"Who Would Have Thought it Would Be So Easy to Make Home Made Pesto?" From a 13 Year-Old Boy
This is what my son said right after he made his first batch of home made pesto.
Just before that he unabashedly declared it was the best pesto he had ever tasted! The funny thing is, he was being sincere. He really doesn’t like to cook so he truly did impress himself with what is possibly one of the healthiest green foods I’ve consistently enjoyed watching children eat.
Pesto is one of those items that every once in a while when I have to make a lot of it, or I’m feeling a little bit lazy—I attempt to buy it at the store. I say attempt because I am never able to bring myself to making the buy once I see the price. I know I can make a much bigger batch for less money using the highest quality elements. So I buy the fresh basil and a chunk of aged Parmesan, which by the way, is one of the healthiest cheeses you can eat, and I commit to the five minutes it takes to make my own.
It’s getting out the food processor and cleaning it that hinder my desire in the first place, not the blending. That’s the fun part, which is how I get my son to participate. Guys love strength tools. I must let in, I too love my kitchen tools. A dull knife method cooking isn’t fun, and while it’s true the best pesto I ever ate was slowly ground with a mortar and pestle, I usually don’t have the time for that course of action. Kids, however, love the time consuming, labor intensive aspects of cooking.
Sifting flour is a typical example. I once had a 7 year-old girl in my kitchen who sifted flour for nearly an hour and we weren’t already going to be baking anything that day! I also discovered that a group of teens love the repetition of making something like samosas. While I personally rarely have the patience to make the dozens that would be devoured if we did make them from scratch, teens find it’s the perfect opportunity to talk.
I imagine that’s how it used to be before women began working outside of the home. They cooked together and chatted. They connected. Food helps us connect with one another. It connects us to the earth—assuming the elements are real vs. synthetic—and in a way it connects us to ourselves. Because real food, like all great art has this powerful ability to pull us into the moment. When food is beautifully presented, when our bodies recognize the quality of food that has been lovingly or joyfully prepared instead of processed and packaged, we tend to get really present. In that moment we experience the connection that we are really craving. This craving will never be satisfied by food designed for profit.