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Old 03-07-2007, 11:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by redrabbit
I've read a lot of recipes where the ingredients call for: "Fresh basil" or "Leaves of some other herb".

How many actually use these fresh leaves, or have the plants in their kitchen?

Do you all just use dry stuff?
RR, I prefer fresh herbs any day of the week, over dried, but that also depends on the recipe and availability. I don't grow anything, but fortunate enough to have fresh everything almost all year round at the market. If you're using dried, be sure to store in a cool dark place & replace about every six months. As far as freezing herbs in ice cube trays, or otherwise, I don't. Fresh is best & very inexpensive.

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Old 03-07-2007, 12:23 PM   #12
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fresh makes a difference in many recipes, especially those with fresh ingredients and little cooking time. slow cooked stews etc, do very well with dried herbs.

ex: an omlet with fresh chives is bright and vibrant in color and flavor. Use dried chives and you have green specks in your eggs!

THat said: make sure your dired herbs are "fresh" ... buy small bottles and date them. Toss after a yr or 18 months. "Dust" does not improve the flavor of anything. Also consider giving yuor dried herbs a once over inthen motar and pestle to release the flavors before adding to your foods.

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Old 03-07-2007, 12:47 PM   #13
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I grow them in the garden & in pots on the deck in the summer; buy them fresh in the winter. Pretty much only use dried for certain recipes or in a pinch.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ttbeachbum
During the growing season I have 2 types of basil, 2 types of parsley, oregano, cilantro, lemon thyme (that keeps trying to take over); rosemary and fennel outside my kitchen as staples. During the 'lean' months I resort to buying in the store fresh basil, parsley or cilantro. I clean and air dry oregano and rosemary during the winter months.

Me too. I grow all my own in the summer and buy it fresh in the winter if the recipe necessitates it.

I often use dry herbs, many of them I've dried myself.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:22 PM   #15
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99.99% of the time I use only 3 herbs:dill, parsley, cilantro. And if recipe calls for fresh, that is what I use. Of course in soup you could add some dry stuff, but if you are making pesto, then it must be fresh basil.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:52 PM   #16
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I grow basil, rosemary, majoram, peppers. I quit the tomatos because I think they are to much work.

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Old 03-07-2007, 08:17 PM   #17
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99% of the time I use fresh. I don't have plants in the kitchen but buy what I need from the grocer when I shop.

The flavour is ever so much better when you use fresh herbs. Try it, you'll see the difference.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:30 PM   #18
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I love fresh herbs, but like other have limited space. I always grow a LOT of flat and curly leaf parsley, then wash, de-stem, and freeze on cookie sheets, then place in freezer bags for the winter months. I can gaze and revel at a garden/ nursery for hours, rubbing the leaves between my fingers and breathing in the essence of how fresh the herb is. Like smelling the depths of a fine wine. Rosemary is my all-time favorite. I buy it only to sit by and smell, although I do not care for the flavor. It is wonderful infused in grapeseed oil in a warm window, and used for problem skin or during the winter months for colds. Our second favorite, is mint, plucked right off the plant and chewed. My daughter's favorite is the chocolate mint, and the summer becomes very disappointing if we cannot find it!!!
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:05 PM   #19
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For all of you who grow your own herbs and veggies, consider companion plant Sweet Alyssum with your crops.

Not only does Alyssum smell great it also attract Syrphid Flies (AKA: Hover Flies). Syrphid Flies are great pollinators and are also a natural predator of aphids. A heads up that Syrphid Flies resemble small wasps but they are absolutely harmless, unless of course you’re an aphid.

I have been using Alyssum companioned in containers with tomatoes and basil (basil is said to intensify the flavour of tomatoes) for the last number of years and have seen an increase in my crop yields and definite reduction in aphid populations.

Great to use close to roses as well. I have to mention one last time Alyssum smells great…in the heat of the summer the scent is amazing and I always get compliments from my visitors.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:23 PM   #20
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I love sweet alyssum, too, and it's beautiful since it's a low growing border plant placed in front of brightly colored plants. In Houston, however, it's considered an early spring/spring plant. It can't take our hot summers. Glad to know that it can help the productivity and flavor of some veggies.

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