Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What did I DO all Winter?

It's no secret that Winter in my gardens can simply last forever. 
I needed a project to keep me busy~busy~busy.   
There's only so much garden planning one can do before you enter the stark raving mad   
CrAzy ZoNe.

So what did I do all Winter?


I built another blog, of course!
My daughters and I are the resident authors and WE are having a BLAST.

Here's the latest post from  Our Sweet Lemons...
or you can just follow the link to see the site. Be sure to visit the About Us tab to get the inside scoop on my daughters... and me!

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In the south of France is a beautiful region bordering Italy and encompassing the French Riviera. This area, Provence, is well known for the fragrant herbs and flowers that are grown there.  I've had the pleasure of visiting this area and instantly fell in love with the rolling hills of sweet fragrance.
Herbes de Provence is a blend of common herbs  from the Provence region of France. 

These traditional herbs were first combined in the 1970's, and like curries, there is no set formula for blending Herbes de Provence. Traditional Herbes de Provence begins with rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, and then other available herbs are added to taste such as: basil, marjoram, bay, chervil, sage, savory, fennel, oregano, dill, tarragon, and lavender. Lavender flowers are common in the blends of Herbes de Provence that you find in the U.S.. They were added to appease the tourists who identify Provence with the many fields of lavender there.
Our family loves the flavors that Herbes de Provence brings to a dish. Though it is traditionally used as a rub to season meats, vegetables and fish, I use it generously in rice pilafs, soups, sauces and pastas... anywhere you want the taste of Mediterranean.

Herbes de Provence can be rather pricey.  
My local grocer sells it for $4.59 for a  .6 oz jar.
 Yeah, expensive... that would be $62 for 8 ounces.

I've found a great local source, which is also available for your online purchases:  Alison's Pantry.  Their blend includes a mixture of Marjoram, Savory, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Fennel, Sage and Lavender. I love the flavor that the Lavender adds to this blend.  I paid $4.69 for an 8 ounce package that I store in my own airtight containers. (These containers can also be purchased at Allison's Pantry.)

For that price, I can afford to use this delicious blend generously... and I do!
Every experienced cook has a different recipe for Herbes de Provence. You will find several on the web.  You may want to make your own blend. Experiment with the proportions and find the flavor blend that suits your palate best. Here's a recipe I found that you may wish to start with:  

Recipe for Herbes de Provence
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse

2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried fennel seed

Directions:
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.

Up next at Our Sweet Lemons... Provence Lemon Baked Cod... 
                  using Herbes de Provence of course! 





6 comments:

  1. I love it and can't wait to explore...how wonderful to share this new blog with your special daughters

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  2. Gosh what a beautiful blog you have created - I love the drop down menus, and the colours are fantastic! I also started a recipe blog, just to keep my recipes all in one place, and it makes it easy to share, but mine doesnt look as pretty as yours! I already want to try the cheesecake - it looks delicious. Definitely going to follow along

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  3. Blog creation can be addictive!

    Esther

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  4. I find it hard to manage one blog so you have my admiration for creating a second one. I will have to visit and check it out.

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  5. Dear Carolyn, You had a very productive winter! I am impressed! P. x

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  6. Carolyn, another blog, and what a blog it is! Amazing. What fun to share with your daughters, too.

    I don't know how you do it, though, I can barely keep up with my scribblings. You are such an inspiration!

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