Gardening note 1: Reliable Parsley
Parsley, or petroselinum sativum, has been used as a culinary herb for over 2,000 years and is one of the most nutritious of all herbs. There are basically two main types of parsley, which are widely used in an Italian kitchen:
- Moss Curled Parsley - The tightly curled variety that is most often used as a garnish, and
- Italian Flat leaf Parsley - used to season a wide variety of dishes.
Italian flat leaf parsley has the best flavour, and is used in soups, sauces, stews, and adds a zesty flavour to salads. It combines well with seafood, as well as grilled or roasted meats. Add parsley during the last few minutes of cooking, to retain the most flavour, as well as its bright green colour.
Fresh, washed and dried parsley can be deep fried for 5-10 seconds, and will retain its bright green flavour. This crisp, tasty treat makes an interesting, edible garnish.
Parsley is often used combined with garlic as a base for many sauces.
Gardening note 2: Lovable Lovage
Add something new and interesting to your herb collection. Lovage is easy to grow and the leaves will give you the similar flavour as celery, with an aniseed twist.
Use it creatively in the following ways:
- Casseroles: The anise, celery flavor of the lovage works really well.
- Lentils: Sweat a few leaves with onions and then let the lentils cook slowly with the lovage,
- Cream cheese: Add chopped leaves to cream cheese - this can also be used as a stuffing for chicken breasts,
- Pesto: Traditionally made with basil, but can be made with most herbs. A combination of sorrel and lovage works well,
- Pizza: Use lovage as a pizza topping,
- Fish: Excellent with fish, especially salmon,
- Salads: Add freshly chopped leaves to a variety of salads,
- Soup: Great flavour in vegetable and meat based soups where a celery and aniseed taste will compliment, especially leek and lovage soup,
- Butter: Mix freshly chopped leaves with soft butter and us it as a topping for vegetables. It is especially good with carrots.
Gardening note 3: Herbal Foot Soak
How often do you take time out to pamper your hot, achy and tired feet?
Easy to do and highly rewarding, this is what you will need:
- About 10 litres of hot water – not boiling, you must be able to comfortably keep your feet in it,
- ½ cup Epson Salts,
- A handful of fresh herbs of your choice,
Choose the fresh herbs from your garden according to your need:
If your feet are dry and cracked, add a tablespoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil to the warm herbal foot soak.
Place the warm water in a large basin that is big enough to place your feet in. Add the Epson Salts and Herbs and stir well. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy the whole body benefit of a foot soak.
Gardening note 4: Why do you Garden?
A lovely article on gardening by Nikki Phipps:
You see them everywhere you look, each having its own unique appearance-gardens. You also see numerous books, Web sites, and other gardening resources filled with all the ins and outs and how-to of gardening. But seldom do you ever see anything about why we garden. Why is it that so many people love this pastime?
As one of these people, I thought it might be time to shed some light on this age-old question, at least as far as my reasons go. The reasons for gardening can be just as unique as the garden or gardener themselves. Therefore, most of the answers to why we garden are only generally speaking.
Read the full article here.