by Erin Thursby
I picked up a decently sized basil plant from Fresh Market the other day when I was waiting for one of their food demos to start. (It was an Italian Beef Tenderloin served with Gorgonzola butter. The beef was excellent, particularly set off with the butter, but the pasta served with it, wasn’t entirely my cuppa.)
The basil was grown hydroponically and the fragrance hit me from a couple of feet away.
I grow my own herbs at home. Sometimes I grow them from seed, like my purple Thai basil. I’ve got a large rosemary bush which I didn’t grow from seed, some chives, parsley and a little bit of thyme I rescued from one of those refrigerated packages which leave the roots and some soil intact.
I knew that the basil I was looking at was exceptional. The copious amount of leaves and their size were one thing– but the important part is how it smells, and this basil was quite possibly the most fragrant I’d encountered.
I’ve since transplanted the beauty into a pot after using some of it in a diced strawberry and honey mixture, as well as in a pasta dish (angel hair pasta with a Parmesan basil and olive oil sauce, topped with tilapia.)
All very delish.
This plant has piqued my interest in hydroponics, which was formerly relegated into categories labeled “pot growers” or “moon colonists.” Narrow minded, I know. But it’s not just me. Type in a google search of hydroponics.
The only problem is that it looks like I’d have to use specialized equipment and buy nutrients. This translates into money, and I certainly don’t have much of that, despite the fact that I just told you I was in a Fresh Market.
I actually got out of there for about $21, namely because I found Lund’s Swedish Pancakes. I then cleaned them out of Lund’s pancakes. Except for one box, which I left out of a misplaced sense of guilt.
You don’t know what I’ve gone through to find Lund’s Swedish Pancakes. I called both Native Suns, a Euro specialty market, I went to four different Publixes, called around to Winn Dixie, I went to the other Fresh Market (the one on San Jose) and I called the distributor. They were willing to ship me a large amount, but I’d also have to pay shipping. I could also get them over the internet. Same deal with shipping, even if I didn’t have to buy a case.
So imagine my shock and joy at finding the box that had burned itself into my brain–when I wasn’t even looking for it; when I had given up all hope.
You might imagine that I really like Swedish Pancakes. I do. My father likes them more and he can’t find them either. I plan to share some of my bounty with him. In this way, he will know that I love him.
Swedish pancakes aren’t spongy and thick like most pancakes can be. They don’t bubble as pancakes do when you cook them. No, indeed not. This batter is thin, the result of which I can only describe as the holiest of matrimony between a crepe and a pancake.
Fresh Market 13493 Atlantic Boulevard, 221-6286