From the Herb Basket – 8

Tarragon, honeybees

tarragon leaves

To bring out the true flavor of tarragon, soak the leaves for several minutes in a liquid that can be used in the recipe- stock, oil, lemon juice, or vinegar.

For steamed or boiled vegetables, add the herbs to melted butter and allow them to blend for five minutes before seasoning the vegetables with the butter sauce.

Herbs that combine well for freezing or drying:

Basil, thyme, and Italian parsley

Marjoram, lovage, and thyme

Coriander leaf, and dill weed

Dill, mint, and parsley

Oregano and lovage

Sage, thyme, and chives

Mint, lemon balm, and dill

Oregano, basil, and thyme

Chives and marjoram

Oregano and parsley

Fines Herbes are a combination of chervil, parsley, thyme and tarragon, freshly minced and added to omelets, sautes, cheese sauces, and other recipes at the very last minute of cooking.

Quatre Epices simply means “four spices” and is used in French cuisine to flavor roast meats, poultry, winter vegetables or desserts. The four spices are a ground combination of any of the following: cloves, mace, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, black or white pepper. Omit the pepper and quatre epices becomes good old American pumpkin pie spice.

Fresh rosemary and spearmint are rich in natural oils that stimulate the brain, improving learning and memory. The herbs may be brewed in teas, or simply inhaled for a burst of freshness.

Consider the plight of the honeybee this summer when planting herbs and flowers. The honeybee is well on the way to extinction, but we as a gardeners and keepers of the Earth can do something to help these beautiful creatures survive. Did you know?

Red zinnias attract bees like no other flower or color. Red is the preferred color of the honeybee and they love zinnias. Plant a large variety of them next month.

Honeybees favor the mints, lavender, thyme and lemon balm. Lemon balm is a favorite of the bees. Melissa officinalis [ lemon balm ], Melissa comes from the Greek word, meaning honeybee. Plant a border or group several planters of lemon balm in the garden. Do no spraying of pesticides. Provide fresh water at all times. Visit local beekeepers in your area to learn more about the importance of bees in our eco-system.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

~ Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady.

March blessings to our friends at Mystical Magical Herbs

~ Meadow Walker

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