I really do believe that things happen for a reason and that life, eventually, works itself out.
It’s probably the thing that I most wish I could tell my younger self and, more importantly, make my younger self believe. I remember going through my first proper break up in my first year at university and thinking that I could probably cope with it if I just knew that one day, it would be okay and that I wasn’t destined to spend the rest of my life mourning what could have been.
Now, of course, I can see that if we hadn’t broken up when we did, I probably wouldn’t have made the same choices that I did make. I wouldn’t have ended up with a job that I love, with a group of friends that I treasure and living with a boy who makes me far happier than I ever could have imagined.
I was reminded again this week that sometimes fate (or whatever you want to call it) has a habit of making the right choices for you.
A couple of years ago, I was looking around for a new job. Not really for any other reason than I felt that I should. I went for a few interviews and had a couple of offers but there was one opportunity in particular that I was really interested in. I met the team a couple of times, spent a Friday evening in the pub with what would have been my new boss and decided that I would probably accept the job if I was offered it.
In the end, they decided that I was ‘too corporate’ for the role (which is pretty hilarious in itself as any of my colleagues who have seen me galloping round the office and pretending to be a horse will attest to). I was, obviously, fairly disappointed but I soon got involved in a couple of projects at work which I really loved and I got over it.
This week I found out that someone I really dislike (with, I have to say, valid reasons but ones which I won’t go into here) has got a job in the team that I would have joined. The idea of having to work with this person every day fills me with dread and there is no way that I would have been able to do it. All of a sudden, I’m pretty darn relieved that I wasn’t offered the job.
To bring this whole thing back to the issue at hand, namely sunflower seed pesto, I bought a new tiny little food processor the other week after I killed my previous one dead with some over enthusiastic macadamia nuts. The very first thing that I wanted to make was some pesto but, horror of horrors, there were no pine nuts to be found. It looked like fate didn’t want me to me to fulfil my pesto-flavoured dreams. What I did have, however, was a bag of sunflower seeds. They look quite similar to pine nuts so I decided to toast them up and see what happened. The result was rather pleasing, nuttier than regular pesto and with a bit more of a bite to it. I think I might even prefer this to prefer this to pesto made with pine nuts. Life has worked itself out yet again.
A quick comment on the consistency of the pesto, I used quite a lot of olive oil so that it was relatively liquid. I’m not going to dictate the consistency of your pesto so feel free to add as much or as little as you like. The key, I think, to a good pesto is to taste as you go along and add more basil/garlic/parmesan/salt/pepper/oil as you see fit. You will also see in the pictures, my lazy method of consuming pesto which is as a dip with some pita bread. Sometimes even boiling a pan of pasta seems like way too much effort.
Sunflower seed pesto
Yield: A bowl of pesto, enough for pasta for 4
50g basil leaves
35gfreshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
75 – 90mlolive oil
Salt and pepperto taste
In a small pan, toast the sunflower seeds over a low heat until they are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Once cool, place the seeds in a food processor with the basil, parmesan and garlic and process until everything is well mushed up*.
Pour in the oil with the motor running (if possible) and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. If you are not eating it immediately, you can store it in the fridge with a bit of extra oil on top.