|Fragrant rosemary was also believed to protect against illness and evil spirits. Sprigs of the herb were used in wedding bouquets.|
August 15, 2007I thought the following poem would be a fitting way to begin this column considering the refreshing and much needed rain we received last week:
After the Shower
—Mary Brine, 1886
A tender sky-half tears, half smile; a sobbing breeze; green meadows where a thousand diamonds glittering lie; and in the soft, sweet summer air the fragrance of reviving flowers, which lift their drooping heads again, And the sweet scent of woodland ferns—after the summer rain.
From every bush, and shrub, and tree, the quivering raindrops hang and fall; And twittering birds their wet wings shake, and plume themselves afresh, and call each other from the woodland groves; while the glad earth grows bright again, And sunshine floods the landscape o'er -after the welcome rain.
With sense of life renewed and fresh, the world seems fairer in our eyes, And Nature, jubilant and new, smiles 'neath the light of joyous skies.
Back to the fields the farmer goes, and toil suspended, once again Goes on, with vigor twice renewed- after the welcome summer rain.
The poet certainly paints a picture with her words, and a beautiful picture it is.
There's beauty all around, and one such example is Iris Lee Underwood's 'Yule Love It Lavender Festival' which occurred late last month.
Iris does a great job of putting on this show. Her beautiful lavender farm featured in the July 18 issue of this paper is transformed into all things beautiful and relaxing, including the harp music that wafted through the festival air.
I loved being so near the music. It does my soul good to hear such sweet beauty. When I was 6, I remember wanting to learn how to play the harp and Dad rolling his eyes. We weren't a "cultured" group of folks, just down home people.
Harp lessons didn't quite fit. Maybe fiddle. But oh, I swoon when I hear a string instrument. There was a dulcimer playing and then yesterday the harp and a violin along with artists capturing the days' events on canvas.
Lavender fields ready for picking.
I plan to go back this week just to pick myself and take in more of the beauty. I'm inspired to continue my garden expansion seeing the possibilities. Adding onto my farm gardens of large herb clusters to rows of herbs beyond the sun-pit greenhouse.
Thank you to all of you who stopped by my booth at the festival to check out the country goods!
The rosemary was greeted with happy cooks finding the fresh herb ready for spicing up their dishes and many new to cooking with herbs. I will make an effort to put up more recipes.
The fresh herb is always so much better than the dried. Especially rosemary. It loses so much of its flavor in the drying process.
Here's a couple of recipes for the rosemary lovers in all of us:
You'll need one baking potato per person.
Wash and leave skin on potatoes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop fresh rosemary and a pinch of fresh thyme to make a teaspoon for every 4 cups of potatoes.
Place the potatoes in the roaster, single layer, drizzle with olive oil and real butter (facts show butter is good for you!) and sprinkle with the fresh cut herbs. Toss to coat. Roast at till tender 35-45 minutes. If your oven runs hot, you can drop to 375 degrees.
Serve with any meat or poultry. I've even used this for my main dish with a fresh salad! mmmmmm.
OMG Rosemary-Dill Butter
Finely chop rosemary and dill to gather one teaspoon.Melt 1/2 cup of butter, blend in chopped rosemary. Serve with sweet corn or toss over boiled red potatoes.
(I only use real butter—the taste is worth it!)