It’s Fall, Babydolls: And That Calls for More Beans. And Pesto.

One of Broke-Ass’s dearest friends, Balls-Out Brilliant Red-Head, feels as though people get smarter once the solar arc’s angle becomes more tightly circumscribed. The bite in the breeze, the yearning for light, the clipped stride…all these elements, she says, combine to create an alert mental atmosphere. While Broke-Ass agrees, she also hates an alert mental atmosphere. It makes her stomach hurt.

What does not make her stomach hurt is beans. While Broke-Ass and the schmushkies live off of beans throughout the seasons, beans taste and feel better when it’s a little nippy outside. Fall is bean weather, for sure. And beans, like every other damn item in the Broke-Ass pantry, can be stretched out a number of days to provide nutritious meals that stave off stress-puking. Recipe time, yo.

First, however, there is a bean-related item (and other types-of-food-related item) has been added to the Broke-Ass pantry, and that item is pesto. Not the bad, expensive kind that comes in a toothpaste tube or the plain old expensive kind that comes in a fancy Balducci’s jar. This is the kind you make yourself and to which you keep on adding, as you would do, say, with a stew in Portugal, only this food item doesn’t go bad or cause you to wonder whether it might be becoming a host medium for some extremely noxious and potentially fatal bacteria. Jesus. Broke-Ass needs that worry like she needs a hole in her stomach lining. Another hole in her stomach lining.

This pesto is worry-free. It is, moreover, in a constant state of flux, like the river into which one never steps twice. And it’s very useful in a number of applications, unlike that Zen parlor trick, which is, to Broke-Ass’s way of thinking, a bourgeois diversion.

What you do is this. Get a medium-sized glass mason jar from 99-Cent Dreams, Family Dollar, or Ikea. Chop whatever herbs you like from your garden (or dried ones from the pantry), grab a bunch of cloves of garlic, a spray of salt, and, barring some anaphylactic response, grind up some toasted flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or other toasted nuts. Dump these things into your jar about half-way full, and then douse the remainder of the volume with olive oil. Shake. Wahla: pesto.

The cool thing about this pesto is that it serves your needs. Fuck the old basil, garlic, and pine nut paradigm. That’s so 70s, plus pine nuts cost as much as a therapy session. Use flax seeds to nourish your melancholy brain, read some Thomas Merton and W.S. Merwin, let the waning light of day in, and prepare your mindbody for abundant restoration. For real. Also, let your black flag fly and put any old herb, seed, or nut into it that you think tastes good in combination. Don’t let the haters tell you it’s not pesto. Don’t believe their lies. It’s fucking pesto, baby. Your pesto.

Don’t put it in the fridge. Put it within arm’s length of the stove. Keep adding more herbs and nut/seed products as they are depleted; keep the business covered in olive oil. You can and will use it in pasta, bread, sauces.  And beans. Next time, Broke-Ass will lay her bean strategy on you. Because she loves you.


About brokeassgrouch

I'm goddamned broke and grouchy. I live in the middle of the damned ghetto and raise chickens for eggs; grow all my own vegetables and fruit; bake the bread and make the cleaning products. Why? Because I fucking have to, that's why! That's what you do when you're fucking poor! You have to make the shit yourself, dumb-ass! Broke-Ass Grouch is sick of all you Bennington and RISD trustafarians yapping about your "urban farming co-ops" and your "carbon conscious lifestyle" and your "green choices" in the Times Styles section and every alternapress periodical that you can pick up for free in every eye-wateringly expensive, edgy bakery or green-market. Maybe when you have a trust fund, you can make "choices" or have a "lifestyle" or "decide" how to "spend" your "money." Excuse me, but Mama is just trying to feed her kids over here, you little shits. And stop spraying your art-school graffiti on the fence of the vacant lot across the street from my house. I know who you are, and I'm telling my friend Keith (who lives in the projects) that it was you who painted that cartoon of the African mask. So what can I tell you? I don't fucking know. I know a lot about being broke, sure as Bob's your fucking uncle. I know about how useless an Ivy League degree is when you're flat-ass broke. I know how to unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar, and I know how to make my own CHEESE, for fuck's sake. You tell me.
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