Posts made in November, 2011


Posted on Nov 30, 2011 in Plant This | Comments Off on Thyme

Many varieties of thyme have been bred to work as groundcovers rather than as culinary herbs, so look for Thymus vularis, also sold as common thyme, if you’re after flavor.  The citrusy T. citriodorus ‘Aureus’ is another good choice.  Both are hardy to about -15F.  They prefer sun but will tolerate light shade, and don’t require much water or rich soil.  The tiny leaves of thyme can be stripped off the stem, but in a cocktail, you’re better off just throwing the whole sprig in the shaker. Add thyme to any cocktail that calls for grapefruit–they’re perfect...

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Posted on Nov 30, 2011 in Plant This | Comments Off on Rosemary

 If you live in our mild West Coast climate, rosemary is practically a weed.  Just buy a plant and stick it in the ground and you’ll have it forever.  In fact, it takes temperatures below about -20F to kill it.  Look for the upright form of rosemary, not the trailing groundcover variety.  The favorites among chefs are ‘Barbeque‘ or  ‘Tuscan Blue’, with wide, aromatic leaves, ‘Roman Beauty’, a compact variety bred to have higher essential oil content (also sold as ‘Chef’s Choice’), and ‘Arp’, which is the most cold-hardy of the bunch.  If you’re really...

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Posted on Nov 30, 2011 in Plant This | Comments Off on Sage

Sage  The sage to grow is Salvia officinalis, often sold as common sage, garden sage, or culinary sage.  You’ll see burgundy, gold, and variegated varieties sold in garden center, but if you’re serious about growing this plant for its flavor, stick with the ordinary silvery-blue variety. I like a cultivar called ‘Grower’s Friend’ because it rarely blooms. The level of essential oil drops after blooming—this is true of many herbs—so pinching back flower buds becomes a chore if you want more leaves for cooking and cocktailing. Plant sage in full sun or afternoon shade, and...

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