Thursday, June 24, 2010

Basil Bliss


One of my favorite Summer herbs is basil. The broad fragrant leaves smell of pepper and lemon. I like to keep a plant in my kitchen just to brush the tips of my fingers across top. Like many other odoriferous herbs, it calms my spirits. It not only smells good, but it is beautiful. Just having a plant around congers up delicious dishes and delightful memories.

I had always had an interest in herbs, but had never really thought about or probably had never been properly introduced to basil. When I graduated from collage with a B.A. in Art History I was so surprised I could not find a job. Why nobody ever told me Art History would be the most useless degree to obtain I shall never know. I had grand ideas of curating a museum, developing education programs, writing some important literature or at least hanging a picture. What I got though was a job as a receptionist for a newspaper near the Washington beltway.

It was there that I would meet and have a long affair with "basil". My boss at the newspaper lived in Lovettsville, VA. It is a tiny town about one and a half hours outside of D.C. She commuted in everyday so that she could live in a refurbished log home from the 1700's, raise horses and grow a beautiful garden. When I realized that I had better go get a M.A. degree to top of my brilliant B.A. in Art History my boss gave me a little party. The one and only item at the party I remember was a small crock full of basil butter. It was like summer sunshine. Every bit tasted of smooth butter and peppery basil.

Fifteen years, a M.A. degree and a wonderful family later, I still make my basil bliss butter. You have to start by using a good butter. I like the kind from France! Then you chop the sweet green basil and mix it in. It is great on hot bread or just sandwiches. Enjoy! Oh, and always, always, always rethink a degree in Art History.


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