Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Organizing Your Herb Garden, Part 3 - Using Your Herbs

We had some friends over for dinner last night, and it's a good thing they like herbs! I may have overdone it, but we all seemed to be no worse for the wear.

I made Italian bread in my bread machine. The recipe calls for dried marjoram, dried basil, and dried thyme. Didn't grow any marjoram this year, but substituted my fresh basil and thyme for the dried. You just use three times the dried amount called for in the recipe. The bread was so yummy. I created my own olive oil dipping sauce by sprinkling shredded Parmesan, garlic salt and pepper on top of the olive oil.

I love lime basil! I grew it this year after my next door neighbor raved about how much she liked it. We've had it on pork and last night on turkey tenderloins. The turkey's flavor was a little too strong for the delicate flavor of the lime basil - I think I'll try it on chicken tenderloins next.

We also had a rice pilaf mix, which had quite a few herbs in the seasoning packet. To drink we had my herbal mint tea from my peppermint and spearmint plants - so yummy! Maybe I'm going a little overboard here?

Cutting herbs can be a pain. When I made my Italian bread, I chopped the herbs in my little mini-chopper. When I cut the lime basil, I used scissors. Using a knife is my least favorite method.

WARNING: be careful if you dry your herbs in the microwave. Yesterday I was drying some basil that had been air drying for a few days. I heard a pop, opened the microwave door, and saw that a stem of the basil had caught fire and ignited the paper towel below it. It was only a tiny spot, but if I hadn't been right there, it might have grown.

Did you know that lavender has calming properties? Another herb fact from my next door neighbor Ann Marie. She says that if you put it in a bath or put dried lavender in a sachet or pillow, it helps you sleep. As you can imagine, our foster daughters often have trouble getting to sleep as a result of their years of neglect or abuse. So I decided to grow lavender. A lavender bath is also supposed to help menstrual cramps. Haven't tried any of these yet, but plan to. Lavender is a perennial and will grow back each year. And with it's pretty purple flowers, it looks nice in your garden, too.

Remember my monster pineapple sage? We decided to remove it from the garden. We tried in a couple of recipes and just didn't like the taste. I even made pineapple sage tea, which was good. But when I dried it and made tea from it, it was rather insipid. So decided it wasn't worth having it take over the entire herb garden when we didn't really like the taste! Live and learn.

Well, I think that about covers my herb musings for the day. :-)

How do you use your herbs? I'd love to have some fresh ideas!

Related Posts: Organizing Your Herb Garden, Organizing Your Herb Garden, Part 2 - Drying Herbs,