In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen
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Squashes and Tomatoes and Corn, Oh My!

Squashes and Tomatoes and Corn, Oh My!

It's that time of year gardening friends--we're up to our ears in squash, tomatoes, cukes and corn! Oh what a lovely dilemna. Revel in the garden bounty--eat it everyday, share it when you can--and preserve the harvest by canning, fermenting, freezing and drying.

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Midsummer Garden Harvest

Midsummer Garden Harvest

Today is the first day of August, also recognized as Lammas Day (which is the celebration of the wheat harvest in parts of the Northern Hemisphere where English is traditionally spoken)and we are well into the summer gardening season. Every year by this time, the weeds are in fierce competition with the crops--sometimes even bigger than the crops. However, I did manage to harvest the root crops last week when we were in the fourth quarter root moon. Look at my onions and potatoes. Zukes and cukes are coming in fast and furious and need to be picked everyday.

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Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums

One of my very favorite flowers that I grow in all of my gardens for many reasons—are nasturtiums—and I affectionately refer to these garden rowdies as “nasties”. They are easy to cultivate, and effortlessly fill in garden space, with their mounds of fun foliage even before their showy colors appear. In the kitchen, you can use both the fresh foliage and flowers to add a pleasant hint of heat and pungency (this dissipates when cooked so I use them mostly fresh) to many summer dishes.

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Edible Flowers that are Safe to Eat

Edible Flowers that are Safe to Eat

Upon request after a recent webinar on flowers in the kitchen, I am posting a list of some flowers that are safe to eat. You are responsible for proper identification.

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Incredible Edibles: Flowers in the Kitchen

Incredible Edibles: Flowers in the Kitchen

I recently did a webinar for the Herb Society of America by the same title. Right now we are in the height of the summer season and our gardens are full of flowers in bloom--many of them are edible. Bring these into the kitchen for fragrance, flavor and fun!

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Fourth of July Fare: Potato Salad

Fourth of July Fare: Potato Salad

Most folks celebrate Independence Day with a cookout or picnic. When I think of summer foods to accompany this event--potato salad and coleslaw, summer ripe tomatoes and corn-on-the-cob immediately come to mind--they are American as apple pie. Here's a recipe for my sister, Doneth's potato salad, which is truly a family favorite.

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Its Summertime in the Garden

It's Summertime in the Garden

We recently celebrated the summer solstice as well as St. John's Day (sometimes referred to as Midsummer) and the hot weather has arrived here in Maryland. We haven't had much rain so plant growth, especially flowering, has progressed rapidly--it seems a lot of plants are flowering earlier than usual. Before we know it, we'll be harvesting summer veggies! Right now, a lot of herbs need to be cut back and harvested.

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Summer Solstice: Time for Farmers Markets, Gardening, Seasonal Bounty and Weeds

Summer Solstice: Time for Farmers' Markets, Gardening, Seasonal Bounty and Weeds

It is that time of year again already! Today we celebrate the true arrival of summer with the solstice--the longest day and shortest night of the entire year. Not that summer weather hasn't already been here for some time--it is hot here in Maryland!

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Herbs with Anise-, Fennel-, and Licorice-Like Flavors

Herbs with Anise-, Fennel-, and Licorice-Like Flavors

I recently did a program at the annual Herb Society of America conference in Madison, Wisconsin thus titled; this is a modified version of the handout. Since we are celebrating Agastache as Herb of the Year for 2019 and Anise Hyssop is the most popular of this genus, I figured I’d explore some of the other herbs in this flavor category. Anise hyssop is not related to anise (Pimpinella anisum), or hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) for that matter. It does however, smell and taste somewhat like anise. When we speak of anise flavor, a few other herbs come into play: fennel and licorice. These three herbs have similar aromas and tastes due to a few shared chemical constituents. And these three herbs are used to describe the flavor profiles of some other well-known herbs.

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Artichokes are in Season

Artichokes are in Season

Spring is the season for asparagus and artichokes, rhubarb and strawberries, spring onions and baby salad greens and foraged wild weeds. It is a joyous time in the garden as well as in the kitchen—with so many delightful flavors and textures. I don’t think that folks eat enough artichokes. Perhaps, some have just never eaten one, or do not know how to prepare them.

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Grow an Herbal Tea Garden

Grow an Herbal Tea Garden

Is there anything more refreshing than a glass of iced tea on a hot summer day? What makes that tea even more delicious is growing your own herbs to prepare the perfect cup. Here’s what you need to know to plant your own herbal tea garden.

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Hot Cross Buns and Fresh Bay Leaves

Hot Cross Buns and Fresh Bay Leaves

Today I got a hankering for hot cross buns, which I have not made in quite awhile--it is that time of year that we see them for sale. Well, the recipe I use is an old one, from my first book Cooking with Herbs co-authored with Carolyn Dille. The ingredient that makes these buns unique is fresh bay leaves. Really, you will have to try them; I have made a few updates in the recipe which you can read below.

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Dandelions--Welcome this Spring Bitter!

Dandelions--Welcome this Spring Bitter!

I enjoy bitter--bitter herbs, bitter foods and bitters, the magic digestive elixirs. They are spring tonics and dandelions are one of my favorites--I've been harvesting the leaves, flowers and roots since they first emerged and using them in soups, sauces, egg dishes, with pasta and grains and stuffing them into quesadillas and enchiladas. Get out there and harvest some goodness for your health and well being!

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Book Review: Beyond Rosemary, Basil and Thyme

Book Review: Beyond Rosemary, Basil and Thyme

I recently received a copy of Beyond Rosemary, Basil and Thyme: Unusual, Interesting and Uncommon Herbs to Enjoy from author Theresa Mieseler; it is hot off the presses. This book contains some of the herbs that you might not grow--or even know about--that are worth investigating.

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Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style

Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style

Recently, someone gave me a bag of farro. I have cooked farro, which is a type of wheat berry, as well as kamut and spelt in my past, however not in a long time. So I read about farro and cooked up a pot of it and then I made the following delightfully tasty recipe for Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style.

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Wild Weed and Seasonal Green Recipes

Wild Weed and Seasonal Green Recipes

In our recent wild weeds class, we made a soup, salsa verde and salad. Here is a recipe for a soup featuring wild edibles and seasonal greens, a short video and links to salsa verde and green goodness soup. Happy foraging!

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Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens

Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens

Just finished teaching a folk school class on Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. We foraged for weeds and combined them with some seasonal herbs and greens to make tasty edibles: Spring Greens Soup, Salsa Verde and Salad of Wild Weeds, Seasonal Herbs and Salad Greens.

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Enjoy a Cuppa: Blending Teas

Enjoy a Cuppa: Blending Teas

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Cold weather inspires drinking hot beverages. When you come in from being out-of-doors on a frigid day, what do you want to drink?

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Celebrate Spring and Agastache, Herb of the Year 2019!

Celebrate Spring and Agastache, Herb of the Year 2019!

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I am gearing up for upcoming spring programs and I will be kicking off the gardening season at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in Little Rock, from March 1 to March 3. There is a great lineup of...

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Combine Some Botanicals with Chocolate for Your Valentine

Combine Some Botanicals with Chocolate for Your Valentine

While flowers are the number one choice of gifts for Valentine's Day, chocolate follows as a close second. Instead of a box of store-bought chocolates, why don't you make something scrumptious,simple and unique for the one(s)you love?

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