Thursday, March 8, 2007

Rosemary

Image:Rosemary bush.jpg

I walked out my front door this morning to find bright sunshine glistening on thriving rosemary bushes. Delicate blue flowers have bloomed all over the plants, a visual sign of Spring's arrival. Rosemary is usually associated with the coastal areas of the Mediterranean. Its Latin name means dew of the sea. It is also resistant to drought so it can be found all over San Antonio in our landscaping, growing hardily with its stems reaching upward towards the light.

Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance. We use it to flavor lamb served on Easter, pin it on our war veterans during memorials and add to arrangements at funerals. Rosemary also symbolizes fidelity. It was believed that if you touched your beloved with a sprig, they would remain true. Rosemary oils and extracts are thought to have medicinal properties, enhancing our memory.

This intensely aromatic and flavorful herb is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. I love to chop it finely with some thyme and make a paste with dijon mustard, mustard seeds and minced garlic. I spread it on lamb chops or pork tenderloins, which I roast on high heat. Michael Chiarello has plucked the leaves and used the stems as skewers for kabobs. It is reported to be thrown in to flavor smoking meats. I want try the same on the grill but wonder if it will catch fire.

I have learned not to use rosemary as greenery in vases with flowers. The oils killed my white roses! When Teresa Allen was visiting last weekend, she snipped a few springs and scented the guest bath with them.

My abundant bushes are inspiring me to do more than admire them. I am waiting for my creative juices to flow, giving me a direction in my cooking and my decor. For good measure, I'll give Doug a tap or two with some as well.

'Where Rosemary flourished, the woman ruled.' - Botanical.com

1 comment:

Doug said...

I am, and remain, under your spell.
Love
Doug