Basil Lemonade and Fresh Cheese Spread

My favorite little downtown cafe had basil lemonade yesterday. Given that my basil patch overfloweth, I decided to pinch back the white blossoms and make my own version.

Basil Lemonade
  • Pinch back about 1/2 C basil blooms, stem and all.
  • Defrost frozen can of lemonade into glass jar.
  • Add water (about 3 1/3 cans or according to directions) and basil to jar.
  • Let drink chill and flavors blend for about an hour, then serve.
The Fresh Cheese Spread is the result of an attempt at yogurt that mysteriously failed. This happens occasionally, where the clumps of fat fail to come smoothly together (I think I'm heating the milk too high).

The result was a slightly sour, rather clumpy mess of DEFINITELY NOT YOGURT. Normally I'd send it down the drain (the chickens get my food waste but they're lactose intolerant - just think about that for a minute and you'll realize why), but I was feeling adventurous. I'm glad that I was.

Fresh Cheese Spread
Step One: Make Yogurt
  • Follow directions for yogurt. Read a book or something and forget about the milk. Let it get hot, but not boiling over.
  • Turn off heat and let milk slightly cool. Follow remaining directions for yogurt. Let stand for 8 hours.
  • Investigate the next morning and realize that this is DEFINITELY NOT YOGURT.
    Taste it and decide it's okay anyway.
Step Two: Cover Your Tracks with Deliciousness
  • Line a colander with a *clean* waffle weave dishcloth, or cheesecloth.
  • Pour NOT YOGURT mixture into colander.
  • Let it drain on its own, or gather the corners of the cloth and squeeze if you're feeling impatient.
  • Scrape off cloth and into glass bowl with lid. Top with a pinch of salt, about 1/2 T of Province herbs, and about 3 T of olive oil.
  • Let sit in fridge overnight. Eat the next day with pepper crackers or fresh bread.
  • Cackle at your own wittiness.


modernhaus said...

Can I get a little basil-growing tutorial please? I keep killing mine-I think I remove too many leaves at once?
Nice to see you're enjoying your break!

sarsha said...

Hmm... a tutorial. I definitely say:

Full sun, outside or in a window. Basil likes to bake.

When starting from seed, give about an inch or more from the top of the container to the soil. That gives some support and extra humidity for the seedlings.

Water when wilty. Otherwise, don't bother.

Pick leaves horizontally rather than vertically. That is, I always pinch off new growth at the tips, rather than clean off all the leaves. Or, if you do want to thin the whole plant, then trim a few stems to soil-level.

Hope it helps!

modernhaus said...

Thanks! I think the problem is that I wanted to make pesto immediately after buying a new basil plant...it was sort of a "slash-and-burn" pillaging of the poor little plant.

Oh, when are you coming to San Diego and what's going down in the hipster community? I'm out of touch lately--need things to mock!

sarsha said...

Summer, funnily enough, I will be in San Diego next week. We will be staying at the Point Loma hostel Thursday and Friday nights. Maybe we can meet up somewhere fun?


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