The Herb Garden
HERB! What a wonderful thing to have. I have one of those Aero Garden things. I tried to grow herbs, but someone (I’m not saying who) over fed them, and they died rather quickly. The dill and the basil were being bullies and keeping the poor parsley herbfrom growing to its full potential, so I decided to give myself a break while I do some scientific research before I try again. This time, I will go with a custom blend of herbs, so I can control them, instead of them controlling me, and driving me mad. If you want to have a go at it yourself, here’s what I bought. I bought it at Sur La Table, but here’s the Aerogarden website if you want more options.
The best thing to start with is one or two small pots of your favorite herb. It will give your kitchen a wonderful smell, and with a set of kitchen shears I know you already have, you can add some nice depth of flavor to your meals.
Here’s a good article about using and storing fresh herbs in your kitchen, with a great infographic to put onto your pinterest account. You do have a pinterest account, don’t you?
Just remember, fresh herbs will usually last a week or two in the refrigerator. Dried will last you a good year. Keep them away from the stove and the sunlight. You can find a little more about herbs form my review on the Top Chef Lesson on Herbs here.
Did you know herbs were once considered only for medicinal purposes? Are you coughing? Add rosemary. What about a stomach ache? Use mint. Basil is supposed to help you when you are feeling down. Here’s a handy chart with some basics. Luckily we have advanced, but it’s a little tidbit to file away for a party.
Ethnic Cuisine Herb?
What kinds of herbs should a diy home goddess try to grow?
Well, that depends on what you like to cook. I’m going to make it easy for you. Let’s pick a cuisine, and I’ll give you the main common herb that goes in there (they have spices as well, but that is for another time):
- Asian – Garlic Chives, Thai Basil, Lemongrass
- French – Bay leaves, Thyme, Tarragon, Parsley
- Greek – Oregano, Basil, Dill, Mint
- Indian – Mint, Cumin, Cilantro, Curry
- Italian – Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, Basil
- Mexican – Cilantro, Mexican (if you can find it) Oregano
- Thai – Sweet Basil, Mint, Cilantro, Lemongrass
So, you want to have some herbs for your food. That way you can make your food a little more tasty, and less like cardboard. But what herbs are absolutely necessary?
Here is my recommendation of what any diy home goddess should have in her pantry at all times. Dried is always a safe bet, but if you have window boxes and a green thumb, you can grow a beautiful herb garden to have fresh ones most of the year.
With this set of staples, she should be able to make a good variety of dishes:
- Bay leaves
If you want a little more information on herbs, check out my Top Chef University review post on Carla’s lesson about herbs here.
In conclusion, I think I having herbs in your kitchen is key to faking it until you make it. Even if you have only a small plant of basil you picked up at K-Mart really cheap and snip it occasionally to keep it alive. Basil smells so good! Throw a leaf or two into your stew or spaghetti sauce. You can find that recipe here.