Garden, Plant, Cook!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

National Herb Week and Herb Day

Dear Folks,

Tomorrow, May 1st, begins National Herb Week, which ends on Mother's Day, May 7th.

National Herb Day is Saturday, May 6th.

Each year the week begins on the Monday before Mother's Day.

[All of the herbs in the picture are grown in my gardens. I have also grown or grow many more.]

There are so many national "weeks" and "days" you can find one for any food or activity, but to me, this is a real and logical celebration of plants which provide us with flavor, aroma, healing and just plain ways to feel good.

Herbs are the original medicines from which most modern drugs are founded on, albeit, the modern ones are mostly now synthesized to allow for patenting and also to exponentially increase the potency.

In your life you probably use herbs or essential oils and may not even know it.

Your body lotion may contain Calendula for it's soothing properties. The petals are also used in foods as a "poor man's saffron" for its distinctive color.

If you ever had a toothache and used clove oil to ease the pain. That oil is sourced from the same plant which gives you the flavor for baking, and interestingly, it is one the main essential oils which give Sweet Basil it's well-loved flavor. Other basil varieties may have cinnamon, lemon or lime essential oils too.

Peppermint may be in your lotions to ease muscle aches.

Lavender provides the wonderful fragrance in some cosmetics, but is also in cleaning agents, herb blends and is used to ease headaches and as a sleep aid.

Herbs have been used in centuries old liquor recipes.

In fact, most culinary herbs also have medicinal properties. Basil and mint for stomach issues, thyme for respiratory, rosemary for antibacterial action, and sage to help digest fatty meats.

NOTE: Herbs which are ONLY medicinal should only be used with expert guidance. I suggest culinary herbs for their medicinal qualities because they are safer to use by the average person, but even a good thing can be overdone. Be aware of your, and your family's, allergies and sensitivities.

This week and for Mother's Day put together a bouquet using herbs from your garden and fill the house, decorating the table, with these wonderful and useful plants.

Celebrating Herbs!

Click on the link above to read about 25 different herbs and spices.  2 years ago I created a series of posts celebrating 25 herbs and spices mentioned in the Bible with history and recipe ideas.

Once you pull up the link you can search for an herb by name. I hope you enjoy these posts.

A quirky recipe I read* 30+ years ago . . .

Lavender Scented Salad Dressing - and - Wood Polish!

1/8 cup olive, avocado or good vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vodka
10 drops essential oil of lavender**

Mix all together and shake well when using.

For polish apply and let sit for a minute or two to the furniture or panel and then buff. The vinegar dissolves the dirt and grease and the alcohol helps the oil sink in.

As a salad dressing this would be nice, lightly dressing a salad of tomatoes and lettuce, salt and pepper to taste. Other herbs like rosemary, oregano or thyme could be added to taste. Dressings can also be used to baste or marinate meats or fish.

* Unfortunately I don't recall where I read it, but I knew it would be fun to try.

** ONLY use true essential oil of lavender if you are using this for food. Food essential oils should ONLY be used with a carrier oil, never directly on food or your body.

What are you planning for National Herb Day and National Herb Week?

Make it a great week for herbs in your garden and kitchen!

My simple herb planting chart shows when to plant 48 different herbs here in the valley and all USDA 9b zones.  This PDF will allow you to have it handy on any device which reads PDFs.  Click here or in the upper side bar to purchase - $5.00

My recipe books are also available for purchase in the side bar.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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