Saturday, July 11, 2009

Small Pleasures

Life’s small pleasures can enliven as much or more than an endless straining for those elusive peak periods.

Our herb garden is one of my small pleasures. My recipes require lots of fresh herbs. Most days I grab some scissors and walk outside – disappointing our dog, Dutch. Ever the optimist, he always assumes that I come outside just to play with him. Fortunately he hasn’t taken enough offense to dig up or pee on our small plot.

I grow fresh sage, mint, rosemary, chives, oregano and thyme. Rosemary, if you allow it, will become a large bush. Mint, if you allow it, will not only take over your yard, but the neighbor’s as well – on both sides. Originally I made the mistake of planting mint with the rest of the unsuspecting herbs. I’m still finding mint sprouts after thinking I uprooted them two years prior.

I re-planted the mint in two separate locations outside our kitchen alcove, giving them their own space, and am allowing them to become full bushes. As long as they don’t uproot our house, we will have a peaceful, productive co-existence. I have been preparing more lamb lately, so I’m using more mint.

I flunked the tarragon and dill classes, two more favorite herbs. They died a quick death. Or maybe Dutch peed on them behind my back. Herbs I still purchase, in addition to tarragon and dill, are basil and parsley. See my earlier Basil Me post. I use way too much to grow it. Nor do I have enough space for parsley.

I don’t know if herbal medicine works wonders or not. I do know that my HMO wouldn’t pay for it. Until someone comes up with a study to the contrary, PJ and I will remain herbally heavily medicated.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

If you use way too much basil, why don't you put in 2 or 3 bushes of it. Basil thrives in our Mediterranean climate here in Anaheim Hills.

Last year our basil bush grew five feet high and as long as I "nipped the buds" it kept it's flavor and kept growing through the fall. I froze the excess--after washing it off--and we had plenty left to serve 20 people on Christmas vacation!

It does great as long as it gets lots of sun and is watered regularly. Both Henrys and Trader Joes have reasonably-priced basil plants that are already growing pretty well... I know you said you are not much of a gardener, but these plants grow pretty much on autopilot, so don't waste you wife's hard-earned money buying it---grow, grow, GROW!

Barb, the Anaheimhillian