Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

borage flowersAh, true sunny delight: the borage is in bloom.  Such pretty periwinkle blue flowers, all set to adorn a glass of Pimm’s® for whiling away an English summer afternoon.

Wood on willow, polite applause, chin-chin…you get the scene.  But there’s something wrong with this picture, surely?  Firstly it’s most likely raining and secondly, is not Pimm’s impossibly bland when made properly?  And possibly improper when not?  For truly it’s a merry devil of a drink, slipping down far too easily and bringing upright folk, even the odd marquee, down in its wake as stilettoes catch in turf and guy ropes do service as guard rails…

Try this recipe for the classic Pimm’s® Cup cocktail…
Over ice, pour:

  • 1 part Pimm’s® No.1
  • 2 to 3 parts clear, fizzy lemonade (eg Sprite®)
  • Infuse with borage flowers, fresh mint and slices of lemon, orange and apple.

..and you too can turn your garden party into The Wasteland.

But there’s more to borage than that; why not use the stems and leaves too?  With a delicate cucumber-like flavour they cook to a texture similar to that of chard leaves or beet greens, with which they are often prepared around the Mediterranean as a pasta stuffing or filling for pies and omelettes.  The flowers also make a delightful addition to salads and only the churlish could despise them as a garnish on any summery dish.

I’ll follow with a couple of tasty recipes once I have some pix to go with

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Yesterday I happened upon a little pot of tarragon at the local flower stall.  I’m a big fan of tarragon’s manifold culinary applications and at a mere £1 it was irresistible, but while scrabbling in my wallet I thought I glimpsed another one, so with my £2 coin I bought the pair.

So, you’re thinking they look completely different, eh? Well they did to me too after I came home and actually read the labels. No problem finding uses for tarragon, but what on earth am I going to do with hyssop? And can you tell which is which?
A quick google turns up little of use.  Yet another dubious, labour-intensive remedy for sore throat, bronchitis and so on and so on.  One of the 130 mystery ingredients of Chartreuse (only another 129 to discover then). Nothing worth doing in the culinary sense, which a tentative nibble confirms. And I have to share this quote:

Its camphor-like smell reminds you of the sick room.

Well, yum yum yum. The same website suggests it as a substitute for mint or rosemary but I’ll stick with the originals, thanks.

Here’s what I learnt:

  • impulse herb buys are not necessarily a good idea
  • always read the label
  • tarragon and hyssop are indistinguisable if you’re in a hurry
  • tarragon and hyssop taste very different indeed
  • the lady at the flower stall made an extra £1 yesterday
  • buy more tarragon

Am I missing something?

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