Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
as we head south with the family in tow to the Baltimore Herb Festival in Leakin Park for this one day only show. It's the place to be for all things herbal. Look for David, Susanna, Nancy and the kids at The Rosemary House booth (shown here from years past). See you there! Susanna has a presentation entitled All About Dill - Herb of the Year 2010 at noon in the Chapel.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Iced Tea Cubes
3 c. boiling water
3 Tbsp. loose tea, or 9 teabags
3 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
Pour boiling water over tea. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain tea. Add sugar and lemon juice. Pour into 2 ice cube trays and freeze.
Monday, May 24, 2010
We'll strain it in the morning, and then enjoy a slightly sweetened lemony iced tea for the day, garnished with a sprig of lemon verbena. Can't wait! Do you have a favorite combination of tea and herbs that you enjoy this time of year?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Here's another example of a simple garnish used to enhance a miniature dessert for the tea tray. The top half of the photo shows a small round chocolate cake. A bit of sweetened whipped cream was piped on the top, and then chocolate shavings were added to the top of the cake. Served in individual foil cups, this little dessert was enjoyed by all.
Friday, May 21, 2010
The following is an article written in 1972 by my mother Bertha Reppert (1919-1999). Founder of The Rosemary House, herb educator and prolific writer, she loved to share her knowledge and enthusiasm of these wonderful plants!
I’ve mentioned comfrey (Symphytum officinale) time and time again so I think it’s time for a few words about this favorite, second only to Rosemary in my heart. No garden, herb or otherwise, should be without comfrey. It’s amazing!
One of the first herbs to appear in the Spring, the bright green spears of the comfrey erupt before anything else in the garden. These first early greens are crisp and succulent. Pick them to toss in your salads or cook like spinach*. It’s delicious!
Hardy beyond belief, comfrey survives the sub-zero temperatures of Siberia, so our climate is no cause for worry on this account. There are many herbs known to succumb to the rigors of our winters but not comfrey. It’s indomitable!
Best grown from root cuttings every little piece of the roots that go many feet down into the earth will sprout. Dig them, cut into two inch pieces and lay them on moist soil, lightly covered, to achieve dozens of comfrey plants where before you had one. Plant them in full sun. It’s prolific!
The leaves are the main crop, reaching four or five feet in a few weeks when they are no longer tender eating. At this point cut them back to within four inches of the ground, all the way back. Dry the leaves to tea, poultice or add the fresh leaves to your compost pile. On mature plant yields four to five bushels of rich fluffy compost each year. It’s organic!
Rich in minerals, nitrogen and iron, comfrey packs a real wallop whether you eat it*, drink it or compost it to feed other plants, enriching their lives. Keep it harvested to use. It’s miraculous!
Being “official” comfrey has been and still is used medicinally. It’s ancient name of “knitbone” gives a clue as to one of its special uses but it is also employed as a poultice for open wounds, a soothing ointment for poison ivy, a healer for damaged lungs and ‘tis said is effective for ulcers inside or out. It’s incredible!
Fodder for animals is vastly enriched by adding comfrey leaves it is fed to goats, sheep, horses, chickens, rabbits, cows as well as many domestic animals who enjoy the nutritious greenery. Keeping farm animals healthy, frisky and productive is a farmer’s main concern and there’s plenty of room to grow comfrey on a farm. It’s invaluable!
We like to drink* our our comfrey as the easiest method of utilizing the most leaves the fastest and best way. A not unpalatable hot drink, we enjoy it best as a ‘green drink”. Six large comfrey leaves tossed into the blender with a can of pineapple grapefruit juice are quickly whirred into a delicious start for the day. Strain it before serving. It’s healthy!
*Since this article was written, science has shown us that Comfrey is high in pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Even the scientists can’t spell that and just abbreviate it as PA’s. PA’s are known to be harsh on the liver. The PA’s concentrations measure about ten times higher in the root then in the leaf. Additionally the PA’s measure highest in the oft called Russian Comfrey ( Symphytum asperium and cultivers), NOT in the Symphytum officinale. So while I was raised on the kool aid colored “green drink” and drank many a pitcher full, my children have not had the pleasure as it is not recommended as a daily beverage any more. However, if I had a broken bone, strain, sprain or bruise, I would certainly use it externally as a poultice and I would probably drink lots and lots of comfrey, (for no more than four weeks) while taking milk thistle to support my liver function.
I grew up in the herb gardens behind The Rosemary House, quietly absorbing herbal facts and lore as my mother answered endless questions from customers. One year as I was packing to go away for church camp, I packed my swim suit, tee shirts, shorts, etc with several large comfrey leaves on top. My mother came in to make sure I had packed undies and my toothbrush, saw the leaves and asked what they were for. I replied “for my boo-boos”. She often wondered what those camp counselors thought. It’s delightful!
Original article by Bertha Reppert
Postscripts by daughter Susanna Reppert
http://www.therosemaryhouse.com/, Mechanicsburg, PA
A fun place for Rosemary, Comfrey and all things herbal.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Saint Fiacre (below) is often considered the Patron Saint of gardeners. He is usually depicted with a spade or shovel. We featured a blog post with the story of Saint Fiacre a couple of years ago.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
After creating your watering tube, select some herbs for your container. Smaller varieties such as dwarf sage, windowsill chives, miniature basil, any type of thyme plants will do very well. A larger plant of upright Rosemary will do nicely in the large center opening or you could plant the creeping Rosemary in the side pocket. Don't forget parsley and summer savory or cucumber flavored burnet. Scoop in some organic soil on the bottom layer and position your watering tube going up the center. Work in your plants from the bottom up while continuing to fill soil around the watering tube.
In a short time you have a lovely container garden of culinary herbs. Cedar was our soil scooper and photo ham.
Perfect for apartment gardening also.
Another fun class at The Rosemary House. Visit our website for our complete calendar of events.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Periodically, pictures of this unique vacation will pop-up on my computer. Last month when our eldest sister was here visiting, one of the wagon train pictures appeared on the screen, and my sister simply stated, 'you know, the best thing about that wagon train are the pictures.' I had to chuckle! It certainly is one participants point of view.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
and this oneand another oneThe instructions are from Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences by our friend Jim Long, published by Storey Books of MA. This book details each instructional step in making a trellis and also discusses the pros and cons of the wood choices. There are also detailed instructions for other garden features such as a variety of arbors, fence panels and gates.
1. 2 upright pieces - For a 4 - 5 foot trellis you need 2 pieces 7 - 8 feet long about the size of a broom handle at the larger (bottom) end tapering to the size of your little finger at the top end.
2. 4 cross pieces - They need to be the width of your trellis about 4 - 6 feet long slightly smaller around than the 2 uprights.
3. 2 - 3 flexible pieces like hot dog sticks - These are the decorative pieces.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Strawberries atop Peppered Goat Cheese with Crackers
Sandwiches included Bacon & Egg Salad on Whole Wheat Triangles, Herbed Cucumber Rounds, Basil and Goat Cheese with Sundried Tomato Hearts, Herbed Biscuits with Ham Salad, and Rosemary Chicken Salad in Pastry Cups.
The following course featured Traditional English Cream Scones and Chocolate Chip Scones accompanied with true Devon Cream, Lemon Curd, and Strawberry Preserves along side Fresh Orange Slices and Strawberry Halves topped with Cinnamon flavored Mascarpone Cheese.
Petite Desserts included a Frosted Peppermint Meltaway Cookie, Miniature Tiramisu, and Raspberry Mousse in a White Chocolate Cup.
Monday, May 10, 2010
If I gave a gift to my Aunt Nancy, I would get her a round, orange, medium sized, fancy teacup because she owns a tea shop and she loves tea stuff. If I got her a tea cup it would feel hard and round. If I got her a tea cup it would be a good choice because you can sip tea out of it and she loves calming down and black tea. I love giving people gifts and I love it when I give a gift to my Aunt. I love picking gifts out for my Aunt because she's really nice so a teacup would be a good choice.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
The yellow flowered plants spread readily by seed. All of the plant is edible, flowers, leaves and the seed. The condiment is made by mixing the seed with water, vinegar and spices. 700 million pounds of mustard is consumed world wide! The leaves from the mustard is what was used to produce mustard gas.