Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Herbs 101 Class Review

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I’m embarrassed to even share this post as it is VERY overdue – our herbs class was at the end of June!  But many of the herbs discussed are still thriving in the garden (and available fresh at your local grocer) so I thought I would go ahead and share some of the class highlights.  For the past few years, Sara Jansen has led our herbs class.  Usually we discuss the basics of herbs – identification, growing, harvesting, preserving – as well as showcase a few herbs.

 

Our focus this year was lemon-scented herbs.  Sara shared an online article that stated it best when it comes to the sweet smell and taste of lemon: “Not every gardener can grow a lemon tree, but everyone can have lemon scent and flavor in their garden by planting some lemon scented herbs.”  To read the full article (great information about the many lemon scented herbs available), please check out: http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsspecificplants1/a/Lemon_Herbs.htm.

 

After a tour of the Arboretum’s herb gardens, participants had the opportunity to taste test a few herb infused treats.  The menu included a lemon balm chicken appetizer, lemon verbena tea and pineapple ice cream with mint syrup topping.

 

Lemon Balm Chicken Appetizer

I cup chicken cooked and diced

½ cup mayo

¼ cup diced celery

pepper

2 tablespoons lemon balm leaves minced

1 clove garlic

Mix all ingredients together.  Spoon on to crackers using whole lemon balm leaves for garnish.

 

Lemon Verbena Tea

2 lemon verbena stems

5 fresh mint leaves

3 tablespoons honey

Make tea as preferred.  After boiling, add verbena stems, mint leaves and honey.  Infuse 10 minutes, strain and serve over ice.

 

Mint Syrup

Mint syrup is very easy to make with water, sugar and plenty of mint.  It could be used as an ice cream topping, adding to drinks or more!

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh mint

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Bring mint (left on stem will provide easier removal once cooled), sugar and water combination to boil.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat; cover and let cool.  Discard mint.

 

Check in tomorrow as we talk more about herbs found in the Arboretum’s herb garden.  Tasty recipes included!

 

See you in the gardens.

 

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Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

August 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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