We planted a few Italian Large Leaf and Genovese basil seedlings in the spring. Though I restrained myself from biting off more than we could chew in terms of gardening this year, we had to have basil. It's so good, and so easy, that there was no excuse not to grow some.
Despite the drought and our neglect, by August we had huge shrub-like basil plants crowding bursting out of one of the new raised beds. (Above: some of our harvested basil).
For C's birthday in September, we invited a few friends to a pesto-making party, and preserved our basil bounty (at left) with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and sunflower seeds, with the help of a lot of hands washing, picking through, and de-stemming, and a borrowed 12-cup food processor.
We gave all of the guests ample pesto supplies for eating fresh or freezing, and froze a bunch ourselves...Now we're eating those bright green leaves gratefully as the temperature drops.
Gratitude to the pesto-making birthday guests, and to the abundant basil plants, and to the soil, sun, and (not much) water that turned those tiny seedlings into spicy green food for the winter!