In our musty Detroit cellar my mother tended a 5-gallon crock. She was making tsukemono—a fermented cabbage pickle that’s like kimchi but without the heat. Tsukemono was my introduction to homemade pickles that employed a process learned over generations.
When I want to store large amounts of basil, I don't make pesto. Instead, I prepare a bare-bones mixture of pureed basil, olive oil and salt, which I freeze in jars. If I want to make pesto at a later date I can always add pine nuts, cheese and garlic. But I can't remove those things from pesto if, in the middle of winter, I decide I want homegrown basil in my Thai coconut green curry.