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Herbs and Spices

November 01, 2005

Books, bread, and buckets of rain.

Don't you just love "odds and ends" posts? If not, why are you here? (Uh, nevermind, don't want to drive away all three of my fans!) I've got a number of accumulated things to write about; today's random accumulation is brought to you by the letter B.

Let's start with a bit of trivial cuteness. River staring balefully at the buckets of rain. More on that later.

Brrrriver

Books
On my list of life's small pleasures, there's not much better than a new cookbook. Even better is free cookbooks. Today, I've got a slim new volume titled Very Pesto, which I won over at Cooking With Amy—see, all that trivial herbish information does come in handy! Although I've yet to make a recipe from it, I am having fun deciding where to start. One thing I really like about the book is that it has recipes that can be made in most seasons. (Meaning it's not all basil, which I love, but Nov. is not the time for it.) There's fennel pesto, which sounds like it would be amazing on salmon; thyme and/or oregano pestos; and a sage pesto that I am thinking about for a condiment at Thanksgiving. So much fun and I haven't even started cooking yet. Thanks Amy!

Continue reading "Books, bread, and buckets of rain." »

October 23, 2005

Weekend Herb Blogging: Borage

Kalyn, of Kalyn's Kitchen, has started an irresistible—well, at least to me—meme: Weekend Herb Blogging. Lacking in cats and dogs, but not garden, Kalyn dreamt up WHB as another option for food bloggers at play. Play? In an herb garden? I am so there!

Smpinkborage2

For my first foray, I am showcasing a bit of an aberration: a pink borage flower. As you can see from the picture, the densely-clustered flowers are a lovely periwinkle blue. When I went out the other day to snag a few pictures of the herb garden in late fall, I discovered one pink flower amongst the sea of icy blue. I've been growing borage for at least a decade now and it's the first pink flower I've seen so I was pretty jazzed. (What's that you say? I should get a life? laughs)

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October 13, 2005

Apple Nut Spice Muffin recipe

Applenutmuffins2

Ahhh, fall. Here in Washington state, where even the intra-college football rivalry pays homage to fall fruit with the Apple Cup, autumn means apples. As the berries fade to memory, apples step into the void, offering one last chance to capture that ineffable summerness of local fresh fruit before the edge in the air get seriously cold.

One of my favorite fall appleThings is muffins. Quick and simple to make, they are multi-purpose, fitting for everything from breakfast pastry to late-night snack for munching during the Daily Show. Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon sugar on them and it's almost dessert; add a bit of ice cream or a drizzle of liqueur--or both--and it truly is.

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September 05, 2005

I have stevia, now what?

At the beginning of summer, in an optimistic  burst of anticipated frentic energy, I bought a lot of herb starts. And I do mean a lot of herb starts. Most of them got in the ground and are thriving (I'll have to get pictures soon) but then there's the stevia. I bought a couple, stuck them in pots thinking that would make it easy to bring them inside in fall--does that even work?--and stuck the pots in a corner by the blueberries where they'd get water while I figured out what to do with them.

bonus tangential picture in the link

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July 05, 2005

My first article at Saucy...and cake.

Pardon just a moment of blatant self-promotion. My first article, The Rosemary Thief is up at Saucy magazine. In it I get to talk about cooking with fresh herbs, a particular passion of mine, so I am a happy kitchenmage.
And since I need a picture, and I have this one I've been wanting to use, have a slice of my birthday cake. Details later, but suffice it to say it was very, very chocolatey (and the mint is from my garden so there's the tie-in to herbs for those of you keeping score... grin)

Mycake

April 25, 2005

This is not my herb garden

I apologize for the image quality. These pictures were taken back in the early days of digital cameras and it shows. I prefer to think of it as the mist of memory...

Smentry

This is not my herb garden.

If it was my herb garden, I could describe the variegated marjoram that edges the rockery along the front edge—the deceptively delicate white-edged leaves and stems of tiny white flowers belie the pungent, peppery scent—and how it grew from one small clump to fill in a dozen feet of edging in one season. I’d know this marjoram was at its best when sprinkled whole on top of plated food—the leaves small enough to be left beautifully intact, yet tender enough to eat whole.

If this was my herb garden, I’d know that Irish moss grows between the herringboned path stones, sending up minuscule white flowers that somehow live while being trod upon.

If this was my herb garden, I’d tell of how the mid-August apple mint threatens Path1cto overtake everything else, its branches stretching as high as one’s chin and making it easy to breathe in the lightly fruity scent. If this was my herb garden, I’d know that this lavender is but one of more than a dozen species that live here: English, Spanish, with flower spikes of violet, magenta, periwinkle, and white. I’d know that a few of the lavenders have been gifted with rare thymes at their feet. Caraway, orange balsam, and even lavender thyme nestle protected from the hottest rays of the summer sun.

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