This week, we’ve woken to frost outside, sparkling in the bright morning sun. On our car, it’s thick enough for my daughter to scratch away with a fingernail, etching her initials on the window before hopping in for the ride to school. Damp yellow leaves clump in the gutter, and the carved pumpkins on our steps have begun to look wizened. Fall arrived slowly this year, but now the trees have peaked, the clocks changed and the seasons fully shifted.
Thank heavens, then, for homemade pesto. At the first mention of nippy weather on the radio, I harvested great bunches of basil from the garden and made several batches to freeze. Throughout winter, I’ll toss that pesto with pasta, swirl it into tomato soup, smear it on sandwiches and spread it over pizza crust. (One favorite combo we created this year: pesto, cherry tomatoes, grated mozzarella and Reichert’s Dairy Air goat cheese, a family-favorite from Des Moines' Downtown Farmers Market.)
I’m already eager to try a cold-weather version, with thinly sliced new potatoes or mushrooms, but I know that my pesto will taste better in January, when hot, sunny days feel furthest away. So for now, I’ll savor the frosty mornings, knowing that I’ve stored plenty of summer in my freezer door.