Thursday, November 6, 2008

Using Fresh Herbs for Thanksgiving

Out of clutter, find Simplicity.
From discord, find Harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
~Albert Einstein

HOLIDAY/ENTERTAINING TIP: When garnishing your holiday dishes consider using herbs instead of standard garnishes. Even if you are in a cold climate, herbs and edible flowers are usually available in the produce section of larger grocery stores. These make beautiful garnishes for salads, desserts or entrees. They add scent, texture and color.

SAGE: A HOLIDAY FAVORITE The first time I tasted fresh sage vs. dried sage I was SO impressed. There is simply NO comparison. What's even more amazing is how easy sage is to grow, PLUS it stays green even with a light covering of snow. I'm in Zone 5 and I'm always able to harvest some for Thanksgiving dishes.

Use 6 or 7 fresh leaves in place of one tablespoon of dried sage in any dressing recipe. Mince a couple of fresh leaves into fresh greens beans with some freshly ground pepper for a nice side dish. This is much healthier for you than the mushroom soup recipe. You can also brew a lovely cup of sage tea for an after dinner drink. Add honey to sweeten. Chop or bruise about a quarter cup of fresh sage leaves. Add them to a teapot or a glass/ceramic bowl. Pour over 4-5 cups of boiling water. Strain after about 10 minutes
and sweeten. Serve in mugs. (if you are pregnant or nursing you should skip the sage tea.)

One more note: If you are using dried and it's a year or so old you may want to replace it. The flavor will not really be strong enough to add much to your recipes.

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