I’ll admit to being dubious when the AeroGarden ULTRA arrived on my doorstep. Somewhere between starting a blog and birthing children, I’ve become that odd specimen of a mother that starts to go catatonic at the sight of new technology.
“I don’t knowwww,” I whined, eyebrows furrowed, “This looks hard.”
My oldest son peeled open the box as I collapsed to the floor and considered Amishhood.
Ten minutes later and four squeals of utter delight, the fifteen-year-old walked in and said, “Okay, it’s done. You’ll have six kinds of fresh basil in two weeks.” I peeked through tightly shuttered lids.
“Mom, it’s so cool, you’re not going to believe it. Come look at it.”
We walked into my kitchen studio, where he’d set up the AeroGarden. It glowed with white light, had six little planted pods inside, and displayed a bright blue LCD screen on front. So far, this wasn’t just looking easy, it was looking gorgeous.
The AeroGarden plus a packet of Miracle Grow basil varieties and an electric outlet were all we needed to start our own indoor garden. Everything else was automated. The machine takes care of the watering, letting out a chipper little beep every couple of days to let the tech-impaired among us (me) know that it’s time to add a leetle bit of H2O to the well.
My son was right. It was easy. It was too easy.
Which left me with one final complaint. Was is worth it? Priced around two-hundred bucks, I wondered if I was buying enough fresh fruits to make it worth the hefty up-front price tag. I mean, I can buy a carton of fresh basil for $3 at the grocery store whenever I need it.
Three weeks after the day our AeroGarden arrived, with six different sorts of basil ripe for the picking right in my own kitchen, that question answered itself. Yes. Worth every penny.
Because once it’s grown, it’s there. It’s simple. It’s fresh. It’s fragrant.
And you wouldn’t believe how many houseguests want to stop and pet the basil. “Ohhh!” they’ve remarked, “What an absolutely wonderful thing.”
I pluck a piece of fragrant lemon basil to sprinkle over our delicious, creamy Green Tea Panna Cotta dessert and think, ” Why yes it is. Wonderful, indeed.”
This delicious recipe is part of an entire menu of basil-kissed delights, all grown in the AeroGarden ULTRA. Visit Kitchen Play to discover all of the recipes from a handful of the world’s best bloggers.
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Green Tea & BasilPanna Cotta with Honeyed Blackberries
3 tablespoons cold water
1 packets powdered gelatin
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 packets matcha tea or green tea
1 cup blackberries
3 tablespoons honey
Spray four small ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Place water in a large bowl, sprinkle with gelatin.
Place heavy cream and basil in a blender. Blend just until pureed. Pour cream into a pot with sugar, and tea bags in a small pot. Heat over medium heat just until boiling. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat, discard the tea bags, and whisk it into the gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved.
Pour mixture into prepared ramekins. Place in fridge until panna cotta firms up, about 1 hour.
Place blackberries and honey in a small pot. Heat just until the blackberries soften. Remove from heat, transfer to a small dish, cover, and cool in the fridge.
Serve panna cotta topped with blackberries. Enjoy!
DISCLOSURE: Aerogarden supplied me with a unit of my own, and compensated me for this post, however all opinions herein are mine.