I don’t really know how to go about writing this post today.
One part of me simply wants to expound on the virtues of this gorgeous Creamy Homemade Pesto sauce. The other half wants to tell you about the prayer request that is weighing heavy on my heart and mind. Since life is complicated – it doesn’t fit into the black and white categories of ‘blog things’ and ‘personal things’ – I am going to do a little of both.
Yesterday I got home from work and saw online that my second cousin’s dear little daughter, Emmy, has a brain tumor and is having surgery today. In only three days, this sweet little girl had gone from having bad headaches, to an earth shattering diagnosis and undergoing major surgery.
Just like that, the breathlessness of life’s fragility can claim you with one swift sucker punch.
During my first year of college, as a fresh young adult learning to navigate the world on my own, I experienced this same kind of unexpected heartbreak.
My younger sister was visiting me for the weekend at school, and my parents were coming to pick her up. They called to check-in on the way, but the conversation seemed strained for some reason. When my parents arrived, they told us that our sixteen-year-old cousin, Mickey, has passed away in a car accident the night before.
In one moment my entire life changed. I had dealt with death before, but never someone so close to me, so young and alive. My sense of safety was blind sided. I suddenly knew that nothing could be counted on – no future was guaranteed – and that scary things could actually happen to the people that I love.
I think everyone learns this lesson eventually, tragedy touches us all at some point, but my heart was still permanently altered by what happened. While the wound of losing my cousin has mostly healed in the ten years since he’s been gone, whenever I hear about something like what’s happening to sweet Emmy, it reopens and that pain is unearthed again – I think good can still come of that hurt though.
Deep down in my bones, I earnestly believe that loss instilled me with a tender sense of empathy, an understanding that I can use to better love and serve those around me who are facing tragedy. People who desperately need listening ears, caring hands, and big batches of pasta with Creamy Homemade Pesto delivered to their doorsteps.
Friends, may I please ask you to pray for Emmy with me? And if you make a batch of this pesto sauce, would you consider using it to make a meal for someone you know that could use some love right now? ♥
- 2-2½ Cups fresh basil leaves (20 oz by scale)
- 2 Large garlic cloves
- ½ Cup toasted nuts (I like walnuts)
- 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
- ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Warm a skillet over medium heat. Toast the nuts dry in the pan until they are slightly golden and fragrant (move them often to prevent burning). Set the toasted nuts aside to cool - be sure they have cooled before you use them.
- Gently wash the basil under cool water. Arrange the leaves in an even layer between paper towels and pat them dry.
- Remove the skin from the garlic and chop each clove into 2-4 smaller pieces.
- Combine the basil, garlic, nuts, and cheese in a food processor or blender, pulse until they are coarsely chopped.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the sauce and pulse until creamy and combined.
- Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper to your preference - feel free to modify the consistency or ratio of ingredients to your taste!
You may need to add additional olive oil to the sauce to reconstitute it after it has been in the fridge or freezer