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 Adell is a grower, user, and teacher of herbs. She has taught herb lore in California, Minnesota, Virginia, and Texas. One of her specialties is making herb jellies and she has won numerous blue ribbons for her tasty concoctions. Adell is a Member-At-Large of the prestigious Herb Society of America.  



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Adell's Herb Tips - Adell Campbell

Updated January 26, 2001

11. Rosemary
This herb of many legends comes from the Mediterranean and is sometimes called the "Rose of the Sea." It has a marvelous fragrance and taste as well as lovely flowers. It is very easy to propagate cuttings.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
2 tbsp salad oil
16 small new potatoes, peeled
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
1 tblsp butter/margarine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine oil and butter/margarine in a 9x13 inch roasting pan. Heat in oven 3 minutes to melt butter. Add potatoes and garlic. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper over potatoes. Shake pan to coat potatoes evenly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally so potatoes will brown on all sides. Serves 4.

10. Thyme
Thyme is one of the best known and widely used of the culinary herbs. There are many varieties of thyme. Among them are French Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Golden Thyme, Caraway Thyme, English Thyme, Mother of Thyme, Coconut Thyme, and Wooly Thyme. Wooly Thyme is not edible but makes a marvelous groundcover. Try the following recipe that incorporates both thyme and Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Turkey Soup Parmentier
1 large onion, minced
3 cups turkey broth
2 tblsp. butter/margarine
1 ½ cups each light cream and milk
2 cups finely diced turkey
1/8 tsp crumbled sage and thyme leaves
3 cups sliced raw potato
1 box frozen carrots/peas
Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
  Cook onion and potato in broth about 20 minutes; add carrots/peas and cook 10 minutes longer. Add butter, liquids, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Add turkey and heat. Serve with sprinkling of paprika, parsley and croutons. Serves 4.

9. Drying Herbs

Drying by Microwave:
Clean the herbs and pat dry between paper towels. Microwave on high 2 to 4 minutes per cup, mixing after every 30 seconds. Remove from oven, cool, and rub between towels to crumble.

Natural Drying:
Cut herbs in bunches, fasten with a twist tie, and hand upside down on a drying rack, in the closet, on the handles of kitchen cabinets, etc. If herbs are hung in a place where dust accumulates, such as a garage, place the heads in a paper bag and then hang by the stems.

8. Harvesting Herbs
Pick leaves in the morning, after the dew has dried, for the best flavor. When harvesting Parsley, cut the center sprig. With Oregano, the opposite is true. Pick the outside sprays. Cut Chives almost to the ground. For Basil, cut the top bushy leaves.

7. Basil
I would like to share a Basil recipe from my book, The Edible Herbal Alphabet. First, a little background information on Basil. Basil is indigenous to India and there are over 50 to 60 species. The more familiar ones include Globe, Holy, Lemon, Opal and Sweet Basil. It is an annual, but it can be container grown. Keep the top sprigs cut and the flowers pinched back and the container plant will be around two years or more. In the garden, basil self seeds.

If tired of making pesto with Basil, try it in biscuits, herb butters, shortbread, jellies, cakes and prune relish.

Prune Relish:
2 cups pitted prunes
cup olive oil
cup wine vinegar
2 TBS chopped parsley
tsp. crushed sweet basil
1 clove minced garlic or tsp. garlic powder
  Place prunes in small bowl with cover. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over prunes. Refrigerate 6 hours before using. Makes 2 cups.

6. Herb Gardening in the Shade

For shade gardeners who would like to grow herbs, try some of the ones listed below. They perform quite well in shade and partial shade.
Mints (with the exception of catnip)
Sweet Cicely

5. Lippia Dulce

Lipppia Ducle is a sweet herb than is ten times sweeter than sugar. It's a great ground cover and looks tremendous in hanging baskets.

4. Bath and Deodorant Powders

This makes a great Mother's Day gift. Gather Talcum Powder (Johnson's Baby Powder is a good choice), Cornstarch, Baking Soda and your favorite essential oil. Combine 4 ounces of the powder with 2 ounces of Cornstarch, 1 ounce of Baking Soda, and three drops of essential oil. Mix well and place in a pretty container.

3. Herbal Sugars

Try this quick recipe for making sugars. Layer brown or white sugar with dried herbs in a container. Close tightly. After several weeks, combine thoroughly in a blender. Add to coffee or tea. Herbs such as Lemon Verbena, Mints, and Marjoram work very well.

2. Use herbs as companion plants for flowers and vegetables!

When planting flower and vegetable beds, include the following herbs among your plants to ensure a healthier garden.

  • Chives when planted among Chrysanthemums, roses, and vegetables repel aphids.
  • Dill when planted with Tomatoes traps Tomato Worms.
  • Garlic when planted with Chrysanthemums, roses, and vegetables repels aphids.
  • Mints when planted among cabbages keep egg-laying moths away and discourage rodents.
  • Onions when planted with Chrysanthemums, roses, and vegetables repel aphids.
  • Parsley helps carrots ward off cabbage flies and roses ward off rose beetles.
  • Sage deters flies and beetles.
  • Santolina repels moths and insects. Plant among lettuce.
  • Turnips when planted with flowers repel aphids and spider mites.

1. Compost your herbs!

When cleaning out your herb beds, make certain to place all herbal debris in your compost pile. Herbs stimulate decomposition and provide minerals. Below is the short list of herbs that have proven beneficial to compost heaps.

  • Chamomile, an herb rich in natural calcium, stops excessive acidification and sweetens the decomposing pile.
  • Comfry accelerates the composting process.
  • Dandelions are a potent mineral source. Only compost dandelion flowers and leaves. Do not compost dandelion roots.
  • Tansy contributes potassium.
  • Valerian stimulates phosphorus activity.
  • Yarrow acts as a catalyst in the composting process.

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