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January 8, 2013

Smell the Herbs

I recall as a young apprentice at my great aunt’s apron strings that for every pot that went on the stove, there was an herb somewhere in the garden to match. Some herbs were better to cook while others were better added to the finished dish. Rosemary, bay leaves, thyme were mostly used for long cooking–where their oils would be extracted slowly–while sage, oregano, marjoram needed very little cooking. Time, basil, parsley and mint are great tossed raw; it’s enough just to take in their aroma.

When I cook I love to crush herbs in my hands and then inhale their perfumes. It invigorates me, it refreshes me, and I get a good sense of what I am adding to the pot.

A fragrant rosemary bush

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