Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Herbs, Herbs, My Kingdom for a Herb

Did you know that the more you snip your favorite herbs, the more they will grow? I have tried for several years to grow herbs in different spots of my yard, but all the “dirt” spots don’t get enough sun. This year, I chose to put my herbs in pots so that I could just place them in my yard’s sunny spots and, as a bonus, not have to worry about weeding around them or accidentally mowing them down. Don’t get me started on lawn mowers…I finally went out and bought a good, old-fashioned push mower and, to be honest, it’s a little more work but it does just as good of a job.

Back to herbs.

Both herbs and spices are used to flavor food and the difference between a herb and spice has been frequently discussed, but there is indeed a difference. Spices are commonly stronger than herbs and mainly come from the roots or seeds of the plant. Common examples of spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamom. When I think of spices, I think baking. Herbs, on the other hand, come from the leaves of the plant and are more often used in cooking (unless you're me and use herbs and spices interchangeably). Examples are thyme, sage, oregano, basil, and rosemary….all of which I have in my garden and I am committed to make something with each this summer. The flavor and aroma of herbs quickly deteriorates after picking, so you should use them as soon after clipping as possible.

Ok, so far I have made pesto (remember the food processor incident) and thyme ice cream (which, btw, I have made one other time since). These aren’t the only things I’ve made using the herbs, but they are the most post-worthy things….and in retrospect, this is a pretty pathetic little list for a person who professes to be a cook (and knitter, but as we know, that’s a story for a different day). To rectify this situation, I am on the hunt for unusual recipes featuring my aromatic additives….stay tuned...I have an idea.


Bob Moran said...

I seem to have the opposite problem, but use the same solution. Many of my plants die because they get too much sun, and here in Florida, that's dangerous for all life. So I've put my favorites in pots, so I can move them around and even bring them onto the porch or inside the house.

seaglassgal said...

i'm having a problem with the basil this neighbor said that there is a "basil blight"....but i have not heard that. seems the leaves are turning brown as if burned. funny thing is, it's not keeping my grand dog cody from snacking on it every time he passes. the dog LOVES basil!

KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

Yes, I've heard about basil problem as well. Unfortunately, the fix is to trash the entire plant and start over!