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Cookbook Review:
Southern Herb Growing
Southern Herb Growing
Fantastic treasury of information on growing herbs in the South, along with over 100 exciting recipes.

Original book review

Easily Add Zest With Herbs

by R. Stephen Thompkins

I love my herb garden! Basil, mint, rosemary, and dill thrive using tiny amounts of soil and water. My parsley bush is now over three feet high! Anyone can use fresh or dried herbs to make any dish eye pleasing and flavorful.

They are a rich and varied source of nutrients, and they also have additional medicial applications. For example, Digitalis before it was synthesized, was extracted from foxglove. Today, the use of herb tinctures, infusions, or the fresh or dried herb itself are still used in homiopathic medicine, a variety of folk and traditional healing systems, and not infrequently in combination with mainstream western medicine.

Related in the ancient world with their medical uses, the use of herbs for spells, charms, and magical potions played an important role in the daily lives of men and women of all walks of life. This use of herbs has persisted through the ages in literature, drama and folk songs. Who is not familiar with the fab four of the herbal world made famous by Scarborough Fair, or who, today, does not know how to keep vampires at bay? Many herbals of the past had the ever important love potion side by side with poltices for toothaches and recipes to ward off evil spirits next to physics (laxatives.)

The cullenary uses of herbs are vast. Those wishing to retain flavor while reducing their intake of salt find herbs indispensible in their cooking. Everyone benefits nutritionally when herbs are part of a recipe. For example, parsley is the third most nutritious vegetable rich in vitamin A and chloraphyl which contributes to healthy red blood cells.All fresh herbs are a healthy addition to main courses, soups, salads, and side dishes. On the whole, you'll want to skip the use of herbs in desserts although mint appears in many confections.Even beverages such as teas and offerings from the bar have their herbal ingredients.

If you have priced fresh herbs in the grocery store, you may be dismayed to find them quite high compared to their dried counterparts, and even the dried herbs can be pricy. This is a non-problem, folks. Grow your own! You receive more return for your efforts than with any other food plants. This is especially true for those with tiny square footage to cultivate. No square footage? You are mistaken. Herbs thrive in pots in the kitchen window where they are ready to hand for your favorite recipes. Such herbs are truly fresh and provide the maximum nutrition and flavor.

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Enjoy the many recipes from Grandma's Cookbook which include carefully selected blends of herbs and their first cousins, spices. Don't let that carefully selected phrase intimidate you. Experiment, substitue, and go wild with your herbs to suit your taste. You will have a feast and have fun.

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