The Rub on Spices

spicesFor thousands of years, spices have been sought after for their flavor, medicinal qualities, status, and novelty. And while spices no longer inspire the kind of exploration, trade, and wars they did in the 15th Century, researchers are now finding a different kind of value in these substances. Many spices and herbs, from cinnamon to oregano, cumin to turmeric, have high nutritional value and pack an antioxidant punch.

Rosemary for Remembrance

rosemary-trans

In Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Ophelia dispenses some crazy wisdom in the scene when she hands out flowers and herbs: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” Miss O might’ve been referring to one of rosemary’s properties, known since ancient times—its ability to improve memory. Sprigs of rosemary were used as a symbol of remembrance and fidelity at weddings and war memorials. Also funerals. Shakespeare may be giving us a hint that Miss O will soon exit stage left to go sleep with the fishes.

Chive Blossoms

The FruitGuys Tips: Uses for Fresh Parsley

Parsley is high in vitamins A, C, and K, and abundant in chlorophyll, which provides its well-known breath-freshening power.

After discarding the stems, chop fresh parsley and use in salads, soups, pastas, egg dishes, veggie roasts, and more.

Store for up to a week in a plastic bag in the fridge with stems wrapped in a damp paper towel.

What's in Season January 2013

Tarragon

Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil), the pillars of French cooking. Tarragon is  one of the main flavoring ingredients of Béarnaise and other creamy sauces. Its flavor is rich and bittersweet, with hints of licorice and mint.

The Thyme Space Continuum

By Heidi Lewis

Dateline, Oxford Lecture Hall; Stephen Hawking presenting:

“Quantum theory introduces a new idea, that of imaginary time. One can picture it in the following way. One can think of ordinary, real time as a horizontal line. On the left, one has the past, and on the right, the future. But there’s another kind of time in the vertical direction. This is called imaginary time because it’s not the kind of time we normally experience. But in a sense, it is just as real, as what we call real time.”

New Potatoes with Green Herbs

Adapted from epicurious.com, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 bunch basil, minced (or substitute parsley, dill, or cilantro)
2 large shallots, spring onions, or 1/2 red onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)

Herbed Broccoli Salad

Zucchini Boats

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