Tips on How to Make use of your Herbs

A new day is dawning and winter’s bite has lost its teeth. Suddenly everything is brighter and I’m not afraid to open the curtains in the morning. In fact, I look forward to it. I can’t wait to see a blue sky, to see that sunny brightness that makes you squint and feel the warmth on my face of the sun’s heat amplified through the window’s glass. It feels good. I’ve actually tried a few dresses in the morning this week, but thought better of it a few minutes later when my legs were cold.
I pulled my big suitcase full of summer clothes out of the attic a few weeks back when we had a mini heat wave here in Ireland. Fresh Parsley-1
 
Does everybody have summer and winter suitcases? Well, I do, I like a tidy wardrobe and I love my bright, colorful summer dresses. I am an island girl after all.
After I drop Josh to playschool I come home and put the other 2 for their nap. This is my time and I often use it to watch my tv or work on my blog, but today I was excited because I was going to work on my greenhouse. 2 weeks ago I sowed some seeds that are already sprouting. I love watching them grow and change every day. I like to just touch them, gently, as if they were little babies. In a way they are I suppose.
I’ve made the same mistake every year except this one. I never label after I sow, so I have a greenhouse full of plants and I can only guess what half of them are. I knew everything that was in there last summer, I really didn’t think I’d forget anything I planted but I planted a lot. Then I got pregnant. Being pregnant is not the best condition to be in when you need to remember nearly anything. Also, from autumn I abandoned my greenhouse to survive on its own. I was too pregnant, too big, too cold, too sore to do anything but zip up my pollytunnel and go indoors for the winter. I did one last planting though before I battened down the hatches for winter. I planted spring broccoli and beet-root and they have both survived. I thought I had spring cabbage but that turned out to be stem broccoli too (see the tall plants in the picture below).
My greenhouse needs plenty of work but I’m hard at it. So far I have strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, carrots, leeks, mange tout, green beans and herbs growing. What will I harvest next? Oh I love when something is ready for harvesting. I’ll have to keep a close eye on the berries though. If I’m not careful Josh will get to them before I get a chance. He stripped my strawberry and raspberry plants bare last year. He’s a rascal but I’m proud of how he likes to pick and eat fruit. He’s mammy’s boy.
Check in often to see how I use the produce of my garden and greenhouse develop a healthy and earthy appreciation for good food in my family.
Herbs
Sage  Great for roast dishes,famous for use in stuffings.  Goes well with Apple, beans, chicken, duck, game, garlic, liver, onions, pork and tomato based dishes.

 

Thyme This is the herb I use the most for  Mauritian dishes like rougaille, daube, soups. It goes well with Roast dishes, stews, chicken, beef, game, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes and many more.


Parsley I use Parsley for soups, stews and potato salads. Blend it with a few other simple ingredients to make a pesto.. Goes well with fish, chicken, eggs, garlic, lemon, lentils, onions, rice, seafood and tomatoes.


Basil You get more benefit of the Basil if added at the last minute.  I often use it in Pasta dishes. Tomato sauce, Mozzarella and tomato salad. Goes really well with: Cheese, eggs, garlic, lemon, olives, peas, pine nuts, pizza, potatoes, rice

Bay Leaf Add it into soups, curries sometimes, stews and sauces. Also for marinades and pickles and roasting dishes.   Goes well with: Meat, fowl, game, fish, rice, lentils, tomatoes, root vegetables.


Rosemary I use it for roast dishes, stews, soups, casseroles, meat, poultry and fish. I have read you can also use the woody sprigs as skewers for kebabs.  Goes well with root veggies, chicken, meat, chilies, garlic, Pork and lentils

Mint is good in sweet and savory dishes. I used them in Biryani, In chutneys, and for garnishes. Goes well with Chocolate, cucumber, curries, duck and Lamb


Chives I recommend adding the chives at the close of your cooking to get the fresh taste and look.  I also use them in Fried Rice and Fried Noodles, As a garnish in Boil noodles and soups. Goes well with Avocados, courgettes, cream cheese, eggs, fish, potatoes, root vegetables and seafood.


Coriander I use it more in chutneys, Biryani, in curries and as a garnish in Indian style cooking.  Goes well with: Avocados, chilies, cucumber, coconut, fish, meat, onions, poultry, rice, root vegetables, seafood and squashes.


Lemon Thyme  Is good with seafood, Poultry, and tomato sauces. It gives a clean taste of lemon to the dish.


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