Monday, May 6, 2013

Four Basic Herbs

My heart is doing somersaults as I am harvesting my herb garden. This is the first time the parsley didn't stump in its growth; the dill grew tall and spread its feathery leaves; the rosemary is kind to my memory; and the oregano is also growing and is getting ready to bloom.  I am surprised and delighted with at all this activity in my small herb garden.

I have picked parsley and laid it out on the dining room table after removing the thickest stems and I have done the same with the oregano, the "mountain joy".  I've given them plenty of time to dry but to make sure that they were completely dry, I put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven on low heat for about 30 minutes.  Both parsley and oregano felt crisp to the touch when I put them in air tight bags for storage and later use

I also cut some tall and feathery dill and removed the greenery from the stems and laid it out to dry on the dining room table.  At the same time, I cut the new growth off the rosemary and also laid it out to dry.  These two herbs lend themselves to being loosely tied, put upside down in a brown paper bag, and hung to dry.  Again, I choose to lay them out on the table.

I sometimes finely chop up parsley and mix it into my margarine to spread on toast and sandwiches.  I often use parsley and oregano in stir fries, stews, and soups.  When grilling a piece of meat outside, I toss a sprig of rosemary on the rack or on the meat directly.

Fresh dill is one of my favorite herbs and I use it generously when boiling potatoes and
steaming Mayport shrimp. A bouquet of rosemary, dill, oregano, parsley together with a clove or two of garlic look very nice in a bottle of oil and a bottle of vinegar.

Teas may be brewed using these wonderful and beneficial herbs.  All of them are said to boost the immune system, aid in digestive disorders, and they are rich in vital vitamins.  Rosemary and parsley have diuretic properties aiding in flushing out toxins from your system. Both of them are calming herbs.

Caution:  If you do use herbs on a regular basis, let your doctor know because it may interact with your medication

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