Sunday, January 18, 2009
Herbs In The Kitchen~
Herbs have been described as the soul of cookery and the praise of cooks.
They can turn a bland and routine meal into a sensuous experience.
Many herbs make foods more palatable by easing digestion.
Lemon balm, basil, dill fennel, mint, rosemary and sage have long been
eaten for their carminative qualities.
The Romans ate anise cakes after meals.
Indians ate roasted seeds.
The knowledge has always been and always been applied.Herbs were used in medieval times to preserve foods.
Meats were wrapped in tansy, both to deter flies and to flavor the meat.
Penny royal was used on long sea voyages to keep water fresh.
I've read that a salad for King Henry VIII included over 50 leaves, buds, flowers, and roots.
After the Industrial Revolution and the move from countryside into the towns and cities, herbs became less and less important as a staple in the kitchen.
With a fresh interest in the culinary arts and with the green movement bringing much needed focus to our food supplies, the way they are grown, harvested, and transported, and the loss that occurs during this process...herbs are once again becoming an option to put back some of that loss...both through flavor and nutrients.
Fresh herbs versus dried herbs~~~~~~
Both have amazing properties and offer a wide range of options and results.
Fresh from the garden is almost always the best, but...this isn't always available.
When herbs are dried in the proper manner and kept in the best conditions of an airtight container away from heat and light rarely can you tell the difference in terms of quality or flavor.
Herbs such as parsley, watercress, and comfrey supply a small and rich balance of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
A few cups of hot herbal tea will most always bring comfort in many ways, both to the body and the spirit.
If you don't have one already, plan a Kitchen Garden for your spring cooking.
As always, if you have questions I'm an email or phone call away.
Visit the website and read some of the articles available there.