Harvesting Dill

Dill is one of my favorite herbs to grow. It has wonderful flavor and is a beautiful gift to the bees!  Yesterday, we spent much time harvesting the 4-5 foot dill plants from the herb garden. I love that I smell like a walking dill pickle!!

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I apologized to the bees for taking their food away, but I waited as long as possible.  They understood and headed right over the borage patch!

The Magical World of Dill

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The dill flower head… Once the flower head is dried, seeds can be stored for next year’s planting. Seeds and leaves also add a nice flavor to many fish, seafood and egg dishes.
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Dill leaves
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I store the dill heads in a large brown paper bag, in a cool dry place. Once completely dry, I gentle shake the bags and the seeds fall to the bottom of the bag.  The heads can be composted and the seeds saved for future cooking and planting.
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Murphy was a great helper!
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Dill leaves are rinsed and left out to dry.  Once completely dry, they are also stored in brown paper bags, in a cool dry place.
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Dill is widely known for use in making homemade dill pickles, yet it has so many more gifts!  It is a wonderful digestive aid and can be used as a colic remedy in infants.  Dill leaves also make wonderful veggie dips. Enjoy this whimsical herb!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

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Basil Pesto

Basil (ocimum basilicum) is one of my all time favorite herbs.  A native to India, basil first arrived to Europe in the 16th century.  Today, it is among the most popular and widely grown culinary herbs. Basil is also known for its many health benefits, such as combating colds/flu and serving as an anti-stress agent.  To top it off, basil is also known to boost memory function!  Oh…I forgot to mention, basil’s flavor is outstanding!

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Freshly cut basil and nasturtium flowers

Basil is a foundation plant in our herb garden.  It is an extremely easy annual to grow.  In fact, for those of you wishing you had room for a garden, you don’t need one for basil.  I grow a few basil plants our kitchen windowsill, all winter long…in Michigan! Each time the leaves are pinched off for use, new ones emerge. This plant will last you for months with a little water, sunshine and love! Find a small pot, some seed starting soil and a few basil seeds and you are ready to go!

One of my favorite uses for basil is creating pesto!  Enjoy this traditional pesto recipe:

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Traditional Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 3 C freshly packed basil
  • 1/3 C pine nuts
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 C parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Food process the basil leaves
  • Add the pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and parmesan
  • Process all of the ingredients together
  • The pesto should be smooth and creamy
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spoon pesto into small, glass containers.
  • Pesto will last for 5-7 days in the refrigerator
  • Note: If you choose to make numerous batches for freezing, add a thin layer of olive oil to the top of each jar before sealing.  This helps retain moisture during the freezing process. Also, make sure you leave 1/4 inch of headroom for expansion.
  • img_1418I enjoy using pesto with angel hair pasta, baked chicken breast and as a grilled pizza sauce.  Enjoy!

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Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

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