Thursday, 24 November 2016

Herb Rosemary

After the wind and rain of the last few weeks the garden is looking pretty sorry for itself. All the pot plants have been gathered in for the winter, the greenhouse is stripped bare - just a few dirty pots are stacked in the corner - all the bedding plants have been pulled up and thrown on the compost heap - leaving empty beds and open pathways everywhere - it's a very sorry, sad sight especially with sodden leaves sticking to everything.

However, one plant always saves my winter garden and that's the rosemary bushes. I have a few dotted around and all throughout the winter I gather stems for cooking and arranging around the house. At the start of December I will gather a big bunch to decorate around the kitchen and along with the candles, it's the start of advent for me. I go on replacing, adding and refreshing the bunches through out the Christmas period just to bring that lovely fresh smell to the house. In fact I use more rosemary at Christmas for decoration then I do the traditional plants such as holly and fir. I traditionally add a sprig to the gravy stock making on Christmas eve - the smell permeating the house heralds the start of Christmas holiday cooking and eating in our house.

I don't just keep the rosemary sprigs for floral decorations and cooking........ I will use them as a simple way of dressing up napkins or on presents - just tie the gift or napkin with some garden string or ribbon and tuck a sprig of rosemary in.......simple but very effective.....or fasten a tip of rosemary with washi tape to a label for a gift tag.

I have been known to throw a stem into the hot water whilst running a bath, the steam smells amazing. Likewise a sprig steeped in the distilled water for your steam iron adds a fresh fragrance to your washing and dried sprigs of rosemary are supposed to ward off mice and moths - so a sprig or two hang in our wardrobes and linen cupboards - I have no evidence that this works, but no mice or moths have been seen so I must believe that it does.......


In the kitchen during the winter months, unless I buy fresh herbs, the only offering of a healthy looking herb from the garden is the rosemary. I add it to shortbread biscuits, tuck a little under the roast and will always pair it with lamb.

Rosemary and lamb are the perfect combination, throw in a little lemon or orange zest and you have a perfect flavour combination. It's also perfect paired with roast winter roots such as parsnips, potatoes, garlic and onions.

And after the sprigs have dried in your arrangements you can pull off the needles and use them in your cooking so you don't have to venture out into the cold, dark winters night for fresh!

Have a great weekend
Love Lizx

 Rosemary leg of lamb