(Ocimum Basilicum)

Basil also known as 'sweet Basil' is an annual plant used as an herb.

Basil leaves

Basil is one of the principal members of the “Mint” family.
Basil can easily be cultivated from seeds; it takes less than two weeks to germinate. The plant is easy to grow; it needs plenty of sunlight, moist soil and regular pruning to grow to a height of 75 cm (2.5 ft).
Basil grows in tropical climates but since they are unable to survive our cold winter weather they are best grown in pots and can be brought indoors.
Basil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of foods and is used all over the world and is used in numerous cuisines.

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto is an uncooked sauce that can be used on pasta, about 2 tablespoons to a portion, with equal parts of butter, or 1 tablespoon to a bowl of minestrone or on a baked potato, or as pizza sauce or simply enjoyed as a spread on toasted baguette.

It can be made in advance and stored in a cool place.

Basil Pesto Recipe

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup thinly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese)
3/4 cup olive oil

Ground in a mortar, basil, garlic and pine nuts.
Add, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese until it forms a thick purée.
When the mixture is really thick, add olive oil very slowly, stirring constantly, until the mixture has a consistency of creamed butter.
Pour mixture in jar.
Run a film of olive oil over the top before covering and store refrigerated.

Source: The Joy Of Cooking


Grise Des Alisiers

Grise Des Alisiers is a semi-firm raw sheep-milk cheese from France.

Grise Des Alisiers

This farmer style cheese has a natural crusty gray speckled exterior rind. The cream color non-cooked pressed pâte with small crevasses is dense, rich with a nice creamy texture. This cheese has a well-developed but not too strong flavour, slightly sweet and nutty and leaves a lingering aftertaste that is distinctive to sheep's milk cheese.

Grise Des Alisiers can pair nicely with a French Pouilly-fumé or try it with one of Beau's Brewery Doc's Feet Dubbel.


Bob Dylan - Duquesne Whistle

Bob Dylan

The first time I heard 'Duquesne Whistle' it caught my ear. I loved the boppin' jazzy blues groove and that infectious gritty vocal which reminded me of Tom Waits and Arlo Guthrie.

What I was listening to was Bob Dylan's 'Duquesne Whistle', the opening track on his latest album 'Tempest', his 35th studio album.   Wow, fifty years after the release of his first album, one can see why Bob Dylan has remained one of the most influential rock & roll musician.

I am not particular fond of this video but I just can’t get enough of this song; I need to play it over and over. This is definitely my favourite track for the month. Fantastic!


John Lee Hooker - Mr. Lucky

Godfather of Blues, John Lee Hooker was a singer-songwriter and blues guitarist. He was born in Mississippi in 1917, left home at fifteen, went on to work in Memphis, Tennessee and ended up in Detroit, Michigan in 1943 where his popularity grew quickly when his recording career began.
John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker was known for his trademark 'talking blues' style, incorporating the boogie-woogie piano and the use of his electric guitar bringing together the Delta blues with the post-war electric blues. John Lee Hooker recorded hundreds of singles and albums over the years. Two of his hit songs, 'Boogie Chillen' released in 1948 and 'Boom Boom' in 1961 are both named in the list of 'The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll'.

John Lee Hooker's single 'Mr. Lucky' was originally released in 1967 on Bluesway Records a track recorded for his album 'Urban Blues'. Hooker released another version of ‘Mr. Lucky’ with Robert Cray in 1991 for the title track of his album ‘Mr. Lucky’. This album has some of the biggest names in modern blues and rock making appearances; Ry Cooder, Carlos Santana, Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, John Hammond, Van Morrison, Keith Richards and Robert Cray.

This is a great live recording of 'Mr. Lucky' performed by John Lee Hooker with Robert Cray.

They call me, Mr. Lucky
Bad luck don't follow me
They call me, Mr. Lucky
Bad luck don't follow me
Everything I touches turn to gold
That mean I can't do no wrong

I woke early one mornin'
Mr. Lucky, standin' by my bed
I woke early one mornin'
Mr. Lucky, standin' by my bed
I listened to him real closely
This is what he said

You was born for good luck, Johnny
Bad luck can't do you no harm
You was born for good luck
Bad luck can't do you no harm
I guarantee you'll never go wrong
That's why they call me, Mr. Lucky

Bad luck don't follow me
That's why they call me, Mr. Lucky
Bad luck don't follow me
Everything I touches turn to gold
I never felt misery

Another great version of 'Mr. Lucky' that I truly enjoy, appears on the album 'Strictly Whatever' recorded by Canadian guitar masters, Harry Manx and Kevin Breit. Worth checking out!


La Tome de Chèvre Paul Georgelet

La Tome Georgelet is an artisanal ash covered goat-milk cheese from France.

La Tome de Chevre Paul Georgelet

The exterior rind is dry with a grey-blue mould covering its surface and has a musty odor. The interior cream coloured paste is lightly salty with a wonderful goat milk flavour that melts in the mouth.
Since this chèvre comes in the form of a small tomme of approximately 18 cm (7") diameter, the center (le coeur) of the cheese remains soft and creamy for a longer period. La Tome Georgelet can easily be enjoyed aged up to six months. Naturally, as the cheese ages the texture becomes firmer and the cheese flavours develop into more complex intensity.

Paul Georgelet

This excellent Tome de Chèvre is produced by artisan cheesemaker and farmer Paul Georgelet. As well as producing international acclaimed goat cheeses, Le Chabichou du Poitou and Le Mothais Sur Feuille, Paul Georgelet owns and operates an eighty hectares farm with five hundred goats. The farm and fromagerie Les Fromages de Chèvres Paul Georgelet is located in Villemain, a small commune in the department of Deux-Sèvres, in the Poitou-Charentes region of France.