At Home


I made pesto on Sunday using basil from my garden. I blitzed up about 50 large basil leaves with about a cup of toasted pinenuts, four garlic cloves, a scant cup of finely grated parmigiano and about a third of a cup of good quality olive oil.

And all of those ingredients produced this much pesto:

As soon as I got home on Monday night, I got a pot of water boiling for the pasta. Speaking of pasta, I was about to conduct an experiment that had potential to be a recipe for disaster: I was going to sneak in whole wheat pasta. The Beast hates whole wheat pasta. But I think he hates it just to be an ass. I suspect that if he didn’t see the box, he’d have no idea he was eating it.

I also cut up some Niagara peaches for dessert. Everything would be ready just in time to tune into the series finale of The Hills.

Foodie: How’s the pasta?

Beast: It’s good. Do you like it?

Foodie: Quite a bit. Why, what’s wrong with it?

Beast: Nothing! It’s good. Really good.

I don’t know about you but when I’m watching an historic moment on television, I don’t like people playing toy instruments in the background, no matter how quietly they’re trying to play them. The Beast’s mother, bless her heart, brought him back two flutes from a recent trip to Washington D.C. And the Beast kept playing them during The Hills.  Mind you, he was playing them softly but I still found it terribly annoying.  I kept shooting him really rotten looks but he pretended not to notice.

Foodie: Do you plan on playing your toy flutes that your Mommy gave you through the whole show?

Beast: Don’t talk to me like I’m a baby.


I got so mad that I couldn’t stop laughing. There was just no place for the anger to erupt so it came out in heaving belly laughter and squealing. The Beast mistook my laughing anger for laughing happiness so he kept playing away like a little gay wood nymph. I decided to distract myself, and show him how mad I was, by painting my nails.  It worked: like a child not getting the attention he so craved, the flute playing eventually stopped.

Foodie: Can you go get the peaches and ice cream at the commercial? I’m not capable of doing it.

Beast: I’m not capable of doing it either.

Foodie: Listen, it’s time you grew up, just like the girls on The Hills.

Beast: You’re right.  I need to grow up.  I will grow up.

Wow, that was easy. I didn’t know that’s all it would take. As I waited for the Beast to bring dessert, the phone rang.

Foodie: Hello.

Caller: (In an extremely whiny voice) Will you come in here and help me?

If I leave my cellphone out, the Beast will inevitably take it, hide himself away in another room, and then call our landline. And I always answer and he thinks it’s so fucking funny, which it is. I wheeze with laughter every time, mostly because I can’t believe that I’ve been stooped yet again by that little fucking bandit.

Foodie: Are you serious?

Beast: Where’s the ice cream and where are the peaches and how much ice cream do I put in the bowl?

Foodie: The peaches are already cut up and they’re in thefridge.  I can’t come in to help because my nails are drying.

Beast: That means I’ve got to do the dishes on top of making dessert?!

Foodie: Well I made dinner!

Beast: If you call boiling some pasta and mixing it up with pesto “dinner” than I’ll be in charge of “dinner” from now on.

Foodie: Oh you will, will you? Well be my guest. And for the record, do you know how much pinenuts cost? And do you even know how to wash a food processor? And how finely to grate the parmigiano?

Beast: There was cheese in that pesto?

Foodie: Yes.  And that was whole wheat pasta!

Beast:  I knew it!  

Foodie:  Liar! 

Beast: Okay. I’m hanging up now. I’ll see you in two seconds.

Beast:  I’m here.

Yes you are.  And thank goodness.

Foodie:  **

Beast: *


Categories: At Home

6 replies »

  1. Hmmmm….

    When I first read the pesto blog I was a little concerned by some choices of words describing my musical son. You know, things like ‘little gay wood nymph’, little fucking bandit, liar, acting like a baby, just to be an ass. Especially when they were concerning his love of making music. It actually had me puzzled that his flute playing could trigger such wrath.
    I thought and thought about it and then while walking home from work it hit me. Aha! She is jealous! She wants not just one flute but two! How could I have been so thoughtless?
    Feeling very pleased with myself for solving the mystery I then began to wonder how I could make it up to my competitive daughter-in-law ( or daughter-in-common-law as Simon so succinctly puts it!) Maybe a gift certificate for 10 flute lessons, some more Chanel nail polish or even my new Chanel lipstick. None of these seemed just right. I can promise that the next time I go to my sister’s farm I will raid her very large garden of as much basil as I can carry. That should do the trick! But what will I get for Simon then……..

    • Dear Mother of the Beast,

      I wasn’t sure how to respond to your comment. I can understand your concern over me calling your little gay wood nymph a liar and a fucking bandit. I am sorry for that. Sometimes my emotions get the better of me. However, I don’t think your threatening tone, re: signing the Beast up for flute lessons, which will undoubtedly mean plenty of practicing at home, is appropriate.

      I thank you for the basil offering. I will gladly take it, along with any other bounty you can carry home (rhubarb, zucchini, etc.)

      With Great Respect,

  2. I can always tell! I hate that whole wheat pasta, it tastes like garbage that’s been sitting out in the sun for too long…… I frown at your deception…… how can someone with such a wholesome laugh participate in such trickery?

  3. Hmmm I guess I didn’t make myself too clear. I didn’t mean to be threatening and offer flute lessons to the beast. I was wondering if I should offer them to you. You know, the best defence is a good offence…………

  4. Well guys, I’ll take flute lessons and basil. And a bowl of that delicious peaches and ice cream. Very sexy. I was wondering what to make for our next backyard family dinner. Blueberry jello was topping the list (from scratch of course thanks to New York Times recipe for blueberry gelatin but I wouldn’t call it that because it sounds weird, and inspiration from-it must be better for you cause it looks funny-whole wheat pasta), but after seeing your peaches and ice cream I think i’ve made up my mind. The adventures of Foodie and The Beast once again inspire me to be all that I can be in the kitchen. And what’s with the magical disappearance of all that basil when you turn it into pesto?

    • Thanks for this lovely note Jessie B. If you make the blueberry jello, please share the results with me. That sounds very adventurous. Some might consider peaches and ice cream pedestrian but I think it never disappoints, especially with good quality ice cream (Consumer’s Report recently raved about Breyer’s Double Cream All Natural Vanilla, or something close to that name.) That’s what I’ve been buying as of late.

      As for 50 basil leaves being blitzed into nothingness…I think it has to do with math and science.

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