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Herbs

(Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book)







Whether food is palatable or not largely depends upon its seasoning.

Good, rich material may be stale and unprofitable because of its lack,

while with it simple, inexpensive foods become delicious and take on the

appearance of luxuries. A garden of herbs with its varying flavors is a

full storehouse for the housekeeper, it gives great variety to a few

materials and without much expense of money, time or space as any little

waste corner of the garden or even a window box, will afford a fine

supply. Besides use as flowers the young sprouts of most of the herbs

are available as greens or salads, and are excellent with any plain

salad dressing; among them might be mentioned mustard, cress, chervil,

parsley, mint, purslane, chives, sorrel, dandelions, nasturtiums,

tarragon and fennel. Many of these herbs are ornamental and make

beautiful garnishes, or are medicinal and add to the home pharmacy.

Though not equally good as the fresh herbs, yet dried ones hold their

flavors and do excellent service. Just before flowering they should be

gathered on a sunshiny day and dried by artificial heat, as less flavor

escapes in quick drying. When dry, powder them and put up in tin cans,

or glass bottles, tightly sealed and properly labeled. Parsley, mint and

tarragon should be dried in June or July, thyme, marjoram and savory in

July and August, basil and sage in August and September.



=Anise.=--Anise leaves are used for garnishing, and the seeds for

seasoning, also are used medicinally.



=Balm.=--Balm leaves and stems are used medicinally and make a beverage

called Balm Wine. A variety of cat-mint called Moldavian balm is used in

Germany for flavoring food.



=Basil.=--Sweet basil an aromatic herb is classed among the sweet herbs.

It is used as seasoning in soups, sauces, salads and in fish dressings.

Basil vinegar takes the place in winter of the fresh herb.



=Basil Vinegar.=--In August or September gather the fresh basil leaves.

Clean them thoroughly, put them in a wide mouthed bottle and cover with

cider vinegar, or wine for fourteen days. If extra strength is wanted

draw off the vinegar after a week or ten days and pour over fresh

leaves; strain after fourteen days and bottle tightly.



=Borage.=--Its pretty blue flowers are used for garnishing salads. The

young leaves and tender tops are pickled in vinegar and are occasionally

boiled for the table. Its leaves are mucilaginous and are said to impart

a coolness to beverages in which they are steeped. Borage, wine, water,

lemon and sugar make an English drink called Cool Tankard.



=Caraway.=--Caraway seeds are used in cakes, breads, meats, pastry and

candies and are very nice on mutton or lamb when roasting. Caraway and

dill are a great addition to bean soup. The root though strong flavored

is sometimes used like parsnips and carrots.



=Catnip or Catmint.=--Its leaves are used medicinally and its young leaves

and shoots are used for seasoning.



=Chives.=--The young leaves of chives are used for seasoning, they are

like the onion but more delicate, and are used to flavor sauces, salads,

dressings and soups. They are chopped very fine when added to

salads--sometimes the salad bowl is only rubbed with them. Chopped very

fine and sprinkled over Dutch cheese they make a very acceptable side

dish or sandwich filling.



=Coriander.=--Coriander seed is used in breads, cakes and candies.



=Dill.=--The leaves are used in pickles, sauces and gravies, and the

seeds, in soups, curries and medicines.



=Fennel.=--The leaves of the common fennel have somewhat the taste of

cucumber, though they are sweet and have a more delicate odor. They are

boiled and served chiefly with mackerel and salmon though sometimes with

other fish, or enter into the compound of their sauces. The young

sprouts from the roots of sweet fennel when blanched are a very

agreeable salad and condiment. The seed is medicinal.



=Henbane.=--Henbane is poisonous and is only used medicinally.



=Hops.=--The young shoots of hops are used as vegetables in the early

spring, prepared in the same way as asparagus and salsify. The leaves

are narcotic and are therefore often made up into pillows.



=Horehound.=--The leaves are used for seasoning and are a popular remedy

for a cough. It is much used in flavoring candies.



=Hyssop.=--The young leaves and shoots are used for flavoring food, but

their principal use is medicinal. A syrup made from it is a popular

remedy for a cold.



=Lavender.=--The leaves are used for seasoning, but the chief use of the

plant is the distillation of perfumery from its flowers which are full

of a sweet odor.



=Marjoram Sweet.=--Sweet marjoram belongs to the sweet herbs, the leaves

and ends of the shoots are used for seasoning, and are also used

medicinally.



=Pennyroyal.=--The leaves are used for seasoning puddings and other

dishes, and also have a medicinal use.



=Pot Marigold.=--Marigold has a bitter taste, but was formerly much used

in seasoning soups and is still in some parts of England. The flowers

are dried and are used medicinally and for coloring butter and cheese.



=Pimpinella, or Salad-Burnet.=--The young tender leaves are used as a

salad; they have a flavor resembling that of cucumbers.



=Rosemary.=--A distillation of the leaves makes a pleasant perfume and is

also used medicinally. It is one of the sweet herbs for seasoning.



=Rue.=--This is one of the bitter herbs yet is sometimes used for

seasoning.



=Saffron.=--The dried pistils are used for flavoring and dyeing. Some

people use it with rice. It is often used in fancy cooking as a coloring

material.



=Sage.=--The leaves both fresh and dried are used for seasoning, meats and

dressings especially.



=Summer Savory.=--Summer savory is used for flavoring, and especially for

flavoring beans.



=Tarragon or Esdragon.=--Esdragon with its fine aromatic flavor is a

valuable adjunct to salads and sauces.



=Tarragon or Esdragon Vinegar.=--Strip the leaves from the fresh cut

stalks of tarragon. Put a cupful of them in a wide mouthed bottle and

cover with a quart of cider or wine vinegar, after fourteen days,

strain, bottle and cork tightly.



=Tagetis Lucida.=--Its leaves have almost the exact flavor of tarragon and

can be used as its substitute.



=Thyme.=--Thyme is one of the sweet herbs and its leaves are favorites for

seasoning in cooking.



=Winter Savory.=--The leaves and young shoots, like summer savory are used

for flavoring foods.



=Wormwood.=--Wormwood is used medicinally as its name implies.

Other Recipes


OMELET WITH FINE HERBS

Beat six eggs until thoroughly mixed. Add a half cupful of cream, a
tablespoonful of finely chopped parsley, a saltspoonful of pepper and
a half teaspoonful of salt. Finish the same as a plain omelet. Serve
on a heated platter and put over a little thin Spanish sauce.

Other Recipes


To Dry Herbs

_Herbs_ too she knew, and well of each could speak

That in her garden sipp'd the silvery dew,

Where no vain flower disclosed a gaudy streak,

But herbs, for use and physic, not a few

Of gray renown, within those borders grew,--

The _tufted basil_, _pun-provoking thyme_,

Fresh _balm_, and _marigold_ of cheerful hue,

The _lowly gill_, that never dares to climb,

And more I fain would sing, disdaining here to rhyme.

SHENSTONE.





It is very important to know when the various seasons commence for

picking sweet and savory herbs for drying. Care should be taken that

they are gathered on a dry day, by which means they will have a better

color when dried. Cleanse them well from dirt and dust, cut off the

roots, separate the bunches into smaller ones, and dry them by the heat

of the stove, or in a Dutch oven before a common fire, in such

quantities at a time, that the process may be speedily finished, _i. e._

"Kill 'em quick," says a great botanist; by this means their flavor will

be best preserved. There can be no doubt of the propriety of drying,

&c., hastily by the aid of artificial heat, rather than by the heat of

the sun. In the application of artificial heat, the only caution

requisite is to avoid burning; and of this a sufficient test is afforded

by the preservation of the color. The best method to preserve the flavor

of aromatic plants is to pick off the leaves as soon as they are dried,

and to pound them, and put them through a hair sieve, and keep them in

well-stopped bottles labelled.

Other Recipes


Frittata Con Erbe Omelette With Herbs

Ingredients: Eggs, onions, sorrel, mint, parsley, asparagus, marjoram,

salt, pepper, butter.



Chop a little sorrel, a small bit of onion, mint, parsley, marjoram,

and fry in two ounces of butter, add some cut-up asparagus, salt, and

pepper. Then add three eggs beaten up and a little grated cheese, and

make your omelette.

Other Recipes


To Preserve Herbs

All kinds of herbs should be gathered on a dry day, just before, or

while in blossom. Tie them in bundles, and suspend them in a dry, airy

place, with the blossoms downwards. When perfectly dry, wrap the

medicinal ones in paper and keep them from the air. Pick off the leaves

of those which are to be used in cooking, pound and sift them fine, and

keep the powder in bottles, corked up tight.

Other Recipes


Dried Herbs

When you buy a bunch of dried herbs rub the leaves through

a sieve, and bottle them tightly until you need them; tie the stalks

together and save them until you want to make what the French call a

bouquet, for a soup or stew. A bouquet of herbs is made by tying

together a few sprigs of parsley, thyme and two bay-leaves. The

bay-leaves, which have the flavor of laurel, can be bought at any German

grocery, or drug-store, enough to last for a long time for five cents.

Other Recipes


Loin Of Veal To Roast With Herbs

Lard the fillet of a loin of veal; put it into an earthen pan; steep it

three hours with parsley, scallions, a little fennel, mushrooms, a

laurel-leaf, thyme, basil, and two shalots, the whole shred very fine,

salt, whole pepper, a little grated nutmeg, and a little sweet oil. When

it has taken the flavour of the herbs, put it upon the spit, with all

its seasoning, wrapt in two sheets of white paper well buttered; tie it

carefully so as to prevent the herbs falling out, and roast it at a very

slow fire. When it is done take off the paper, and with a knife pick off

all the bits of herbs that stick to the meat and paper, and put them

into a stewpan, with a little gravy, two spoonfuls of verjuice, salt,

whole pepper, and a bit of butter, about as big as a walnut, rolled in

flour. Before you thicken the sauce, melt a little butter; mix it with

the yolk of an egg, and rub the outside of the veal, which should then

be covered with grated bread, and browned with a salamander. Serve it up

with a good sauce under, but not poured over so as to disturb the meat.









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