Friday, August 15, 2014

End of Summer Activity: Grow Herbs for Thanksgiving Cooking (In August?)

These redwood containers of herbs are now in our area home improvement store, but herb pots are frequently available in grocery stores for the holiday cooking season. In a covered or indoor climate for the winter, these herbs will continue to grow.

Kids love Thanksgiving--and what fun to grow some lovely herbs to include in the special traditional dishes like stuffing/dressing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and Turkey Soup.

Garden of delights comes inside.
There still might be some herbs for sale at your home improvement stores, but here you can also buy them in grocery stores.  If the weather turns too cold soon, you can bring them in to a sunny window. No sunny window? Get a grow light.

I've moved parts of my herb garden indoors for the winter. I am blessed with a large, sunny, southern-exposed window in the family room near the kitchen, so I am developing an indoor garden area.  It is very cheerful and convenient to snip what's needed for a special, fresh addition to a recipe.

Garlic--keeping the vampires away.
You can easily grow your own garlic. Buy heads of garlic at the grocery store, take the cloves apart. I plant them a couple inches apart, about 1/2 inch deep in my flower containers outside. The scent and taste is entirely vibrant when they are fresh; and when you need a clove of garlic, there's a good reason to go outside in the sunshine and get some vitamin D!  

Well-established garlic.
I'm repurposing the planting container that held a flat of petunias, and just putting a clove each into planting soil. The garlic is straight from the grocery store. The green shoot will peek up in about ten days, I keep the plants in some sun, and moist, but well drained. If you let them grow for about a month, they are a good size and have a vibrant smell and taste. 

 Please meet my Christmas tree from about thirteen years ago-- a rosemary bush! Clearly I have not maintained the cute faux evergreen shape. But Miss Rosemary has grown large, thick, and robust, as rosemary plants do in even the harshest of climates (of which is mine, being the high Mojave Desert.)
Rosemary has a strong, pleasant scent, and is used in many dishes. 

Sage is the best herb for stuffing and dressing. Easy to grow. This is my plant just bought for the upcoming holiday season. Really anticipating great holiday aromas!


Parsley is a great addition for mashed potatoes, and soup, as a garnish (don't forget to make Turkey Soup during Thanksgiving week.)

Of course, cooking with your own herbs is precious all year--but there is something extra special about the growing and harvesting of herbs in the fall, and filling an autumnal chilly house with the homey scent of Thanksgiving dinner--and because they are the herbs your kids grew, the fragrance amplifies the experience and makes an even more lovely memory.

 Here are a few of my favorite recipes (nothing wrong with planning ahead.)

Thanksgiving Sides Show (delicious all year) 

Stuffing Or Dressing? 

Preparing Your Soup Stock for Turkey Soup 






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