Wednesday, July 27, 2011

basil lime soda and a half-eaten tomato

mammoth basil

purple petra basil

cinnamon basil

genovese basil

when it's too hot to cook, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season's bounty is homemade soda.  i think i got the idea a few years ago when i first heard of rhubarb soda.  since then, i've tried my hand at mint, raspberry, ginger, and sour cherry sodas.  they have all been delicious and i highly recommend making yourself some soda to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon.  last summer at our local farmer's market, one of my favorite food vendors was serving a basil lime soda.  after getting over the initial weirdness of drinking basil, i tried it and was hooked for the rest of the summer.

basil lime soda

like amy, my basil is growing wild these days and i thought i'd try to make my own basil lime soda.  this spring i planted seeds from the "dolce vita blend" by botanical interests, so i currently have a variety of lime, lemon, cinnamon, purple petra, genovese, and mammoth basils.  i used a combination in this syrup recipe (though, i think the lime flavor is so overpowering that it's hard to tell which basils i used). once you've made the syrup, add as much as you like (approximately one tablespoon) to a glass and fill with soda water.  in the fridge, the syrup should keep for at least a few weeks.

on an unrelated note, i found this on my balcony monday morning:

it seems to the work of a certain four-legged bushy-tailed critter.  last summer i lost almost all of the few tomatoes i had to squirrels and i was hoping to avoid that fate again this year.  any tips?  i've tried sprinkling cayenne pepper to deter rabbits, does it work for squirrels too? help! 


  1. i know it sounds crazy, but make a wire cage around your plants. it is the best method for keeping them away. we lived next door to an incredible gardener in columbia & he had to do that for all of his basil & tomatoes. he had the squirrels, we had the rabbits, hah!

  2. A perimeter of blood meal will deter rabbits...but depending on the location of your garden may bring in other critters you don't want to deal with. Not quite sure if it's effective for squirrels.

  3. I know it sounds unpleasant, but you can buy fox or coyote urine to pour around the perimeter of your garden. It also works as a natural rodent deterrent for home attics, walls and crawl spaces. Sometimes however, the critters are too stubborn and not that fooled by it. It's worth a shot, at least.
    I feel for you. I worked hard all year to grow a beautiful strawberry crop for my neighborhood rodents :)

  4. We put some hardware cloth around our tomato cages last summer and it worked out really well.

    Another gardener said it would choke the plants, but they did just fine.