Category: Family


Well, it has been a much longer than intended break from the blog.  Our lives have been so busy, there just hasn’t been any time!  However, I’m trying to get back into the habit of posting our unit studies, if nothing else. Most of the ones from last year never made it on the blog, so maybe, MAYBE I will be able to play catch up on those too.  Finally, because I am writing this post late at night after a very long day, I guarantee typos and grammatical errors. 😉

Our back to school “row” was How To Make an Apple Pie and See the World.  While I wasn’t really thrilled about this book at first, it turned out to be so much fun.  Autumn loved all the humor in the book and read it to herself over and over again before we even started the unit.  Apple Pie is a crazy jaunt all over the world and we had a lot of fun with geography projects this unit.

I made extensive use of youtube for various videos on how things are made.  Autumn did a lot of other read-aloud books, too.  We used lapbook templates from homeschoolshare.com and combined the lapbook for Apple Pie and the Johnny Appleseed lapbook into one big lapbook with lots of extra items that we put together.  You can check out my Apple Pie pinterest board for links to many of the videos, books, and activities we used. Here is her completed lapbook with photos of a few of the projects we did:

We did so much stuff with this unit that it’s hard to know where to start!  I guess I’ll just go over some of the highlights.

Johnny Appleseed

I learned just about as much as Autumn did about the real life Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman.  We read several books about him, talked about stewardship and character, mapped his travels, his place in history, talked about myths and legends vs. facts, learned the “Johnny Appleseed Grace” and even watched the classic Disney short on youtube. 🙂

Geography

In addition to marking each country on our world map, we made a passport to record each place we “visited” during the unit.  I think this might have been Autumn’s favorite part as we got to pretend she was bringing all of her items through customs at each country check-in.  As you can imagine, the customs agent was getting pretty concerned by the end of the book when she was checking through a cow, chicken, wheat, cinnamon, sugarcane, salt, and apples!  She also did a “where in the world” book for each country and colored their flags.

 

Italy/Semolina

Italy’s stop included a review of Italy (we studied with Papa Piccolo in the past) and an online tour of a pasta factory (via youtube) as well as discussion of how Semolina (Durum) differs from other wheat. We made a little booklet on how wheat is grown, harvested, and processed.  Autumn has helped me grind wheat for bread many times!

France/Chickens

For France, we did a review of the books we have already studied about France (Madeline, Mirette on the High Wire, The Glorious Flight) and then started learning about chickens.  “Facts about Chickens” came from a chicken lapbook on HomeschoolShare.  Autumn told me step-by-step directions on how to make an omelette from a cooking demonstration we attended last year…and then made omelettes for dinner all by herself for Matt one night while I was away from home!   We also got to see baby chicks hatching when we went to the fair and she got to hold them, too.

   

Sri Lanka/Cinnamon

This was the first time we had studied Sri Lanka.  I was grateful to find lots of youtube videos on how cinnamon is grown, harvested, and dried.  I’m pretty sure I learned more than Autumn with this one – it was fascinating!  After watching all the videos, we made a booklet on cinnamon and made some gluten free cinnamon toast.  A trip to a grocery store catering to the international community was in order, so we headed out to buy cinnamon sticks, sugarcane, and various apple varieties.  (True, the cinnamon and sugarcane are from the U.S., but I still think we got close enough!)

 

England/Butter

Since we have studied Englad already (Peter Rabbit, The Glorious Flight), this was another review country.  Autumn loves to help with the milking any time she is in Indiana, so she was pretty familiar with that side of things. We decided to make our own butter – all she had to do was shake heavy cream in a jar until it turned into butter.  Then she got to eat it on her grits – yum!  (This southern girl LOVES her grits!)  We also visited a machine milking demonstration at the fair and learned about how butter is made commecially.

  

Jamaica/Sugarcane

Jamaica was another first time “visit” for us. We found some great videos of the sugarmaking process and saw lots of different methods: from juice extraction using oxen and boiling the juice in a huge pan over an open fire, to modern production. Autumn made a book about how sugarcane is made into sugar. We also got some fresh sugarcane from the grocery store and Autumn loved it!  (On a side note, it was pretty funny when Autumn started watching one of the videos that was made in Jamaica and suddenly discovered where her soccer coach’s accent comes from. :-))

Vermont

It was a happy accident that just as we started talking about Vermont, we started reading Justin Morgan Had A Horse out loud.  And what do you know, in the very beginning of the book is a lesson on how the first settlers in Vermont gave it it’s name. I love when things just fall together like this!

Science – Evaporation/Salt

One of the concepts that comes up in Apple Pie, is evaporating sea water to get salt.  We have studied salt and evaporation before, but did a simple experiment as a reminder.  We also talked about how sugarcane juice turns into sugar as the water in the juice evaporates from cooking.

  

Math – Fractions and Measuring

We did lots of word problems introducing fractions and measuring and Autumn helped me measure out ingredients for several recipes.

Language Arts

Autumn learned lots of new vocabulary words and did some apple-related copywork. We had a lot of discussion on Language Arts topics too, especially how the author uses humor to keep the story interesting.

Apples

And of course, the star of the show: apples! Let’s see…we learned about and labeled the parts of an apple, colored the stages of an apple tree throughout the seasons, cut open apples to see how many seeds they have, and did a blind taste test of five different varieties to discover which ones we like the best. Autumn likes Granny Smith! While we have NOT managed to make an apple pie yet, Autumn is planning on helping make pies at Thanksgiving when “the uncles” come to visit and can help eat them. 🙂

March Reading

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

This was one of the most charming books I have read in a long time.  This was the pick for book group for March and it was a good one. Thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, even if I did have a few issues with ethical/religious themes towards the end.  Definitely worth reading!

Packing for Mars

A few months ago this was a book group pick, but I only managed to have time to read half of it.  So I picked it up and FINISHED it this month.  Definitely interesting, with some funny parts.  There were times though, when the reality of the motion sickness or “elimination problems” were a little too much (ick!).  Overall a good read, but not a favorite.

Calm My Anxious Heart

I picked this one up after reading some good reviews on blogs and surprised myself with how much I liked it.  While this isn’t the type of book I would usually read, I found it both challenging and very calming (I guess that’s a giveaway from the title, huh?) at the same time.

Little House In The Big Woods

This was the read-aloud we had planned for March, but we actually finished it in February.  Autumn loved listening and was so sad when we got finished that she started crying.  I assured her there were more books about Laura and Mary and so then we had to read…

Little House on the Prairie

…which I hadn’t actually planned to read until May.  Autumn gets so into these stories!  She cries when they’re sad, giggles when it’s happy.  It’s so much fun to read to her!

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Was supposed to be our April read-aloud book, but we got it done early as well. Oh well, I guess if for some reason we have to take a few months off, we’ll still be caught up.  I have read this series of books so many times.  My mom read them to us when we were little.  I read them to myself multiple times. And I think this is at least my fourth time reading through them out loud.  But the first time Autumn has heard them.  She’s in love with the fantasy of these books and can’t wait for more.

March Wrap-Up

March was a really beautiful month here in GA!  And the beautiful weather was accompanied by allergies, sunburns, and pollen-covered cars.  But it was still beautiful. 🙂

March was also full of soccer.  (Go, Team Mexico!)  Autumn is loving every minute of every game and practice.  She looks forward to it all week and practices with her Daddy in every spare moment he can get.  We are loving this soccer league and, I have to admit, debating over whether or not to return to Upward in the fall.  She is learning a lot more about the game here and gets more playing time with the smaller teams, but we love the Upward program.  Thoughts?

We wrapped up our Owl Moon unit (I’m so far behind on blogging these – ACK!) and made cupcakes to celebrate. Autumn’s favorite part was dissecting an owl pellet. We also finished the semester of co-op.  We enjoyed our time at Family Night, watching performances put on by various classes.  We had a couple display tables set up to show off the work the kids did in my Great Artists class.  This class was  so much fun to teach.  Really looking forward to doing it again next semester!

     

The garden is going again.  I got started very late this year, but finally built one (of several) raised beds from reclaimed wood.  Also, put together a couple simple compost bins, and did lots of work clearing the garden area of weeds and laying down cardboard and mulch.  This is just one of those jobs that never seems to get finished.  We’re really enjoying our botany curriculum and Autumn built a light hut this month to grow herbs.

    

We had a great family outing to visit the Ocmulgee National Monument for a Lantern Light tour this month.  We have visited the Indian mounds several times, but this visit was magical.  We had a ranger give a guided tour teaching about the history of the area all by lantern light.  The path was lit with flickering luminarias and everyone carried a small lantern with a candle inside.  The night was gorgeous and our visit couldn’t have been more perfect.

   

Oh, and the toothfairy made some visits, too! Autumn is now toothless in front and finding eating very difficult. But she sure is cute!  Well, maybe not with this face. 😉

 

 

 

February Wrap-Up

February has been a really busy and fun month! We started a new family hobby, took several day trips, had a lot of fun in school, and did a lot of reading. 🙂

At the beginning of the month, we tried geocaching for the first time and all of us (especially Matt!) are hooked!  It’s such a fun, inexpensive, and active way to spend an afternoon outside.  It’s also fun to find out just how popular it is around here.  When we ran a search we found that there were 126 caches hidden within 5 miles of our house!

We took field trips to Dauset Trails nature center to see the owls (for our current homeschool unit) as well as to the Atlanta Zoo.  Dauset Trails is one of our favorite places to visit on a day trip.   It is a privately-owned nature center that houses many wild animals that have been injured or cannot be released into the wild.  Lots of birds, local wildlife, even a cougar and black bear.  There are also beautiful gardens and trails, a reptile/amphibian center, a farm, and duck and fish ponds.  And it’s all free!

  

Our trip to the Zoo also turned out to be free, thanks to the pass program at our local library.  I’ve been checking for about a year, but the pass is always unavailable.  Finally, they had it in, so we had a somewhat spontaneous trip to plan.  The Atlanta Zoo was a lot smaller than the ones I visited growing up, but we still had a great time.  And the smaller scale meant we got to do a little geocaching in historic Grant Park, too.

    

Autumn and I took this last week off of school and I really enjoyed the little break, though I think Autumn will be happy to get back to routine tomorrow.  She’s getting started in her second grade math book and we’re enjoying a unit study based off of Owl Moon right now.  We’ve been busy with homeschool co-op as well; learning about lots of artists in the class I’m teaching and making lots of messes with paint, pastels, and crayons.  Autumn is also really enjoying P.E. and the science class she is taking.

We’re wrapping up the end of the month by getting started with soccer again.  Autumn just had her first practice with the local soccer association (first time we have done anything other than Upward) and she loved it.  First game is Saturday!

February Reading

Actually managed to get all my goal reading for February done!  Since having a kid, I never seem to have any reading time, but I’m trying to make a change.  To start, we’ve cut down our TV time and are no longer watching any in the evening until after Autumn is in bed.  As a result, we’re reading aloud almost every single night.  I made a list of books I would like to read each month, along with a read-aloud.  So far, we have done the read-aloud books for February, March, April, and have started May’s!

What did I read?

Organized Simplicity – I’ve got to admit that after the first couple chapters I was ready to lay this one aside.  It seemed a bit over the top, but I kept reading.  Largely because I was on the treadmill at the gym with nothing else to read on my new Kindle.  And as I continued to read, I not only started to appreciate the writing more, I also started to feel convicted and get some good direction.  We’re slowly trying to work through some of the activities and challenges presented in the book.  (While I can’t take off 10 days to completely declutter and clean my house, I am trying to get it done…just in baby steps.)

The Billionaire’s Vinegar – This is one of those books that I’ve been “in the middle of” for a long long time.   I decided this was the month to finish it.  A fascinating non-fiction story of people with ridiculously large amounts of money that are willing to spend huge amounts on very old wine…and the man who takes them all in with fakes.  I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had known a little more about the subject of rare wines, but the plot was compelling, if at times a bit long.  And, hey, it’s finished!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – This was the book group pick for this month. I did enjoy this book, but it is not one of my favorites.  While the mystery and story were fun, unexpected, and well-written, I had a very hard time liking ANY of the characters involved.  I assumed from the beginning of the book that the protagonist, an 11-year-old girl, had Asperger’s or something similar, but maybe not?  She was obsessed with chemistry and, while her character was very interesting, I couldn’t really identify with her. The family was very dysfunctional and the sisters treated each other very poorly.

Homer Price – Our read aloud for this month. This is just a fun book that I loved as a kid.  Funny, charming, off-the-wall adventures of a boy growing up.  DH read parts of this to Autumn as well, and I have to say his version (with voices) was a lot better than mine.  He also caught a lot more of the jokes dealing with classical characters than I did. 🙂

First Geocache

          

Rowing The Story of Ferdinand

I…I mean Autumn…learned a lot with this unit.  It’s amazing how much I’ve been learning for the first time as we study for Five in a Row.  Almost all of the printables for this lapbook came from HomeschoolShare or EnchantedLearning.  For everything else, as well as lots of links to videos, etc. check out my Pinterest board.

Geography: Spain was a new stop for us with Five in a Row.  A lot of our geography time was spent determining what a peninsula is, learning about the flag, and making another “circle map” like we did for Mirette.  We also talked about culture, food, etc.  Also, ran across the cutest little paper dolls from all around the world.

  

Science: Noses and Smelling, Bath Salts

Since Ferdinand’s favorite thing to do is to “sit and smell the flowers,” we studied how the nose works and how we process scents.  Books from the library and an episode of The Magic School Bus helped with the explanations and then Autumn narrated back to me how it all works.  We made a shaped mini book showing all the work the nose does.  Then Autumn experimented with mixing different fragrances and seeing what she could come up with.

  

To go along with the scent study, we made lavender scented bath salts with purchased fragrance and Spanish lavender from our flower garden.  We mixed Epsom Salts, baking soda, and fragrance together and then jarred them up with some sprigs of fresh lavender.

Vocabulary: Bullfighting Terms, Vocab Cards, Spanish Books

Autumn learned lots of new words with this unit.  We also printed a couple Spanish books from Enchanted Learning.

Language Arts: Interjections, Repetition 

Since these are both used a lot in the book, we used this chance to learn about interjections and repetition.

Science: Cork Trees

  I was fascinated to learn about cork trees in this unit.  I had never even thought about a lot of the things we learned about, like how environmentally friendly wine corks are!  We found some great videos on YouTube and then did this mini book.  It also led to a bit of a rabbit trail on Iberian Lynx and Autumn insisted we add a picture of one to her book.

Math: Measuring Inches and Feet

In the book, a tree shows Ferdinand’s height as he grows.  We played with measuring tape and then worked on translating feet into inches and yards using Autumn’s MUS blocks.  I don’t even know how many measuring tapes she has.  Every time we go to Hobby Lobby, she insists on having her own 40% off coupon and buying another one!

    

Art: Drawing Cows and Picasso 

A drawing book from the library on how to draw farm animals was lots of fun for Autumn.  She enjoyed practicing drawing bulls and this is her version of Ferdinand.

As we have been every unit this year, we chose an artist from the country we were studying and read Mike Venezia’s book.  This time it was Picasso.  Then, we did this fun “Fractured Friend” activity from Discovering Great Artists.  Autumn started with a photo of one of her uncles then drew a picture.  Next she chopped it up and re-assembled it in the style of Picasso.

  

Crafts: Funny Hats and Poppies 

Inspired by the “five men in funny hats” in the story, Autumn made these hats using some cardboard hat kits I had picked up for pennies each during a clearance sale.  Her favorite by far is the one with flowers cutout from a gardening catalog.  Autumn also enjoyed making coffee filter poppies.

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Spanish Feast: We had our feast at the very beginning of the unit this time, so that my mom and sister could take part as well.  We looked through lots of Spanish food recipes and tapas ideas and made this huge feast inspired by what we saw.  We were actually able to get several food items from Spain (Marcona almonds, candied walnuts, cheese, sausage) on mark-down at the grocery store.  Amazing what you can find when you are looking hard! Autumn and Miriam made banners to decorate the dining room and we cooked, and cooked, and cooked.  It was delicious and we were eating leftovers for a week.

Drama: We did drama cards again with this book, since Autumn loves them so much.  I think it inspired her, because one day after school she gathered up a bunch of her stuffed animals and items from her room and put on a “play” of Ferdinand in five acts.  She played several of the characters.  I was the only audience, but I did snap a few photos.  It was so cute.  This is also why my house is never clean – she pulls out EVERYTHING!!  Can you guess which scenes these are from the story?

             

Here’s a little look at our “row” of Mirette on the High Wire.  Printables are from HomeschoolShare or EnchantedLearning.  Here’s the inside of our lapbook.  We still need to add in some photos, but otherwise, all the projects are here.

Life Skills – Chores/Cooking

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get photos of any of this.   The first day, Autumn learned how to make an omelet!  We had fun and we each got our own yummy omelet.  I think I need to get her to make them again for breakfast tomorrow – yum! 🙂

Mirette’s mother is a boardinghouse keeper and Mirette spends most of her time doing chores to help her mother.  Autumn tried lots of chores Mirette does in the book, including scrubbing floors, washing windows, chopping vegetables, washing sheets, etc. She decided that running a boardinghouse would be too much work.  I agree!

Eiffel Tower

This was visit number four to France with five in a row, so we decided to focus on the Eiffel Tower instead of the broad look at geography/culture we usually do.  We watched The History Channel’s The Eiffel Tower movie on Netflix streaming while Autumn practiced taking notes.  Then she narrated her version of the history for this report.

Vocab, Drama, French Words

We have been making drama cards for each unit, since Autumn so enjoys acting out the stories. Vocabulary cards and French color word cards are from HomeschoolShare.

      

Geography – Bellini’s Career, Circle Map

We pulled out Autumn’s new globe (the main thing she wanted for her birthday) to trace the career of Bellini the high wire walker all over the world.  We marked each place mentioned on the map.

I’ve seen this idea for “me on a map” all over the internet, but adapted it to our book.  We have been studying the continents in geography, but Autumn has a hard time with getting continents and countries mixed up.  This helped her with the concept – the continents fit in the planet, the countries into the continents, the city into the country, etc. We may add this as an element for upcoming units as well.

Character/Bible

Our topics this unit were “practice makes perfect” and boasting.  Both printables were from HomeschoolShare.  The practice makes perfect mini is a cool pull tab that Autumn wrote on, adding a list of things at which she wants to excel.  Love that there are lots of school things on there. 🙂

Language Arts – Compound Words

Autumn loved learning about compound words, especially since it involved a timer!  We used the printables from HomeschoolShare and played a game to see how fast she could match them up. Forty-three seconds!

  

Art – Complimentary Colors

The coolest part about this activity, was the fact that we got to pull out our Papa Piccolo lapbook and use the color wheel we made in our last unit to figure out which colors are complimentary.  Love it when the learning builds like this, especially when you are not doing the units in order!

  

Science – Ears/Balance

Delightful Learning (one of my favorite homeschool blogs) used experiments on balance from Usborne Science Activities Vol. 3, so I ordered it from the library.  My mom and little sister were in town (helping me out while I had surgery), so Autumn and Miriam got to do these projects together. Glitter in a jar of water to show how we get dizzy…

Feeling the vibrations as you talk against a balloon…

Diagram of inside of ear, finding the parts that help with balance.

Art – Renoir

We did Renoir for this unit.  We read Mike Venezia’s book and then did an activity from Discovering Great Artists.  Autumn collected various items from the yard and the house and arranged her own still-life and painted her impression of it.

Rowing Papa Piccolo

I had never read this story until we started studying it.  What a sweet picture book!  We used lots of printable resources from HomeschoolShare and Enchanted Learning for this lapbook, as well as lots of ideas that other homeschoolers shared online. Here are pictures of part of the inside of our lapbook.  (And yes, I just noticed one of Autumn’s beloved chick-fil-a sauce tubs made it into one of those pics!  lol.)

And now, in no particular order, some of the things we studied:

Science: Salt Crystals

In Venice: Birth of a City we learned how Venice began and gained wealth based on the salt harvested from the seawater marshes.  So we made salt crystals!  I was surprised by just how easy this was and how much A enjoyed it. We made several colors.

       

Art: Michelangelo

After reading about Michelangelo, we did an activity from Discovering Great Artists.  Autumn did some “ceiling painting” using paper taped to the bottom of a card table.  She decided that this would have been a horrible job and that she does NOT like painting upside down at all.  (Gotta love the concentration though – watch that tongue!)

  

Social Studies: Venice

We read about Venice and also watched an A&E video on netflix streaming about the Canals of Venice.  Autumn colored this little mini-book, and we used it to record her narration of the history of the city.

Art: Drawing Cats

A google image search led to a kid’s tutorial for drawing cats.   Autumn drew TONS of them and then added Piccolo, Marco, and Polo to her lapbook.

Science: Eyes, Peripheral Vision

In the book, Piccolo sees the kittens as a blur from the “corner of his eye” so we used this as a jumping off point for discussion of peripheral vision.  We did a few activities related to this, as well as reading about how the eye works and identifying various parts.  (more on this later)

Language: Italian Words

Autumn had fun learning new words for colors, family members, numbers, etc. with this mini book.  Then we printed out a picture dictionary which she has enjoyed coloring.  She loves finding words in it, so we’ve used it to work on the most basic of dictionary skills as well.

  

The Fox and the Grapes

This fable is illustrated by Piccolo’s actions at one point in the story.  Autumn leaned the fable and moral and then colored the front of this mini book.  In our geography book, she was learning about volcanoes the day we did this lesson. Later, as I was gluing this into the book, I cracked up as I noticed that she had turned the background mountains into volcanoes.

Drama Cards

Autumn enjoyed this activity so much, that it may be one we add to other units.  Each card lists a different action word or phrase drawn from the story.  I read them aloud, and she acts them out.  Great entertainment! 😉

Gondolas and Gondoliers 

Autumn made this little gondola from a Crayola coloring page online.  Then made her own gondolier and several little cats as well (which I couldn’t find for the picture), so that she can play out the Piccolo story.

Language Arts: Vocabulary

We used vocabulary words from the story, as well as others we added from our rabbit trails.  Autumn illustrated each card.

Science: Cat Eyes

Using online resources, we read about the differences between cat and human eyes and then made a little flip book.  Autumn wrote most of it out herself, with a little help towards the end.

  

Geography: Italian Map Activities

Another printable activity sheet.  She identified various points on a map and colored accordingly.

History: Marco Polo

We found another animated video on YouTube which Autumn watched.  We then read a bit about Marco Polo and wrote a little report using notebooking pages from HomeschoolShare.

Art: Color Wheel

We both enjoyed making our own color wheels using watercolors. It’s fun to watch her do “magic tricks” changing the colors by mixing them.

Pussy Cat

Autumn memorized the classic nursery rhyme for this little mini.

 

Big Project – Eyeball Dissection!

I am forever grateful to have in-laws near by who can handle more of the gross science stuff than I can!  Autumn and her Aunt Miriam had a great day out with Autumn’s “Pop,” taking apart an eyeball.  (And I stayed far away!)

Freezer Pesto

One thing that grows down here in the hot dry summers, even when the rest of the garden has literally cooked to a crisp, is basil.  And we love it.  It keeps going and going and going…but I’m not complaining.  Just keep picking and making pesto! I don’t actually use a recipe for pesto, I just add this and that until it looks right, but if you don’t cook like this, you might want to try this recipe.  Just keep in mind that it can be modified a LOT and still be delicious!

Here is my method.

1. Pick a bucket full of basil and wash thoroughly.  Then take a picture because it is pretty.  If you are using spinach, you can use an amount equal to the amount of basil.  I find that the spinach doesn’t really change the flavor of the pesto much, but it makes the pesto stay green better in the freezer as well as (obviously) increasing yield.

2. Gather up the rest of your supplies.  You will need:

EVOO

Nuts of some kind (Pine nuts are too expensive, so I use what I have.  I’ve used walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.  You can also add in some sunflower or pumpkin seeds, though I use them sparingly.)

Fresh Garlic

Fresh Lemons

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Fresh Baby Spinach (optional)

You will also need Parmesan cheese, but not yet

3. Roast Garlic and Toast Nuts

Cook the nuts in a single layer until they just start to get crisp and golden, but be careful because it’s easy to overcook them.

  

Cut the tops off the garlic, just exposing the top of each clove. Then place in a baking pan and drizzle over the top with EVOO. Roast at 400-450 until golden and the cloves are beginning to pop out of the top.  Pull out of oven and let cool.  Then you should be able to just pop the cloves right out of the paper. Super easy.

4. Start throwing things in the food processor. I fill the bowl with spinach and basil, add some garlic cloves, lemon juice, salt and pepper and then start the machine.  Pour EVOO into the food processor slowly until it all blends up evenly.  When smooth, use a spatula to scrape the pesto into a big bowl.

5. Do this about a million more times.  Keep adding batches to the big bowl. You don’t have to worry that every batch has the same amount of all the ingredients because once everything has gone through the blender, you want to stir it up and taste it.

6. Adjust seasoning. Add whatever you need to taste.  The flavor will be strong because a little bit goes a long way.  So it’s not a big deal if it tastes a little too salty or peppery.

7. Run it all through the food processor again.  This will help make sure that everything is incorporated evenly and will hopefully make it nice and smooth.

8. Fill Jars. Or whatever freezer containers you are using.  I LOVE tiny little four-ounce jelly jars for this.  One tiny jar will actually make a lot of pasta!  We love to add the pesto to other things: instead of mayo on grilled sandwiches, to flavor roasted meat or veggies, etc.

9. Label and Freeze. Make sure to include the date.

10. Use. When you are ready to use, make sure to add Parmesan cheese to taste.  And if you are using it on pasta, reserve the starchy cooking water and add a cup to your pasta when tossing with the pesto and cheese.  So yummy!