pumpkin seed pesto

Sometimes, writing feels like an insurmountably difficult task. I have the ideas and the thoughts in my head, and I know how the finished words ought to feel on the page, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to line the words up to get to where I want to go.


When I’m in this holding place, this dead zone (but with tons of ideas ricocheting around in my head), I feel depleted and empty, tense and anxious. So I tap out a few sentences before scrapping that project in favor of trying an altogether different story, and then, when that doesn’t work either, skipping out on that one too and writing a blog post instead. Because writing a blog post is the equivalent of walking around in my underwear: relaxing, free, fun.

Notice I didn’t say “walking around naked.” I reserve that analogy for private journaling.

I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with food: reading about it, preserving it, cooking it, eating it. These days, I’m inspired in the kitchen, energized and productive. I’m having fun.

However, kitchen tasks extend into my evenings, that sacred time when I like to read or watch movies. Some nights, come 10 o’clock, I’m still standing at the sink blanching beans or washing up dishes. Mornings, my other sacred time (in other words, any time the kids are sleeping is considered sacred time), I find myself again in the kitchen, mixing up bread dough, pouring boiling water over the cucumbers, checking the seal on the latest batch of canning.

a mighty sea of sauce

And then, in the heat of the day, I end up in the garden picking more cucumbers, a few zucchinis, a tomato or two. I check on the basil, and, oh dear, it’s time to make more pesto.

Because pesto is awesome and you can never have too much of it. Can I get an amen?

Which reminds me. I have a new pesto recipe. A friend told me that she uses pumpkin seeds in place of nuts, so I tried it and loved it. The resulting pesto is just like normal pesto (no one will notice a difference if you don’t say anything) (also, I have no picture because it looks just like my other pesto recipes), but it has a deeper, nuttier flavor. I love it, and the last time I went to the grocery store, I bought two more bags of pumpkin seeds.

Basil baby, you are going DOWN.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto
With inspiration from Laurel

I no longer measure my pesto ingredients, but I’ll give it a go. Just to be accommodating.

2 packed cups basil leaves
½ cup salted pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium cloves garlic
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup olive oil

Blend up the first seven ingredients in the food processor. With the processor still running, pour the oil through the feed tube.

Eat pronto or freeze for later.

The end.


I just realized this wasn’t the post I wanted to write at all, but since it’s what came out when I sat down (and now the dog got sprayed by the skunk and the kids and my husband are melting down and I need to get a shower), I’m going to call it quits. Hopefully I’ll have a better writing day tomorrow.

This same time, years previous: mint chocolate birthday cake, limeade concentrate, brown sugar granola, Dutch puff


  • Anonymous

    I was checking out the nuts on the shelf, and the pumpkin seeds were next to them and that is when I decided to try the pumpkin. The price was so much better and my son approved of the pesto, so that is what will go in my pesto!

  • Becky

    I've never heard of butter in pesto either. I will definitely have to try that, as well as the seeds. I usually go with pine nuts or walnuts, but I've been known to throw almonds in if that's the only nut I have around.

  • Margo

    how did I miss butter in pesto? Hmm. I'm going to have to try that because you are right, there is never enough pesto. My husband has been making it by hand in our mortar and pestle!

    I never use pine nuts, only walnuts. And now, in your honor, I will seek out some seeds.

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