Or, The Little Basil That Could:
I am the world's most pathetic gardener. I have great intentions and dreams and almost zero follow-through. I have a little garden patch in the front of the house that benefits from lots of direct sunlight and being in the path of the lawn sprinkler. From it, I harvested many lovely tomatoes, green beans, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, and even a few carrots.
In the back, on the deck, I have a little stand where I thought I'd grow herbs. Never mind that it gets virtually no sunlight. Never mind that I have a nearly complete inability to remember to water things. I have a Christmas cactus sitting by the kitchen sink, and I bet you anything it's totally dehydrated right now. Maybe when I'm done with this post, I'll go check it. Maybe. If I don't forget.
Anyway, so you can see in the little planter next to the basil another type of herb that got drowned by repeated rains in what appears to be a nondraining flowerpot. The basil had a pot that drained--when I remembered to water it. Nevertheless, like the fabled little engine, it thought it could, and thought it could, and thought it could, and finally, many many weeks later, it produced a few small but fragrant basil leaves.
This coincided with a need to clean out both the front garden patch and the fridge. I lined up everything I had: pasta, tomatoes, Italian sausage, basil, onions and garlic. Surely these would all work together.
Into the skillet went the sausage, along with minced garlic and coarsely chopped onion. Brown, baby, brown.
When that's all nice and brown, in go the tomatoes. Purists would have peeled them. Purists probably also water their gardens and put their basil in the sunshine. And don't let their flowerpots drown. So--I did not peel the tomatoes. I thought it was energetic of me to chop them with my dull knives. I also splashed in some red wine--half a cup or so. I let it all simmer until the wine was reduced and a bit thicker.
This was all my little basil plant yielded. I did realize that probably wasn't enough and made a quick trip to the local farm stand for more basil. When the sauce was pretty well cooked, I stirred in the basil and salt and pepper.
It was very good. And pretty. I think I would use more onion next time; I used 1/2 a large onion. But to me, you can never have too much onion. And if my fridge had contained mushrooms and green peppers, those would have made wonderful additions too.
And the little basil plant that could, done did, and got gone. Bye-bye, basil. Thank you for your valiant efforts.