Good Cooks Love Their Culinary Herbs

| 6/23/2014 12:26:00 PM

The Creative Vegetable GardenerThese days I personally run hot and cold in the kitchen department. I’m guessing it’s because I’m a widow and only have myself to cook for. When my grown son moved in with me two years ago, I told him he could do his own cooking. That was easy, he’s a vegetarian. But, in order to give his dishes some taste, I’ve encouraged him to experiment by adding herbs.

Selecting culinary herbs to grow is a personal choice and depends on what you and your family enjoy eating. Basil is always a staple in my garden. I got carried away one year and planted my 4-foot-wide, 20-foot-long bed in so many different basils I couldn’t keep up with it. Of course, no one can eat that much fresh basil. I always dry basil when it begins to flower so I had enough of the dried herb to last for what seemed like several seasons. It was a good thing my husband loved spaghetti and other Italian recipes. A ‘New Age’ acquaintance told me I had been a witch in a past life and that’s why I plant basil. Well … I’m not sure about that, but if it’s true I’m sure I was a good witch.

Today I grow herbs in pots on my patio. There is always the ever present basil, marjoram and thyme.

A few of Karen's herbs 

Here are a few seed companies that package and blend their herbs, making it easy for us to select what we want. I encourage any good cook to try new herbs each year.

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds offers a culinary herb collection that features the most commonly used herbs in European cooking and includes Genovese Basil, Plain Leaf Parsley, Chives, Oregano, Sweet Cilanto, Marjoram, Dukat Dill and Thyme.