ThistleDew Farm

ThistleDew Farm
Established 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2009 Herb of the Year - Bay

Browsing around this morning made me wonder what the 2009 Herb of the Year is. I am a lover of herbs because they taste good but also because they like to grow for me. They are so forgiving, which is a good trait for anyone or thing that hangs around me. It happens on occasion that I get distracted and forget about you. I almost always remember to come back for you, but if you're fragile it might be to late.

This year the Herb of the Year , as established by the International Herbal Association, is Bay or Laurus nobilis if you are Latin or prefer to address your plants by their formal name. I, am on a first name basis with my plants. Sometimes even on a nickname basis.

I have a bay tree in a pot. I have had it for about 5 years and it loved me....hopefully it still does as I did not treat it well this year. I usually bring it in but this year I didn't have room. As luck would have it we had the coldest year in a long time. It was in a protected spot so we'll see how it does.

I highly recommend a potted bay tree. I pluck leaves from it whenever I make a stew or soup. It looks very professional and impresses people when I do this. The tree is easy to keep - it likes moisture during the dry winter months but that is all the special care it needs. Water and a misting when you remember.

On my recipe for the day I used Chocolate Pudding with Bay. This sounds great to me especially since it is a cold damp pre-spring day. Great for one last warm and cuddly treat before spring gets here and we have to go to fruit dishes. Nothing wrong with fruit (especially if it's dipped in chocolate) - but a warm cup of chocolate pudding makes me want to get a book and a blanket.

In Jane Austen type books they often refer to having a cup of warm chocolate for breakfast - I wonder if it is similar to this pudding served warm. I am reading the books by Elizabeth Ashton, she is continuing the Darcy story. They are light, fun reading and especially delightful if you are a Jane Austen fan - and a whole lot easier to read!

I am going to go read up on Bay and update my shopping list to include Chocolate Pudding with Bay ingredients.


Grand Pooba said...

I've never heard of Ashton but I do read Austen books, I will have to check her out!

I think I have a black thumb, not sure I could keep a Bay tree alive!

Mildred said...

I'm always impressed when folks cook with fresh herbs. I might just give bay a try!

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

I really needed to live by you last weekend. I made this huge stew and couldn't find a bay leaf for the the life of me! I'm going to have to get on of those wonderful trees!

I just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and wondered about the books by Ashton-I think I will give one a try! I'm thrilled you posted about this!

Take Care!

Yarn Princess said...

Herb of the Year??? See what you learn from reading blogs??? I never knew that.

Lynda said...

I've never tried to grow Bay before, but after reading this post I might just give it a try - a potted bay tree that you can just pick fresh leaves off whenever you like - sounds wonderful, I wonder how it would grow in our African climate ?

Amy said...

I wish I could grow herbs. I can't seem to grow mint! Maybe my thumbs fell off!

Susie said...

This is one herb I haven't grown. My mother-in-law has a very big one.

I do grow herbs tho. Basil and oregano are two of my favorites.

Julia said...

I am a total Jane Austen freak. I think I have read all her books like 4-5 times each. And I have the Ashton books too. They are much more wild but modern and that LADY CAN WRITE HER A** OFF! Seriously.

Herbs rule too! Got me 3 kinds of sage, rosemary, thyme in my garden. I've been using the coffee grinder to chop them in to fine pieces for cooking. Works great!

Queen of Dreamsz said...

That's a great idea to pot the bay tree...And I so agree..herbs do well for me when other things lay down and die..LOL Could be that forgetfulness kicking in.

I love fresh basil and it's so easy to grow..I'll snip off a handful of stems of it and put in fresh water and it'll usually last for several days while awaiting the perfect recipe. I make a chicken and rice dish that has a gumbo mix as a base...the addition of a fresh cayenne pepper with the seeds removed and some fresh basil makes it just perfect.

And yes, those pretty padded hangers need to be in your new closet. :0)

I keep meaning to ask..don't know if I read it or just think you are in middle or east Tennessee?? It may be my imagination..LOL Our cabin that I'm moving into next month is outside of Gatlinburg.

Queen of Dreamsz

Ginger said...

I never cook with bay, but I would be more likely if I had the plant. So you use them fresh just like you would dry?

I am fascinated by the chocolate pudding with bay flavor combination!