Before my gardening days (literally three months ago), I would cringe whenever a recipe called for fresh parsley or basil or any kind of fresh herb. I rarely buy fresh herbs from the supermarket because they usually come in such a generous bunch (from which I pluck a few stalks) that most of it always ends up decomposing in my fridge. There is nothing more sad than finding a wilted piece of vegetable in your refrigerator box and having to recall its former vibrance just a few weeks ago when you came across it in the market- it poised on top of a pile of its comrades; and you paying for it, bringing it home and shoving it into a cold plastic grave labeled “Controlled Humidity”. All this is making me think of the movie “Grave of the Fireflies”.
Anyway, I usually substitute any call for fresh herbs with the equivalent dehydrated form or forgo the ingredient all together.
I found a solution to the herb problem, one that’s probably already obvious to all but me until recently when I discovered the magical land of the Garden Center. Hurray for container grown herbs for 2CAD$! Now I’m glad to say that I have a nice selection of common culinary herbs in my backyard.
Ahh, the big leaf basil. King of Herbs. I use this in everything. Basil truly adds a restaurant flare to almost any amateur dish. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to let it bloom like that but dog gone I love this plant! I might name my next dog after it.
I have two types of lemon thyme: regular and veriegated. As far as flavor goes, both are identical. I guess it’s up to presentation of the dish.
I decided to create an herb urn (say it aloud! “Herb-Urn”). I potted the thyme along with mint, oregano, dwarf curry and lavender. The lavender’s sort of the odd one out. Apparently lavender with TLC can live for a good 20 years. Pretty neat.
A friend of mine bestowed upon me the first ripe tomato from her garden, an honour I won’t forget. It compelled me to want my own tomato plant, but it’s already too late into the season so I guess I’ll have to wait for next year.
Over and out. -Sugamama