Something New to Steep
A Pleasant Little Project #2: Steeped Rosemary
In my garden resides a haven of rosemary. The amount that lives in the backyard seems endless, therefore I constantly use rosemary in my kitchen. I have been on a search to try new and resourceful ways of using this treasured herb. I explained the great rosemary conundrum to my older sister one day and she offered a pleasant hint — steep the rosemary like tea.
This sparked a flame of interest, so I began to do a bit of research and found several benefits of steeped rosemary. Among the several listed, the two that stuck out to me the most were “energy booster” and “headache remedy.” These benefits speak to me because I frequently need more energy and I frequently need headaches to go away.
I attempted this pleasant little project one afternoon while the littles were off at grandma’s house. Randy and I had an evening out planned and I suddenly found myself in need of steeped rosemary (that is, I had no energy and had a headache).
I heated the water, placed the rosemary in the teapot, poured the water over the rosemary and steeped the herb for 10 minutes.
The smell was a sweet and earthy, the color was a dainty pinkish-brown. Steeped rosemary, what a delightful new drink.
Preserve Summer, Preserve Herbs
Herb Salt: A Pleasant Little Project #1
As of late, we have been in slight abundance of herbs. My problem is that parsley is soaking all the sunlight from basil. I haven’t touched lemon thyme all summer and sage keeps getting eaten by bugs. “Tisk, tisk,” you may say. “Use your herbs! Give them away! Harvest them!” Well, I’ve done all of that and I’m still over producing.
I came across A New Way to Preserve Herbs on Food52.com. I was encouraged and excited. A new project. I felt like high-fiving angels. Time to get started. The first step is to gather the herbs. My first piece of advice: gather more than you think you need. I had to go back into the garden and grab another bunch to fill my baking sheet. I went a little full throttle with the herb selection (basil, rosemary, parsley, sage and lemon thyme) and in hindsight I wish I would have limited my selection. Food52 suggests parsley, thyme and lemon zest.
Second, wash the herbs and dry. At this point, set your oven to the lowest temperature. Next, (this is the sticky part) prep your herbs. When I mean prep, I mean pull them from their stems. For parsley, basil and sage you literally pull the leaves off. For thyme and rosemary, hold the top of the stem securely with one hand and with your other hand scrape the leaves off starting from the top moving all the way to the bottom. Your paws will smell like Christmas and will be slightly sticky even after a few washings. Next, take a large sheet pan and scatter half of the herbs as the bottom layer. Then douse the herbs with sea salt. Continue this pattern one more time (layer it like lasagna). Put the herbs in the oven over night at the lowest temperature available. Wake up and put the overnight result into the food processor. Pulse the mixture until the herbs are finely chopped and well distributed. Now, you have summer with salt.