always finding new ways to put almost every square foot to good use.
There was a big vegetable garden, an even bigger strawberry patch, a “Christmas tree” grove and a small orchard for apples and plums. The fruit trees were planted right next to our clubhouse and it was definitely a “branch and to bite” lifestyle for me and my brother back then. 😉
Mom had several flower beds and gardens and around the property too. All different varieties sprang up at every turn- lilies, phlox, snapdragons, tulips, lilacs…if it could be grown in Minnesota, I’m sure we had it there on the farm.
My mom was always pulling food out of the ground and making it into something magical too. Of course, I don’t remember thinking that at the time, what with all the weeding involved, but looking back, I sure do feel lucky to have a mom who experienced so much joy working with the Earth and that was so effortlessly creative.
We were at her house (in Florida) a few weeks ago and she decided to whip up some pesto with the basil in her backyard. The recipe came from a cookbook called Heart of the Home (by Susan Branch) and my mom said she bought her copy in 1986.
I found this photo of the author online yesterday and I loved reading that she wrote the book at her dining room table…
That last sentence got me curious about the German Pancake so I did a quick Google search and this is what I found:
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
3 teaspoons butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Butter a heavy 10″ oven-proof skillet. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork to blend. Slowly add the flour, beating constantly. Stir in the salt and milk. Pour the batter into the skillet and drop the butter by teaspoonfuls into the batter, distributing evenly. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sift with powdered sugar (and strawberries or fresh fruit of choice). Serve with heated maple syrup.
Wow! Is your mouth watering too?
Anywho- back to the pesto recipe. It’s incredible as well. Here are some video clips of us making it together at mom’s house last month:
…and here are the ingredients/instructions:
And like my mom mentioned in the video, I’d suggest not putting the olive oil in the processor. She says it makes the pesto taste bitter and apparently lots of folks on the internet agreed. Just stir it in by hand in a separate bowl with all the other ingredients. It’s SO delicious!
Do you have a favorite Susan Branch recipe? 😀