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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tasty pesto

Beth used to live upstairs in a two story on Whitcomb.  I love the name of the street.  It was only a little seedy back in the ‘80’s.  Beth’s friend Carol and her son Joseph lived downstairs when Beth moved in.  Their cat, Neighborhood, eventually became Beth’s cat.  When Carol and Joseph moved, Shelly and her husband and Bekka moved in.  Hammy came along shortly thereafter.  That’s enough of the group to be getting on with, although no one figures in this story except Beth and her friend, Christina.  The redhead who grew up next door in Mentor.

Beth always favored ethnic neighborhoods.  Her stock argument for living in the city was “If we don’t live here, Mom, who will?”  This was a fairly old Italian neighborhood of small lots, tidy homes, occasional two family homes, built that way in the ‘20’s and ‘30’s; the upstairs and downstairs identical.  There were sidewalks, flower gardens and adventures.  Like police helicopters overhead, illuminating the bushes looking for a suspect, and all the neighborhood out on their first and second story porches, watching.  Stories any mother likes to hear.

Chrissie must have finished her degree in harpsichord because she was back in Cleveland, taking her law degree at Case.  Beth may have been back at school, too, earning a degree that earned a living.  I think they were between boyfriends and especially partial to cheap entertainment, like the second run movie theater on the corner.  Experimenting with cooking, having parties that involved a little money and a lot of friends.

Beth invited me to come to supper one night for a spaghetti and pesto dish Chrissie was making as a trial run before trying it out live.  I arrived and found the table prettily laid and the two girls working in the kitchen.  Basil leaves, garlic cloves, pine nuts and olive oil was disappearing into the mortar and pestle.  I hung out in the kitchen door, watching the two girls working.  They decided they needed more basil.  One of them went out on the back landing and returned with a flat of tall and leggy basil seedlings.  Past their prime they cost a pittance at the corner nursery.  They made excellent pesto.


8 comments:

  1. I don't think I have ever eaten pesto. But, with such good things in it, I will have to give it a try!

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  2. I love pesto, I make a vegan version and I use regular nuts in place of pine nuts because I don't like them. We freeze pesto in ice cube trays so we can enjoy the taste of summer during the winter.
    Jane x

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  3. I do not grow much that is edible but I do grow basil!

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  4. Spaghetti and pesto yummmmy :-).

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  5. I love pesto. Smear some on extra thin wood fired pizza crust and add some onion and whatever you've got...fabulous. What a great idea they had to get more basil cheap.

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  6. We love pesto and have made it as well. It tasted so fresh.

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  7. Your slice of time spent at Beth and Chrissie's house sounded delightful. Makes me want to put out some herbs from some kit.

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  8. I was raised by a salt and pepper mom. It was years before I learned that there were other spices. I went wild! Now I'm a pesto fanatic. Love the glimpse into the neighbourhoods of bygone days that you bring to life!

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