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stoirmeil 
Posted: 17-Oct-2005, 05:28 PM
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ZodiacBirch

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Speaking of things you might not normally consider -- one of my favorite herb blends is Herbes de Provence, which actually has lavender in it. It is the best seasoning for making a delicate soup (as a cream soup it's even more elegant), which can be served hot or cold, out of those little orangey-red lentils, with some fresh, thin-sliced fennel stalk as a garnish. Those little lentils cook fast and they are so tender you don't even have to soak them first. Put the herbs in when they are about 2/3 done so the heat doesn't kill them. Put the soup through a strainer when it cooks down, to get it smooth, add cream and heat to serving temperature. I like to put the fresh fennel slices in at the very end, just to warm through, so it stays crunchy. The first time I made this I almost ate the whole pot myself standing at the counter. smile.gif

Herbes de Provence:
savory, rosemary, cracked fennel, thyme, basil, tarragon, lavender, and marjoram.

Also -- when you get those "three-leaf clovers" in the spring, pick them and strew a few over your spring dandelion salad! I mean wood sorrel, of course, not real clover -- the tiny shamrocks.
http://www.colby-sawyer.edu/images/image_1300.jpg

Use them sparingly, as a garnish, and only in the spring when they are young, or there may be a bit too much oxalic acid in them to be good for you. But there's an amazing tart lemony flavor to them, and the acidity releases the iron from bitters like dandelion for a good spring tonic effect:
Toss:
2 cups of fresh picked dandelion, washed and dried
4 cups raw spinach
1/2 cup sliced black olives (I like Shadows' idea of stuffing the olives with garlic)
thin rings of sliced green onion tops
a good palmful of the sorrel leaves
couple handfuls crumbled feta cheese
olive oil and vinegar

If you had the soup and the salad, and a good crusty bread and butter and mild cheese (Edam would be good), and a crisp white wine, it would be a spring supper. Too bad fall is what's in the air -- but we'll get another spring.
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Shadows 
Posted: 17-Oct-2005, 05:31 PM
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See now we are talking HERBS !


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I support the separation of church and hate!

IMAGINATION - the freest and largest nation in the world!


One can not profess to be of "GOD" and show intolerence and prejudice towards the beliefs of others.

Am fear nach gleidh na h–airm san t–sith, cha bhi iad aige ’n am a’ chogaidh.
He that keeps not his arms in time of peace will have none in time of war.

"We're all in this together , in the parking lot between faith and fear" ... O.C.M.S.

“Beasts feed; man eats; only the man of intellect knows how to eat well.”

"Without food we are nothing, without history we are lost." - SHADOWS


Is iomadh duine laghach a mhill an Creideamh.
Religion has spoiled many a good man.

The clan MacEwen
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ghost 
Posted: 19-Oct-2005, 02:29 PM
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Sounds delicious! I just thought it would be nice to outline the simple basics for those who need a place to start. I can't cook without herbs, I have had the pleasure of growing my own this year. I make my own curries, sauces and rubs too. Although I must admit I've never considered the vanilla bean for meats, more like sauces, puddings, baked goods and compotes.

If you enjoy Herbes de Provence, you may wish to try a blend of Quatres Epices as well, it's a staple in french cuisine.

4 tsps. freshly ground white peppercorns
3 1/2 tsps. freshly grated nutmeg
3 tsps. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsps. freshly ground cloves

This is frequently used in French charcuterie and in slowly cooked meat and poultry dishes.

My recipe for Herbes de Provence for mediterranean dishes.

2 tsps. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried savory
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1/2 tsp. dried lavender

I love lavender, it's the first memory I have as a child.


Epices Fines

Traditionally used to enhance the flavour of pork.

6 bay leaves, crumbled
3 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons white peppercorns
2 tablespoons cloves
2 tablespoons dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon dried basil, crumbled
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon winter savory, crumbled.

Grind finely.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Oct-2005, 10:53 AM
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biggrin.gif That's an herb trick with the sorrel that keeps me eating spinach. I just don't care for the flavor of raw spinach, but it's so good for me that I want to keep eating it. So I mask it with sorrel in season, or fresh cilantro or basil in the salad (both of which I adore).

Your fine spices recipe reminds me of the blend used to season French Canadian pork pies (a holiday favorite from my childhood). It isn't really the same, but my "inner nose" went to the file room and got the memory when I read the list. It does seem related, perhaps because the defining ingredient of the pies is pork. This is every bit as "Canuck" as hockey. smile.gif So delicious, and so aromatic while they are baking. And a great, easy introduction for people who might never think of using sweet "baking" spices together with the more pungent herbs in a meat recipe:

TOURTIÉRE (Pork Pie)

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
3/4 to 1 cup chopped onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped celery
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 cup beef bouillon
1 teaspoon salt
some pepper (don't be shy with the pepper)
1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon each of rubbed sage, nutmeg, ground cloves and cinnamon (we like it spicier) smile.gif
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
enough pastry for a 2 covered 9-inch pies


Brown 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork. (If you are concerned about fat content, start with the leanest meat you can get. It's hard to take the fat off by letting it rise and congeal in the refrigerator, because there is very little liquid to the mixture.)
Add chopped onions, chopped celery, dried parsley, beef bouillon,
salt, pepper, and sage, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs and cook with the cover off until the mixture thickens. The mixture should be moist, with little liquid. Remove as much grease as possible.
Preheat the oven to 450F
When the mixture is cool, make the pies. Pierce vents in top.
Bake the tourtières at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing and serving. These freeze very well "raw" before baking (thaw before putting into oven and bake immediately), if you are making great quantities ahead, and leftovers, when there are any, reheat in the oven very well too. Can also be eaten cold.


Some versions of this call for about a clove of garlic as well. My mother's sister, who was the receiver of the sacred tradition and the designated "tootkay" maker for the whole tribe, would have been horrified to contemplate it. I personally would not want to change one flaky morsel of crust or spicy forkful of filling from her recipe. We liked home made applesauce with it on the side, except for my brother, who was a perverse little beast and used to cover his piece of pie with ketchup. sad.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 21-Oct-2005, 05:15 PM
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ZodiacHolly

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This is my version of Pork Pie:

Recipe Name: TOURTIERE DE QUEBEC (QUEBEC PORK PIE)
Category: ETHNIC
Serves: 6

1 1/4 Pound Ground pork
1/4 ts Dried rosemary
1/2 Each To 3/4 cup cold water
1/4 ts Grated nutmeg
1/2 Cup Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, finely chopped
1/2 ts Ground black pepper
1/4 Cup Old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Each Bay leaf
1/2 ts Dried savoury

This is considered Quebec style, using rolled oats instead of potatoes to
thicken the filling shows a Scottish influence.

Servings: 6

In a large, heavy frying pan, combine pork with cold water and heat to
boiling point. Add onion, celery, pepper, bay leaf, savoury, rosemary,
nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours,
adding more water if mixture dries out. Halfway through cooking time,
season with salt to taste. Stir in rolled oats and cook, stirring, for 1
to 2 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Meanwhile, line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. When meat mixture is
lukewarm, spoon into pie shell and cover with remaining pastry. Trim
pastry, seal edges and cut steam vents in top crust. Decorate with pastry
cutouts as desired. Bake in preheated 425 deg F oven for 15 minutes, then
reduce heat to 375 deg F and bake another 25 minutes or until crust is
golden.

Source: A Taste of Quebec by Julian Armstrong


Notice again the use of sweat herbs and baking spice.
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Shadows 
Posted: 21-Oct-2005, 05:22 PM
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Another way to use fresh or dried herbs is in your pizza dough.

When I make my dough I blend in a tbls of basil, a 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, grated cheese (your choice) and a tsp of oregeno. Then I proceed to make my pizza using the same herbs in the sauce along with garlic , onion and a small pinch of cilantro.
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Shadows 
Posted: 22-Oct-2005, 09:00 AM
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Title: Salted Herbs
Categories: Canadian
Yield: 5 servings

1 c Chopped fresh chives 1 c Grated carrots
1 c Chopped fresh savoury 1 c Chopped celery leaves
1 c Chopped fresh parsley 1 c Chopped green onions
1 c Chopped fresh chervil 1/4 To 1/2 cup coarse salt

These seasonings seem to be added to a lot of traditional French- Canadian
recipes. "Herbs preserved with vegetables and salt make a lively seasoning
for soups-particularly pea soup - sauces, stews and omelettes. A
commercial brand, Les Herbes Salees du bas du fleuve, is marketed by J.Y.
Roy of St. Flavie, Quebec. This recipe comes from the Metis district."

In a large bowl, combine herbs and vegetables. Layer 1 inch of herb
mixture in the bottom of a crock or glass bowl and sprinkle with some of
the salt. Repeat layers until all of the herb mixture and salt is used.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 weeks. Drain off accumulated liquid and pack
herb mixture into sterilized jars. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes
about 5 to 6 cups.

Source: A Taste of Quebec by Julian Armstrong Posted by: Linda Davis
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 18-Apr-2009, 11:56 PM
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Bump up!

This is in season this week -- next week it will be gone.

Did you know you can eat the pale green blossoms off a sugar maple tree in salad? You know, the little flower clusters that come down all over the street when the new leaves push them off. I just found out they are edible -- I love the smell of them -- on a warm day you can just detect a faint maple aroma. They can be strewn over a salad of delicate greens that are not too heavily flavored, so you have a chance to taste the elusive maple flavor.
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Patch 
Posted: 28-Apr-2009, 03:59 PM
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Has anyone heard of "Tansy", a non edible (I think) herb. I remember it from my paternal grandmother. It smells something like Vicks Vapo Rub but milder with other more pleasant odors. I hated the smell of Camphor and this was a bit different.

That goes back 60 years or more.

Slàinte,    

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Shadows 
Posted: 28-Apr-2009, 04:41 PM
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ZodiacHolly

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I grow Tansy in my yard and have for many years, it can be comsumed when used in certain ways, it was a flavoring in some cookies and is used to make the liquor Green Chartruse... it has insect repelent properties, keeps flies and ants at bay!
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Patch 
Posted: 30-Apr-2009, 01:26 PM
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I remember when I was about 5 we had a terrible infestation of "Oat Bugs." They crawled all over you and were everywhere. I remember my grandmother "sewing bunches of the plant to screens on the doors and windows and it was in the house in such a quantity as to leave an odor. If there was commercial insect repellent in those days, they did not waste it on us kids.

How could one use it in cooking?

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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Shadows 
Posted: 01-May-2009, 12:55 PM
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Follow this link to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansy
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Patch 
Posted: 01-May-2009, 04:54 PM
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Thank you, my sister and a niece are really interested in the info and I am from the standpoint of old memories.

Slàinte,    

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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 02-May-2009, 06:30 AM
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This is very interesting; I know my granny used tansy to keep away moths and ants and she knew you could use it to rub it on your joints in case of rheumatism but I never knew it had/has a culinary use also.


--------------------
"Now here's my secret", said the fox, "it is very simple. It is only with ones heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

("The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)


"The soul would have no rainbow, if the eye had no tears."
(Native American Proverb)
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 29-May-2009, 06:59 PM
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You have to be a little careful with tansy -- it is also used medicinally to shake up the sluggish onset of menstruation or to terminate a pregnancy, and too much of it is toxic. I think the juice from the leaves, and maybe some of the floers, which look like little yellow buttons, for color were once used to make tansy cakes around Easter or the spring equinox. But most of the sources I have looked at recommend it as a bug repellant, kind of like pennyroyal, which is similar and was also used to terminate pregnancy.
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