Sunday, March 4, 2007

Thinking of Spring...and herbs for the garden

It's time to start thinking about spring. I may relapse into my love of winter again but it's fun to think about the possibilities for planting my kitchen garden. I have a delightful little rock bordered garden that rests just beside my deck. It is the perfect place for flowers, herbs and fresh garnishes for our table. This spring I'll be going up to Moose Crossing Herbs in Waldoboro to find some hardy new perennials to add this year. Oregano is on the list. I'll be adding another type of thyme and some pineapple sage. I'll have to set in some annuals as well. Of course there will be parsley, sage, rosemary and cilantro. Last year the cilantro reseeded from 2005. I love when that happens!
We went to dinner at Cam's tonight before attending the swing dance at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. It was great to see all of the college kids learning the steps to the shim-sham, jitterbug stroll and two hand slide variations. It is always a joy to see young men willing to learn how to swing. I always try to participate in the lesson so the leads will have a follow who can do what they tell them to do.
I am so proud to be a swing dancer!
Here is a recipe for an herb rub to get you thinking about spring- I've used fresh herbs here but have included options for dried just in case you need to resort to the winter option. Let's be the early bird- and look toward a beautiful, warm, green Springtime!

Herb Rub recipe

3 Tablespoons fresh chopped thyme or 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped oregano or 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days if fresh or up to two weeks if dried.
Rub on chicken, fish, or pork chops before grilling. It is especially nice if you mix the entire batch with 1/2 cup of olive oil and rub it on chicken breasts or two long narrow pork tenderloins. Let them sit, covered in the refrigerator for a day. Wipe most of the mixture off, discard the used herbs and grill the meat. Delicious!
Instead of using on meat: The fresh herb and olive oil mixture is also wonderful tossed with freshly cooked pasta and a handful of parmesan cheese or as a dip for crusty bread.

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