Today’s Treasures A TASTE OF SUMMER
In these dreary days before Spring really gets going it’s nice to look back on summer and the flowers that bloom in our English Country Gardens.
Daffodils, hearts ease and flox
Meadowsweet and lady smocks
Gentian, lupine and tall hollyhocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, forget me nots
In an English country garden – according to the song by Jimmie Rodgers
And poppies and evening primroses, cosmos and sweet peas with their vibrant colours and heavenly scents, which all brightened us up during 2020.
It looks like Easter is going to be as exciting as the non-event that Christmas turned out to be, but at least we have a vaccine now – and our most vulnerable people have some protection.
Whilst we wait for the celandines, coltsfoot and primroses to follow the snowdrops and crocuses as spring unfolds, we look to the herb garden to brighten up home-cooking which I am sure we are all getting heartily fed up of doing. Take-aways are simply not the same as sitting as a table with a glass of wine and a beautiful view and being presented with a menu that you don’t have to shop for or cook.
Some herbs grow through the winter – rosemary, thyme, sage and bay leaves – others are very effective as dried herbs – and make delicious flavours for the simplest meals – tarragon chicken, garlic and parsley bread, minted peas, pasta with basil and oregano.
In the summer I always freeze some fresh herbs in ice cube trays – chopped mint and parsley and grated horseradish for sauces, and basil and marjoram to add to pasta dishes, chopped coriander for curries.
Herbs – fresh or frozen – also make excellent herbal teas – hyssop regulates blood pressure, peppermint helps digestion, chamomile for stress relief, lavender helps sleep, sage is stimulating, fennel is relaxing.
Published in the March edition of the Whitchurch Gossip