I remember the first time I ate a salad with herbs in it. Amidst all of the typical lettucey (not really a word, but I am going for it anyway) flavors was something deeper yet familiar. Dill! And Italian parsley! OMG – There are herbs in this salad!! I would never look at a salad the same way again. Fresh mint and oregano and basil were itching to get into my salad bowl, so I went to the market and bought a bunch of those little plastic boxes of fresh herbs. Some TV chef said, snip the ends and put them in a glass of water in the refrigerator, so I did what I was told. I snipped off some mint and sprinkled on some watermelon, and then promptly forgot about the herbs.
A couple of days later, I wanted to use my fresh herb bundle in some chicken salad. I opened the fridge only to be disappointed. The herbs were now droopy and well, icky looking, and not so fresh. What a waste of $10! That’s when I decided to invest a bit of time into growing my own. Fresh herbs are one of the easiest edibles for the…
Tagged with: basil
, culinary herbs
, culinary mint
, edible garden
, farmers' market
, garden care
, herb garden
, indoor garden
In thinking about this week’s cocktail with the herb of the week – thyme, I got it into my head that the drink needed to have fresh Meyer lemon juice in it too. Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter than a regular lemon and are a cross between a regular lemon and either a tangerine or an orange. It’s not really Meyer lemon season, but that didn’t deter me. I sent out a plea to my Facebook community to see if anyone in my neighborhood had a tree with any leftover Meyer lemons. I even offered to hand over eggs from my chickens in exchange (it’s good to give folks a little incentive). People scoured their trees, but unfortunately, the summer harvest is over and the winter fruits are too green. I was about to head out searching for farmer’s markets, but decided to stop at my local supermarket (Gelson’s). Lo and behold, they had Meyer lemons. They were $5.00 for a package of 3 (yikes!), but they were Meyer lemons.
So, I raise my glass to my friends in Valley Village and beyond because sometimes you need life to bring you lemons. Cheers!
Tagged with: Booze Nerds
, cocktail shaker
, herbal cocktail
, Meyer lemon
, rum cocktail
, simple syrup
Amongst the plethora of puns, I always have fresh thyme in my garden, and a jar of dried thyme in my spice drawer. I use it the most of any culinary herb I grow because it seems to work with almost everything. There a a ton of varieties too. Mountain Valley Growers sells 28 (!) varieties including lemon thyme, coconut thyme, lavender thyme, and juniper thyme ( Note to self: need to try the juniper thyme in a gin drink).
History (because I love history)
Thyme has been around for thousands of years. The word thyme comes from the Greek word Thumos, which means smoke, as well as another Greek word thyo, which means sacrifice. Thyme was burned to purify Greek and Roman temples, to ward off disease and evil spirits, and to show respect and bravery. In the Middle Ages, soldiers were given gifts of thyme to wear as a badge of honor. And you thought thyme was just good sprinkled on your roast chicken.
Thyme has historically been used as a powerful medicinal herb to treat and cure illnesses from consumption to whooping cough to fatigue. Thyme oil also has antiseptic properties and was used to…