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Many Ronald McDonald Houses plant and tend fruit and vegetable gardens in the summer.
The Crowne Garden at the Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City is a great example.
RMHC gardens don’t only provide beautiful landscapes, they also provide therapeutic outlets and welcome breaks for families spending long hours inside hospitals and medical facilities. One mother who stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City spent hours, picking beans and making onion vinegar pickles, while waiting for her child’s test results. She welcomed the break away in the garden and kitchen during that stressful time.
Another great part about these gardens is that volunteers can use fresh ingredients in the meals that they prepare for RMHC families. It’s mid-June and it’s just about time to pick that first batch of Basil and Parsley. We’re thinking Pesto for dinner tonight. How about you?
Creamy Pesto Pasta
2 cups chopped basil
1/2 cup mixture of chopped parsley, cilantro and mint
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, add a little more if necessary
1/4 cup pinoli nuts
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Mix pesto - in a blender, pulse until smooth, basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, pinoli nuts, almonds, salt and pepper. Set aside
Boil water add pasta, cook till al dente.
Make the béchamel - in a large sauté pan, melt butter, add flour, whisk into butter for 1 minute, add milk slowly, whisking rapidly. Add nutmeg and salt, and cook over medium low heat for 5 - 10 minutes until the sauce thickens to coat the whisk. Add pesto, stirring until smooth. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for a couple minutes. Add pasta and stir to coat to sauce. Serve immediately.