Friday, December 11, 2009

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme....

It's more than just a song by Simon & Garfunkel...

"Herbs" are the leaves or other parts of aromatic plants grown in the temperate zone. "Spices" are the stems, leaves, roots, seeds, flowers, buds, or bark of aromatic plants grown in the tropics. Here are some alternative ways to use some if the most common herbs in your garden from the Encyclopedia of Country Living.


Parsley is grown for its low-calorie, attractive, edible leaves, which contain lots of vitamins and minerals, including lots of vitamins A and C. Add to meat, stew, soup, salads, vegetables, carrots - anything but fruit - just before you serve it, for parsley shouldn't be cooked. Or use a pretty sprig as an edible garnish beside food on a plate, or as a bouquet in the center of the table. Eating boiled parsley is said to be helpful for a urinary stone and for eye inflammation. It's also said to be a breath sweetener, a natural antidote to garlic and onion breath.


(Good as a clam dip.)

Add the juice of 2 lemons drop by drop to 1 c. softened butter. Keep stirring as you add it - it takes quite a while. Then add 2 T. crumbled dried parsley.


Chopped fresh sage leaves add flavor to pickles, cheese, and sausage. Dried sage is best in poultry or pork stuffing; if you are using fresh sage, soak it 5 minutes in boiling water, dry, and then chop.


This is good sandwich bread. If your milk is raw, scald it first.


2 c. milk

1⁄4 c. sugar

2 t. salt

2 t. celery seed

1 t. powdered sage

1⁄4 c. cooking oil

2 eggs

2 T. yeast.

Add ingredients togther. Mix well. Add enough flour to make a kneadable dough. Knead, let rise, punch down, and divide into 2 loaves. Put loaves into greased bread pans, and let rise again until they double in bulk. Bake at 400˚F until loaves sound hollow when rapped.


Called "the herb of remembrance," rosemary has been used both at weddings to symbolize fidelity and at funerals, placed on graves, to signify remembrance. More mundane uses: in perfumes, as a hair rinse (leaves hair scented and shining), in potpourri, as an insect repellent where food and clothing are stored, and, of course, as a fresh or dried seasoning for food (a little goes a long way). Pluck some needles to add to boiling potatoes, summer or winter squash, turnips, broiled lamb chops, pork roast, and rabbit. Add some to spaghetti sauce. Rosemary and cranberry juice combine for a good herb jelly.


Pour boiling water over the needles, and steep until to your liking and use to rinse your hair.


The dried leaves are a seasoning ingredient for many soups and sauces, the herbal equivalent of pepper. You can make tea from the dried leaves or flavor vegetable juice, meats, soups, peas, poultry, clam chowder, and gravies. Use fresh leaves in salads. The only rule is to go easy; it's strong stuff. A pinch will usually do, or else you risk the thyme overwhelming the other flavors. Use flowers or foliage in potpourri. Or combine a strong thyme tea with honey and take for a sore throat, or use with a poultice because thyme contains thymol, an oil of proven antiseptic value. Old-timers also gave thyme as a wormer.

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