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Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

Herb to Stay

May 20th, 2009

It’s been a few weeks now and the herbs are still going strong. The sage, basil, and rosemary are all growing noticeably with big tasty leaves. The chives kind of look like they just got out of bed, hair going every which way. At this point they have all found themselves in meals. The rosemary was a nice accent to a bowl of rice I made the other day. The basil and sage find themselves cut into a chiffonade and sprinkled on various plates.

Author: Josh Categories: Story Tags: ,

A Second Try at Herbs

May 11th, 2009

As you may recall, I had a bug infestation with my last attempt at growing herbs in my apartment and had to throw them all away. Well, last Friday I made my way back to Union Square accompanied by my mother who was in town for the holiday (happy Mother’s Day mom). This time there was both less of a crowd and less of a selection. After getting some apple cider donuts for the wife and a cup of pear cider for us, we found the only people selling herbs that day.

As it turns out, they were the same people I had bought the original herbs from. I looked around and came away with some rosemary, chives, sage, and basil. They didn’t have any oregano this time and looking at the parsley, I saw some insect eggs. It’s a good thing I knew what to look for; otherwise we would have had another infestation.

Once the herbs were safe and sound back home, I gave them all a thorough rinsing. This will surely get rid of any creepy crawlers. This time we placed them in the living room. We think (because my father-in-law told us) that having the plants right next to the window over heats and dries them out.

All those precautions were great and all, but only two days after getting the new herbs and The Girl found bugs on the rosemary. We immediately threw that one away and rinsed off the remaining plants yet again. The in-laws were at a nursery (for plants) by Fort Washington and kindly picked up replacement rosemary for us.

We are off to a bit of a rocky start, but I think with some diligence these guys will survive. At least a little bit longer than their predecessors.

Author: Josh Categories: Story Tags:

Strike One

May 6th, 2009

It’s time for an herb update! Yay! I had to throw away all of my herbs just now because they were infected with nasty little white bugs. My father-in-law pointed them out while quickly inspecting them. It’s a shame, but not to worry, we will be getting replacements within a few weeks.

Also he gave me some pointers. Evidently, basil needs a lot more water than I was giving it. Also, it’s probably a good idea to keep them further away from the window than I had been. So my new plants will live in my living room with the rest of the family. And most importantly, I now know to look for tiny yellow eggs on the plants when picking them out in Union Square.

I’ll keep you guys updated as things progress.

Author: Josh Categories: Story, Uncategorized Tags:

Are you Herb?

April 29th, 2009

A side effect of watching all of the cooking shows I do is that I want to use more and more herbs. And not dry herbs. There is a difference. But what bothers me is that stores – vegetable stands and supermarket both – never sell me the amount I need.

For example, if I’m making garlic bread, I need about a quarter to a third of a cup of parsley. At most. What do I get at the store? A cup. That’s three to four times what I need. Ok so, I throw some of the extra parsley into the pasta I’m making. Maybe a little goes into the fish the next night. Typically I still have a large amount left over.

I feel guilty throwing any food away. That’s just how I was raised. So what do you do with the leftover? Typically it winds up in my stock bag in the freezer along with my pepper tops, carrot ends, onion skin, and any other veggie waste I have. Once the bag is full, I toss it in a pot of water and make stock. Recently I found that chopped chives freeze well and, as a result of their size, can easily be tossed from the freezer directly into a pan with fresh ingredients.

Despite these tricks for minimizing waste, I knew there was a better way: a window sill herb garden. Last year I had picked up a collection of herbs in a single pot from Nessralla Farms, the local market back home. This is actually the place where I would get my Halloween pumpkins and Christmas tree each year as a kid. It had chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and sage. They tasted great while they lasted, then one week The Girl and I went off to Costa Rica for our honeymoon and came back to a pot of dead herbs. Evidently when her dad asked if he needed to stop by and water any plants we should have said yes.

So with the nice weather coming back, we decided to give this whole thing a second chance. The Girl and I ventured forth to the Union Square Farmer’s Market. Fourteenth Street is overrun with purveyors of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and meat from “Upstate” (the term given to anywhere in New York State that has enough land to produce any of the above mentioned). I am still surprised seeing this type of small market spring up in the middle of Manhattan on a regular basis.

The selection at the market was great. They had all sorts of basils, rosemary plants about two feet tall, and even sage that was purported to taste like pineapple. I broke off a piece and ate it. It really did taste like pineapple. I decided to start with the basics at first: chives, flat parsley, rosemary, basil, sage, and oregano. The only reason I grabbed the oregano is because The Girl pointed it out as “oregano, the good stuff” in the British pronunciation. I knew at the time that this was purely a Spaced reference and no comment on her part about the quality of the plant. As it turns out, she didn’t even realize that she was mispronouncing it.

So far I have only had the opportunity to eat small bits of them with snacks. At best I had a chiffonade of sage on my bread and butter (excellent). I’m looking forward to incorporating these into more and more meals as the season progresses.

Author: Josh Categories: Story Tags: