The Heart & Soul of a Great Meal—Fresh Herbs

I love springtime. Everything comes to life after the harsh cold of winter. It amazes me how a plant emerges from having one bud on Monday and is a full flowering plant by Saturday. The sun is now beaming down warmly but not the humid sun of summer. It renews my heart & soul. It inspires me.

So every spring I plant a kitchen herb garden. They start out as these small little creatures and bloom into beautiful edible gods that make a mundane meal taste like a feast. They are easy to grow. They love sun and just water every few days. One secret is to continue to trim them back all year. I make herb bouquets for my kitchen table and then they are ready to use when you are preparing a meal. You can really extend the life of basil by putting it in a jar of water and then cover with a food storage bag. Change the water every few days. It creates a green house effect and the basil will even begin to root and you can plant more.

My favorite is the basil. It turns plain pasta into pesto, tomatoes into a caprese salad, and plain chicken into the next plane. I also love fresh rosemary. It is great on pork, chicken, and roasted veggies. I also have dill, thyme, oregano, mint, cilantro, and parsley.

In the fall before the first frost, I bring them in and dry them. They are much better than what you buy because even though you have dried them , they are fresher than those on the shelves in the grocery.

So experiment, plant some herbs, dress up your meals, and most of all have fun, relax, and be proud of your accomplishment.

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