My love of vegetables developed very early on. My mom’s parents, Nana and Boppy, had an incredible garden. As far back as I can remember we, the grandchildren, helped out in the garden. I had no idea at the time that learning how to tell if a carrot was ready to be pulled, or feeling the thrill that comes from turning over a pitch fork and finding little potato treasures, or the sheer goodness of the biggest most beautiful blueberries bursting in your mouth….would lead to a lifetime of food true love.
What I also recall is that as children we loved vegetables, more so than any of our friends. What I didn’t pick up on was that butter wasn’t a side dish in all homes, like it was in ours. We gobbled up carrots, peas, beans, asparagus, potatoes, cabbage, even turnips…. all smothered in buttery goodness. It’s taken nearly 40 years to learn how to replace some (not all) of the butter with my new best friends….. fresh herbs.
Let me introduce you to our favorite Lemon Thyme, the species also known as Thymus x citriodorus, however fondly referred to in our kitchen as “Lemony Thyme.” This amazing herb gives life to everything it touches. Rub your fingers through its tiny leaves and you’ll know why. We include it in everything from Salads to Soups to Seafood to Bath Salts (we’ll save that one for another thyme).
My cooking rose to a new level when I started incorporating fresh herbs. I began to understand the term ‘layers of flavors’ and found myself deconstructing dishes with my tongue to identify each ingredient. I was blessed with fresh herb porch-gardens one spring that changed our cooking lives.
Please know that I have no formal cooking training. My recipes have not been scrutinized in a test kitchen and volumes may vary slightly from the recipe listed, according to taste. However, I am a self-proclaimed eating expert (or at least above average eater). I’m not afraid to tackle most any recipe and encourage my friends to do the same (though I may never debone a duck). Looking for recipe ideas we’ve got them…looking for exact we’re not it.
I must admit that most of our recipes are inspired by photographs. Either from our treasured collection of cookbooks, various cooking magazines (I may have a slight addiction) or Google Image searches for ingredients in our fridge/pantry. We see it, if it looks good, we research how to make it and pull together the best of many recipes or personal taste bud experiences. Because we eat with our eyes first, as our cooking has evolved so has our presentation. After all, looking good is right up there with tasting good.
Here are my favorite posts sharing my love of fresh herbs and how to enjoy them all year round.