The Last Basils From The Balcony

We didn’t grow any herbs in the community garden, but we did grow them at home. Finnish summer is usually too chilly for basil, so we grow it indoors. I planted quite a few seeds in the spring and few weeks later we had so many small basils that they didn’t fit on our windowsills. I decided to plant the rest on hanging flower pots in a shady corner of the balcony and see if they grow there. All the good sunny parts were already taken by dill, parsley, mint, lettuce, rocket, catnip and other plants.

Here’s some herbs on May 31st. Basil in the small pots in front and Parsley and marjoram in the big pot.

This summer was much hotter than normal and the basils didn’t even mind the lack of sunlight. Here they are on August 10th.

Now it’s autumn and nights are getting cold. Indoors basils are still growing well, but it was time to harvest the ones from the balcony. I baked some bread whirls, but I used too much garlic. I didn’t know such thing as “too much garlic” even existed, but here the taste of the garlic was so strong that you barely tasted the basil. I reduced the amount in the recipe, and next time I’ll use only 2 cloves myself too.

Garlic And Basil Whirls

2,5 dl lukewarm water
25g yeast
0,5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 dl rye flour
1 dl graham flour
5 dl wheat flour
2 tbsp oil

4 tbsp margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
2 dl chopped fresh basil
pinch of salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp sunflower seeds

Combine water, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until dissolved. Add rye and graham flour and most of the wheat flour and start kneading. Add the oil and more wheat flour and knead more. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and make a 30cm x 40 cm rectangle.

Mix margarine, garlic and basil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the dough rectangle and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Roll the dough from the wider side and cut in 2 cm slices. Put the slices in muffin cups or on a baking sheet and bake in 225 Celsius degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

I recommend using the muffin cups, because if you bake the whirls on baking sheet, they will be loose like this.

Muffins With Bananas

Our readers may have noticed that we rarely post any sweet recipes. The reason is that we’re not very big fans of sweet dishes. We do eat them, but usually we (or I) make them only when we expect guests, because we can’t eat a whole cake or something by ourselves.

These muffins aren’t very sweet, but they don’t need to be because the bananas, peanuts and cardamom give them all the taste they need. With my muffin tray this batch makes 12 muffins and the baking time is for that size. If you use paper cups or have smaller cups in your tray the baking time will be shorter.

Banana and Peanut Muffins

makes about 12

2 dl crushed peanuts
1 dl rolled oats
1 dl sugar
4 dl wheat flour
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom
3 bananas
1,5 dl oat  milk
0,5 dl oil

Mix peanuts, oats, flour, sugar, vanilla sugar,  baking powder and cardamom in a bowl. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork on a deep plate until they look like baby food. Add mashed bananas, oat milk and oil to the nut and flour mixture and stir quickly together. Spoon the batter to cups of a muffin tray (grease first, if it’s needed with your tray) or individual silicone or paper muffin cups. Don’t fill them, 2/3 is enough. Bake in 175 Celsius degrees about 30 minutes or less if you’re muffin cups are smaller. If you’re not sure whether your muffins are ready or not, you can poke a wooden stick in the middle and if it’s clean when you pull them out they’re ready.