Pure Pesto

PestoI made almost a gallon of parsley pesto and stored it in half pint containers. That means I have a dozen containers in the freezer, which translates into a dozen meals of parsley pesto pasta this winter.

Parsley pesto–just the paste of parsley plus olive oil that comes out of the food processor–is so green. It’s St. Patrick’s Day green. In contrast to basil pesto, which turns brownish-green when it comes in contact with the air. (i.e., almost immediately). Parsley pesto loses its strong parsley flavor and fades into the background, mixing very comfortably with garlic and Parmesan.

I’d like to emulate these qualities of parsley–it maintains its purity in the company of others. It even antidotes the garlic!

Too often, in the company of others, we are carried away by their unskillful behaviors–gossiping, complaining, drinking. We pledge ourselves to act more in accord with our conscience, but then…. Belonging to the group overrides our best intentions. Sigh. Our behavior turns a bit brown around the edges.

One verse of the Greatest Blessings Sutta that I read for 2 different Thanksgiving services, says:
Avoiding those of foolish ways,
Associating with the wise…
These are the greatest blessings.

Perhaps we can’t or don’t really want to totally “avoid those of foolish ways.” They may be people that we dearly love. So, for balance, we spend more time associating ourselves with wise people. Oh, that feels so much better, even though we “only” feel friendly; we don’t love them particularly.

“The wise” can give us the strength of character that we need to practice our good intentions in public. We might even, in an unseen or low-key way, antidote the unskillful behavior of others.

Oh, that pure green parsley pesto is so beautiful.

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