Since last September I’ve been a serious adult with a job. I’m really enjoying it, I have to say. It’s nice to have money to spend that’s actually yours and not your parents’ or student loans’. It’s nice to tell people “I’m a teacher” rather than “I’m a student”, which in reality only ever meant “I’m on the dole and pissing about until I figure out what to do with my life”. (That last part is actually still true in my case, but it’s less evident now.) I’ve taken on a set of boring responsibilities, such as paying bills, cleaning the bathroom of my house more or less regularly, moaning about ‘those damned kids outside making a racket’. I spend more money on cheese than I do on nights out these days. It’s all new and strange, but kinda nice.
Now that I’m a responsible, adult individual, I’ve also taken up boring hobbies! I’m enjoying my new boring hobbies. One of them is gardening. Do I have a garden? No. But I have a balcony and I’ve filled this balcony with potted plants and flowers. The balcony used to be off limits, as it’s partly attached to Blenderman’s room, and he wanted it for himself, but I slowly but surely invaded it, and now it’s communal territory. The neighbours have noticed, too: the other day the upstairs lady complimented me from her own balcony on my green thumb. I was ecstatic.
I’ve got a few decorative plants (snapdragons and petunias, but no geraniums, rest assured!) which are nice. My favourite plants, though, are the edible ones. So far none of my tomatoes and peppers have produced anything usable, but the herbs are rocking my socks off. I’m especially thrilled about all of my basil, of which I’ve always suffered a shortage in the past for which I am making up now. I’ve got about 15 plants, all of which are still growing and producing their delicious flavoursome leaves for my delight.
Pesto’s already on the blog, so today we’ll go for something else that involves an abundance of basil: basil and courgette salad. This one’s pretty simple, but as a side it’ll impress your buddies’ and your own palate, no worries.
As a side for 4, use the following:
- four courgettes (or more if you’re using the delicious tiny ones)
- a nice handful of fresh basil
- one clove of garlic
- some olive oil
- a small amount of lemon juice
- salt to taste
First, wash the courgettes. Slice them in half lengthways, then make slices of about half a cm thick, halve those and boil them in salted water for 6 – 8 minutes. Drain and briefly rinse with cold water.
Wash your basil and chop it up quite finely. Put it in the bowl with the courgettes, then add a good splash of olive oil, some lemon juice and some salt. Slice the clove of garlic in half and add the two parts, too. You can remove this one later, it only need to give off some flavour.
Leave the salad to cool for at least half an hour. Remove the garlic (or eat it, I guess, if you really want to) and serve with maybe some meat or fish or whatever!