I have a question for all of you who have your own blogs - how do you feel about other people using your material? I get many requests to use my photos or recipes on other people's blogs, and usually, I'm pretty ok with that as long as I'm asked and as long as there is proper attribution. But recently, I found a website that reposted a copy of my feed from Google Reader IN FULL. They did link to Confessions of a Tart and attributed the content to me, but still, they had reposted everything, from all of my posts. This website apparently has no original content - all they do is publish other people's material. And, to make matters worse, they had ads all over the website, so they are also profiting from other people's creativity.
I got very, very angry. In fact, I think I had to take a few deep breaths to calm down before I did anything. Granted, I don't consider this blog a work of art or whatever, but it's my little corner of the world, my baby, even if I open it up for everyone to see. It's my words and my photos and sometimes, even my own recipes. It's something so very personal to me, and, having now been blogging for a year and a half, it's something that I'm pretty proud of.
I wrote an email to the website from my personal email address and asked them nicely to take down my content. They agreed. Two months later, they still kept posting the full feeds from my blog. Grr. I took it to the next level and wrote them a more detailed and much less nice email from my business account - you know, the one that says in small but scary letters that I'm an Esq. and that I'm not afraid to kick some ass (in legal terms) should I feel the need to do so. After that, they finally complied with my request and removed my content.
I guess this is going to happen (and I've already had to deal with this several times, so not the first and not the last), but what made me really sad was that I had to bring out the big guns for someone to do the right thing. Why did I have to take my time away from family, friends, work and this blog to write a two-page email, citing relevant law and threatening legal action, for someone to stop stealing my work for their own profit? I'm 30 years old, but the ways of the world still disappoint me sometimes.
Meanwhile, I made you pesto. Delicious, delicious pesto. I made it by hand, and I cannot even tell you how much better it is that the food processor version. I mean, worlds, WORLDS apart. Universes, even! That's how good it was. No, really, that's how good it was. In fact, I think it was the best pesto I've ever had, so go and make this while basil is still fragrant and garlic is fresh and pink and you can sit on the patio with a glass of very crisp, very cold white wine and dip your bread into this explosion of bright green flavors and just focus on the beautiful things in life.
Summer Sundried Tomato Pesto
(serves 4 for dipping or mixing into pasta)
2 bunches basil
1 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
scant 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil (depending on how thick you want the pesto to be)
salt & pepper
There are two ways to make this - with a knife or with a mortar & pestle. Either way, crushing the basil and parsley is important because it really brings out the full flavor of the greens.
If using a mortar & pestle: Crush the garlic with about 1/4 tsp of salt and throw it into a large bowl. Then, very roughly chop the basil and parsley (some people use parsley stems, but I take them out) and crush, first the basil and then the parsley, rubbing the pestle against the sides of the mortar to bring out the flavor. You will know when you're doing well because the greens will look dark and bruised and the smell will be incredible. Sometimes, a small drizzle of olive oil helps get the process going. Add to the garlic in the big bowl.
Toast and crush the pine nuts and then chop the sundried tomatoes finely. Note: if using dry sundried tomatoes (as opposed to packed in oil), soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes first to make them nice and plump. Add to the bowl, throw in the parmesan, and mix with a fork, adding the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until you have achieved the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If not using a mortar & pestle: Roughly chop the garlic cloves. Sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp of salt and then crush with the back of a large knife until you have a paste. Throw the garlic past into a large bowl. Chop the basil and parsley finely. Then, put the chopped greens into a ziploc bag and gently hit them with the back of a large knife or the flatter side of a meat tenderizer until the greens darken in color and look bruised. I would do this one at a time (once for basil and once for parsley). Add to the large bowl with the garlic.
Toast and chop finely the pine nuts, then chop finely the sundried tomatoes. Note: if using dry sundried tomatoes (as opposed to packed in oil), soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes first to make them nice and plump. Add to the bowl, throw in the parmesan, and mix with a fork, adding the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until you have achieved the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy with some crusty bread and a crisp glass of white wine!