The Enchanted Herb

"Get up, Sweet slug-a-bed, and see,
The dew bespangled herb and tree."
--Robert Herrick

Simple Magic: Herbs From the Farmer's Market
Herbs, fresh or dried, exert the simple magic of transforming the most mundane foods into delectable feasts.

Fresh from the farmer's market...

I unwrap my treasures of fresh and alive...

Oregano... Thyme... Sage... Lavender... and... Sorrel.

I revel in their scent and beauty...

... anticipating their delicious flavors.

Imagine my joy when we visited a local Farmer's Market and bought all of these herbs for a mere $9 !!

I will use the oregano in tomato sauces, salads and anything Italian that I may prepare...

basil befriends tomatoes and Italian dishes, we also like to toss the leaves in salads and create a simple pesto using a food processor, sea salt and olive oil...

rosemary rubs soothe and enhance lamb, potatoes, pork, and poultry and it's a lovely surprise when found in baked sweets, such as in orange rosemary pound cake or orange rosemary scones for tea...

sage compliments bread stuffing as well as pork and poultry...

lavender flowers are lovely when dried and bundled for use in lingerie drawers and linen closets...delicious in home made jams... adding enchanting and mysterious flavors in sweet baked goods such as pound cake and sugar cookies... a surprise when found in lemonade
or flavored sugars (set lavender buds inside a jar with granulated sugar for a few weeks)...

is a favorite for salad and salad dressings as well as poultry and pork...

Sorrel is used in almost every soup broth I make, and it always adds a fresh, lemony tang to our salads.
Below is an excerpt from
Frugal Luxuries, published by Bantam Books, 1997
By: Tracey McBride

The Enchanted Herb

During colonial times most homes cultivated several gardens out of necessity. The kitchen garden obviously provided food for sustenance, while the herb garden provided medicinal herbs, added fragrance, and enhanced the culinary pursuits of the lady of the house.

At our home we grow a modest herb garden. I savor the flavors and aromas that these ancient plants bring to our foods and household. Perhaps the most well known herbs, and the ones I have found simplest to grow, are parsley, dill, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. I have also had some spectacular luck with Lavender, every types of mint, and lemon- and rose-scented
geraniums. More wondrously, my herbs seem to thrive on inattention, except in the hottest weather.

Most herbs seem to love sunny places (with about six or more hours of sun per day), but there are shade-loving varieties as well. Inquire at your local nursery for the type that will grow best for the specific area in which you wish to plant your herb garden....

The fragrance emitted by an herb garden is enough to inspire its sowing and
planting. I harvest and dry herbs from our tiny garden year round and keep them in glass apothecary jars (part of a useful collection).

P. S.

On the way home from the Farmer's Market ...

...we made a stop at an alley/garage sale and found these wonderful vintage salt and pepper set from the 1960's!! Never used...the elderly neighbor we bought them from had been saving them for years and finally decided to set them free! Once home, we immediately filled them with sea salt and pepper balls... the pepper mill works beautifully and we use them with joy... daily.