On Herbs
May 17, 2007, 11:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

You know, those aromatic plants people grow in pots on their windowsill. I have the great good fortune of having a small plot of ground perfect for an herb garden, because a small pot just won’t do. I use them in everything.

Iced Tea (one thing Mom did right, we always had mint and it always went into the tea, made in a brown crockery pitcher she still uses.)
1 gallon pitcher
3 family sized tea bags (I like Luzianne, it’s formulated for iced tea)
4 or 5 3 inch long sprigs of fresh mint (any kind, peppermint, spearmint, I use Common mint because that’s what I have)
2 quarts of water in a pot, add tea bags and mint and bring to a boil, then turn it off and let sit for a few minutes.
2 quarts water in the pitcher, add sugar to taste (I like 1/2 cup, the boys like it the way Grandmother Not Rootie’s Mother makes it: 3 cups sugar to a gallon of tea. Go ahead and pour it on your pancakes while you’re at it, but that’s Southern Style)
Pour the tea in the pitcher, give a stir, and serve with plenty of ice.

Herb butter for corn on the cob, baked potatoes, garlic bread, whatever needs butter on it
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, basil, whatever)
2 cloves mashed garlic- mash the heck out of it, then chop it and mash it again
Mix it all together, and put it on anything from steamed baby vegetables to french bread or potatoes.

You will learn soon that I really don’t measure anything. Unless otherwise noted, all quantities are approximate. Measuring just dirties up more things to wash.

Herb Bread
Another thing Mom did right was to add summer savory to her bread. To this day, the aroma of summer savory makes me think of bread, and I absolutely love a tomato sandwich made with savory bread and homemade mayonnaise.

1 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
Mix together in a large bowl, let sit 5 minutes and add 1/4 cup olive oil
Then add, 1 cup at a time:
3 cups of flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt stirred in
2 teaspoons dried summer savory, or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped summer savory (or oregano, basil, thyme, anything you like)
Stir well, then knead on a floured countertop until smooth and elastic. (or cheat, and use a stand mixer to do the work)
Rub with oil and put into a greased bowl, covered, to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (hour or so)
Punch down, shape into a loaf, or rolls, or whatever shape you like, and let rise again for about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it.

Alternately: leave out the herbs, and after the first rising, roll it out into a rectangle. Brush with the garlic-herb butter from above, and roll up like a sweet roll. Then shape into a loaf and bake. Halfway through the baking, brush the loaf with some more of the garlic herb butter.

So, what do you do with herbs? Fresh or dried, from the garden or from a jar…what’s your favorite?


4 Comments so far
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Headed out yesterday for herbs for my garden. Here they are annuals. Now I just need the return of some warm weather to plant them and the tomatoes.

My tarragoncomes back because I winter it in the garage. I have thyme and basil growing in small pots on my kitchen window sill through out the year.

I like to add thyme when I cook carrots and will even tear off a stem and throw it into the water when I boil potatoes or make poached eggs.

Comment by Elizabeth

Rosemary – on anything roasted … sometime I’ll try using rosemary to skewer shrimp for grilling (on hardwood lump charcoal)

I’m starting to sound like Hyacinth Bucket on the charcoal thing.

Comment by Bro. Scott

You are a charcoal snob.

My rosemary never gets left alone long enough to get long stems. It’s a constantly pruned li’l round ball.

Comment by Rootietoot

Love this blog!

I have a herb garden too, except I’m so lazy/busy right now it’s more like a weed garden. I put herbs in everything. Lavender’s my favourite, but I love other herbs too. I’ll certainly be trying your iced tea!

My faves…. lavender cake/scones/cookies, chicken with lavender wrapped in bacon and melted cheese, roast potatoes with garlic and rosemary, nice simple omlette with tarragon, salmon or chicken with tarragon cream sauce, tomato salsa with coriander leaf.

Herbs rule.

Comment by Anna

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