The Cool House: herbs
Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Achievements...

Monday AM edition:


pots of purple basil and oregano added to herb garden


Tomatoes, peppers, basil, lemon balm and cilantro in the jumbo container by the barbecue


Third attempt at setting the stone (if this doesn't work we'll be calling in the mason)!

Still to do this afternoon:


more weeding needed

and it's time for the annual carpenter bee hunt. Those guys will be going down. Spotted four so far, two dead (from the white powder I dusted in the holes last month) and two bent on making the siding into a holey mess.

Certain traditional Memorial Day activities will not be happening:


The pool is covered with a layer of pollen and only 73 degrees. Brr

Monday, January 19, 2009

The last of the evergreens

A month ago I bought two gorgeous rosemary bushes as a fragrant, green Solstice decoration. I hoped they would see us through the winter and we could plant them in the herb patch in the spring. I used them to flavour all the soups we have been enjoying since the festivities ended: red pepper and white bean, roasted tomato, chickpea and lamb and many others. I snipped a sprig or two and placed them on roasting chicken and lamb and chopped a little to throw on escalopes and roast potatoes. Every time I passed the bushes I gently squeezed them to release the aroma.

Then, as the weather grew more frigid and we spent more time in the kitchen cooking, I noticed they were starting to dry out. I watered them and moved them away from the cooktop and oven but it was too late. The rosemary had become a desiccated skeleton, only the heady Mediterranean scent left behind. I still used the crushed rosemary to sprinkle into stews but touching the bush even a little caused it to shower its needle-like leaves across the countertop.

Last week I gave in and harvested the remainder, pouring it into a glass jar, capturing the essence of the plant for a little while longer.
Now if only I could do something about my poor dehydrated skin.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cilantro: Harmless Herb or Instrument of Death?*

I had no idea that so many people disliked the fragrant green herb Coriandrum sativum until I stumbled upon I Hate Cilantro, a website dedicated to supporting the fight against the "most offensive food known to man": Cilantro.
Now, I love coriander, as it is known in Europe; I use it to flavour curries and Thai soups, and once I discovered it was known as cilantro in America, in ceviche and salsas. Hell, I've been known to sprinkle it over Boston (Bibb) lettuce before now.
To some people, though, it tastes like metal, soap, or rotting corpses (I hope that last person is imagining what a putrefying carcass tastes like and isn't writing from experience). I thought the two people I know who dislike it were just being dramatic when they told me it makes them vomit but I may have judged them too harshly. It may be strange, but I react the same way to tea!
Two thousand people are anti-cilantro enough to have joined the fight and several share their stories with the internets. They hate it so much they put it on a T-shirt and proclaim it proudly to the world. I feel only pity for them, cilantro is almost impossible to avoid and to them I say: Look away.
For those who love it as much as I do a quick salsa recipe:

Fresh Cilantro Salsa
1 bunch cilantro
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, more to taste, very thinly sliced, seeded if desired
2 limes, freshly squeezed
Salt, Freshly ground black pepper and a little sugar to taste

Finely chop cilantro and mix in a bowl with tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeno and lime juice. Stir to combine. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Serve with fish, chicken, tacos, or alongside guacamole.

*For John in NJ and Fliss in BXL and cilantro/coriander haters everywhere.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


An exceptionally mild winter meant all the herbs made it through, including those in pots. Bonus, fresh oregano and chives in early May!