Monthly Archives: November 2013

Cooking with herbs for Thanksgiving


                                “Joys divided are increased” Josiah Gilbert Holland’ 

Tomorrow is the big day-Thanksgiving. Since I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat turkey, but planning some yummy dishes to share with my friends. 

My contributions will be a Boursin cheese ball I made from herbs I bought at the Herb Fair in October, a peppery watercress salad with lime dressing, toasted pecans, corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, and some homemade rolls with my rosemary butter. Also, making a delicious parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme gravy that will go on anything!

Most of the herbs in picture are from my yard, but went to an Asian market yesterday, and purchased a large quantity of basil for $1.49, 4 large bundles of spring onions for $1.00. What a savings-will not be buying from the grocery store when I need herbs.







Growing Herbs in Containers – Continued


 “Ah Me! Love can not be cured by herbs” Ovid

3 things herbs need: 1) Good light 2) water 3) the right nourishment. Herbs are sun worshipers, so choose a spot or window with plenty of sun-southern exposure is perfect. 

I like using different types of pots, various heights make an interesting arrangement. However, you can use any type of pot you have, even a cut off milk carton. Choose a container with holes in the bottom. Basil is going to require a larger pot than most, as it fills out nicely. Put rocks, or as I do-shards of broken flower pots and there are always plenty of those . Fill ¾ way with soil-I like Vermiculite, dampen slightly. Remove plant from container-shaking dirt off roots-place and fill with enough soil to cover roots. Firmly press dirt down-water well-be sure to have tray under to catch water.Water only when soil is dry-and not on leaves~~they don’t like that. Fertilize lightly every two weeks.

If your plants get leggy with only a few leaves then they are not getting enough light. Try using a fluorescent lamp. Also, turn your plants often as they grow toward the light.

Start harvesting in 4-6 weeks if it has filled out. Picking only a few at a time ’till they get established. Do not allow to flower or the flavor will suffer.

 “Bon Appetit!”


This is a nice arrangement of containers

Photo used with permission from //



O.K.. I was making a dish for one of the organizations I belong to and the recipe called for basil. No problem I think but unfortunately the cold snap we recently had-melted my plants down.   Time to start my indoor herb garden!  So off to the store to buy some~~~~$5.49 for a small (very small) container. 

Choose the ones you use most often in cooking-don’t waste time on the ones you will not use. My favorites are:

 BASIL- many varieties. It is a member of the mint family and can be used in salads, soups, sandwiches. Great with tomato, mozzarella .(And did you know that storing in refrigerator will produce a black leaf)?

ROSEMARY-one of my favorites but it is a hardy outdoors plant.

OREGANO-a Mediterranean herb with a strong flavor-a necessary ingredient in my spicy-spaghetti sauce and home made pizzas

PARSLEY-of course- to add freshness to all dishes

CILANTRO-essential ingredient in Mexican and Asian dishes

 If you can’t find plants in your local nurseries-try the grocery store (produce department).

Next time I will discuss containers and planting of the herbs



Rosemary in my garden



Now is the time to plant trees-and a red maple would be a good choice. When I lived in North Carolina, the mountains would be ablaze with reds and golds after a temperature drop. They will be a welcome spot in your landscape!

Also, consider a Japanese Maple. Below is a picture of my Threadleaf Japanese Maple off my back porch here in North Alabama. A beauty now, then bare branches in winter to a beautiful red tinged foliage in spring-a spectacular specimen!

Planting now has great benefits…you will not have to water and the roots establish quickly. Also, nurseries and garden shops are well supplied now. So go plant a tree and help save the environment.

“Never  put off til tomorrow what you can do today!” Thomas Jefferson