As most of you already know, this crazy herb lady fell off her broom the end of June and not being one to do things half way, I broke both arms at the wrist. Needless to say, it is a very long, hot summer. I am getting better and hope to see all of you again at the September meeting. Thanks to my hard working daughters, the herb business has continued to grow and we appreciate all your orders and your concern for me. The apprentice herb garden has been what has suffered the most, but we still continue to harvest when I can find someone that has the time. As a true farmer always says, “There is always next year”. My big disappointment of the summer was missing the annual international herb convention which this year was held in northern California. My grower attended and as always there were lots of new ideas exchanged. It seems hardly a day goes by with out some new use for herbs. I have access to some new recipes for mens masculine sachet, mens after-shave, and some skin bracers if any of you are interested! The convention also brought out some new varieties of some herbs and the growing popularity of some old herbs such as Burnet, Loveage, Angelica and Epazote. Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena as well as Cinnamon and Lemon Basil are becoming more in demand as the use of herbs in beverages increases. Lemonade to Daiquiries can be transformed into something really special with the use of fresh herbs. The use of herbal ice cubes can show a touch of class, making even a simple recipe elegant. Edible flowers are also lovely in ice cubes and show that you really care. And of course a garnish of fresh herbs is a must on everything from your morning juice to your evening relaxer. The following recipe for a simple herbal syrup can be used in lemonade, with fruit juice, tonic water, daiquiries,or with whatever you want to try.
2 Cups White Sugar
-2 Cups Water
1-1/2 Cups tightly packed sweet fresh herbs
such as a combination of lemony flavor,
a mixture of mints, or whatever taste you might want.
Bring sugar and water to a boil, dissolving sugar. After reducing heat, add herbs and simmer six minutes.
Cool over night, strain into bottle, and keep regfrigerated.
As the “80’s” draw to a close, one can reflect back on the increase in the use of fresh herbs. Certainly this is not a passing fad as people are truely interested in eating better for health purposes, and they want the good, fresh taste of herbs for seasoning. Herb plants are becoming “wonder plants" that appear to be essential to our health and happiness. More next time.
Dorothy L Gifford
Farmers Daughters Herbs