Puttin’ up basil is one of the simplest most aromatic end o’ summer jobs. I go out to my four basil plants early in the morning, and take all of the perfect leaves those babies have to offer. I ask you-does anything smell as good as fresh picked basil?
It is simply a matter of chopping the leaves, then stuffing them in the little cubicles of the Ball Frozen Herb Starters. I add water-some folks add olive oil. I just like to control the fats in our various recipes, so the water works for us. Snap the lid on and pop the little containers into the freezer. (Plain old ice cube trays work just fine. I appreciate the lids on the Ball product because-well-the freezer is as chaotic as the rest of my homesteading life-and the lid prevents unfortunate accidents. Like chopped basil stuck all over my Polar Bars. Both things delicious-but not together.)
After everything is frozen, I just coax those little darlings out of the trays and put them in labeled freezer bags.
So when do we use those little cubes of basil? I saute a little chopped garlic in a saucepan, pour in a jar of home canned tomato puree, a pinch of ground red pepper and a cube of frozen basil=spaghetti sauce at its simplest. This is the stuff that puts Chef Boyardee back on the shelf where he belongs. This is what passes for “fast food” Out Here in the Pasture.
PS Check back in a few days, I’m going to talk about making sure you are canning tomatoes safely