Thursday, August 9, 2012

Growing Herbs


As we look forward to the coming of Spring, my thoughts turn to gardening and what we may be able to  do.
As it looks like we may be  living in a much smaller area, especially garden area I have been giving thought to container gardening and as herbs are so easy to grow I thought we might start with these.

For a starting place here are some ideas I have had on file for years to share with you also~

You can easily grow herbs on the kitchen windowsill and enjoy the fragrance and flavors of herbs in your country cooking!

Starting herb seeds - plant your seeds in potting soil and keep moist until they sprout. The top of the refrigerator is a nice warm spot to sprout seedlings. Once they have sprouted, place on a sunny windowsill and water as needed. Once they are well established, you can cut back a bit on the water. Herbs tend to like their soil a little dry.
(tip - you can use many cute containers for your herbs - a cracked teapot or cup, pretty jars, an old gravy boat, etc..)

Choosing Savory Herbs for your windowsill garden:
Dill - One of the all time most popular herbs. Both seeds and leaves of dill have have sharp, slightly bitter taste. The aromatic young branches are used to flavor salads, pickles, vinegar, sauces, soups, stews, and chicken, lamb and fish dishes.
Cooking: Use dried or fresh leaves, known as dill weed, to make dill butter, flavor broiled fish, soups, salads, meats, poultry, omelets, and potatoes.

Coriander - (Also called Cilantro) This easy to grow herb is similar in appearance to parsley. Young leaves taste like dried orange peel. Coriander is rich in vitamins A & B, calcium, riboflavin, and niacin. Used frequently in Latin American cooking.
Cooking: Use fresh or dried leaves in salads and soups, serve chopped with avocados. Great for spicy meat dishes. As seeds ripen, gather them and use them whole or crushed on pastry, French dressing, beans, stew, sausage, and fish.

Sweet Basil - Basil's aromatic leaves have a warm and spicy flavor. A must have for Italian cooking and Thai Cuisine. Basil is known to fight toxins and aids the digestion.
Cooking: Use sparingly in tomato dishes and sauces, green salads, omelets, cucumbers, and with meat, poultry, fish and Stir Fry dishes.

Parsley - Everyone knows parsley as a garnish, but it also has a wonderful flavor. Great for almost everything from sauces to gourmet fish dishes. It'll make an attractive, deep green, frilly plant on your windowsill, but if you set some of the root outside, you'll have it every year.
Cooking: Mix parsley leaves into salads, soups, stews, casseroles, and omelets. Serve fresh as garnish with meat, fish and onion dishes.

Chives - An all-time favorite, this relative of the onion is great for flavoring any dish that needs a "zing." They improve almost any dish. The plants also reward you with lovely purplish flowers, which are also edible!
Cooking: Chop chives and add to salads, egg and cheese dishes, cream cheese, mashed potatoes, hamburgers, sandwich spreads, and sauces.

What are some of your favourite herbs?


Blessings to you and your homes,

  

1 comment:

Marqueta (Mar-keet-a) said...

Dear Gae,

Lovely post, as always! Of course you know I love herbs of all times. They're the only thing in my garden that is doing well this year (besides collard greens)! Mine are all in pots right next to the house, so they'll be safe in the drought.

Love,

Marqueta

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