I've enjoyed reading the responses to podster's thread on what herbs we have in our gardens this year (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1259611/). So, now I'm curious. Just what plans do you have for all those herbs? I'll start. I'm an avid cook, and I love to travel, and I love to cook foods that I've eaten on my travels. I've always planted some of the standard herbs, but I had to expand my herb garden after a trip to Germany in 2010. I fell in love with the ubiquitous Frankfurter Gruene Sosse (green sauce from Frankfurt), and wanted to make it when I got home. Unfortunately, not all the herbs required for this sauce are readily available here (borrage, cress, salad burnet, lovage, sorrel), so I had to order some seeds and grow my own. Check out the recipe here: http://www.germany-insider-facts.com/green-sauce.html
I'm happy to report that when I'm not preparing German food, any of these herbs can be muddled into a delicious cocktail!
Hi I6blue ~ I read this post and went on to the link you added and got sidetracked. That green sauce sounds wonderful. Of course, I like German foods having grown up near a Minnesota German community. lol Great that you are able to grow all the necessary herbal ingredients for the sauce.
I must admit that some of the herbs I grow are simply for my pleasure. I do use the bay leaves in cooking and will use them either dried or fresh. It is astounding to me how wonderful bay tastes when recently harvested.
I hope to use the allspice leaves in the same manner as I doubt I will ever harvest allspice from this little tree. It has a flavor that will make the mouth water when you smell a crushed leave.
I have no special recipes but use dill, basil and par-cel fresh in salads and like to dry the par-cel to add celery flavor to winter soups and stews.
I also like to use the mints and lemon balm in an herbal sun tea. There, any combination of favorite flavors will suit me.
I like lemon verbena but have had difficulty overwintering it. I don't currently have a plant but when I had pruned them back, I made a lemon verbena jelly that is tasty.
I admire your ambition and hope you will share more of your recipes and knowledge. I have difficulty introducing some different foods to a rather narrow minded spouse but hope to try. 8 ) Kristi
The lemon verbena jelly sounds marvelous. I'm not familiar with par-cel. My husband can be a bit of a picky eater, too, but since I usually do the cooking, the food is usually prepared to my tastes. ;-) I do find that you can often expand someone's horizons with herbs if you do it gradually. If you start with a barely discernable amount of a certain herb and very slowly over time increase the amount you use, you can help someone develop a taste for it. It worked with my DH, and now he can't believe he didn't enjoy some of these flavors.
Yes, I've stumbled on a wider variety of husband edibles by easing him into it. lol But then I've been blindsided by him eating it for a while and then telling me he really dislikes it. Go figure...
One more I like to use is fennel but in a bit of a different fashion. I steep fennel seeds in hot water. Then let the water cool and use it in my favorite wheat bread recipe. Then add the fennel seed also. It is yummy but of course I love licorice anything.
I over wintered a lemon verbena last winter in the house. It does lose a lot of leaves during the winter but now has a lot of new leaves on the old branches. From what I've read that seems to be a normal behavior.
We cook with a lot of herbs. Some favorites that come to mind are roasted squash with sage, chia brined pork roast, herbed turkey burgers, and a roast sweet potato/black bean/cilantro salad. I've been working on learning to cook with lavender this year and also on making pesto with more than just basil.
Generally I dry thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, basil, and parsley for winter use. The rest of the year we use them fresh out of the garden.
Must be hard having someone eat it and only later admit that he doesn't like it.
I have good intentions to learn how to dry and use my herbs, but thus far have been mostly just enjoying them as garden plants. Most are very robust with some sort of fragrance - sharp, sweet, nasty. I use the culinary herbs fresh and find many of them persist over winter for me (bonus). I take my herbal concoction books with me on camping vacations and dutifully mark the pages of things I will try...but alas. I have dabbled a bit with cosmetics - creams and toners mostly. I also mix up a dried concoction to add to my dog's food, who is prone to urinary infections. I make that into a sun tea and wet her food with it. She's been infection free for quite some time now, but I also changed her kibble to a no-grain variety and put her on a weight-loss plan which also are likely helping. So, a bit of this and a bit of that.
I love New Ulm; it's a beautiful town. I take a day trip there every couple of years or so.
I've been thinking of getting a bay laurel; I'd have to over-winter it indoors, which would require buying some grow lights and protecting it from the cat.
The bay tree would do well in a pot and should do all right in reduced lighting. Don't know about the cat ~ lol There is nothing better than a leaf or two in a pot of beans, soups, stews, roasts, whatever...
Regarding New Ulm ~ my brother and I walk it out every chance I get. There is much to see. The Schell beer gardens are beautiful, Hermann the German and more scenery. This year I learned my niece is working at a winery there doing tours and wine tastings. Need to try to make that next time.
We winter over our bay leaf here. It's the second or third year in a pot and it's taken off this year.
Right now I can't remember what we've been using it in besides water. I do remember seeing a recipe that we didn't try where they line the bottum of a cake pan with pineapple sage, cover the sage with cake batter, and then cook it. Supposedly gives the cake a pineapple taste.
Also look up cookbooks from the Herbfarm. I believe they have recipes using pineapple sage.