Lemon Balm Tea

You can make herb tea from fresh herbs and edible flowers growing in your garden, you don’t have to dry them. Today I gathered some lemon balm, spearmint leaves and calendula flowers and stuffed them into my French press, poured boiling water over the lot and let it steep for about 10 minutes. The fragrant tea was so luscious that I decided to drink it hot with some leftover banana oatmeal muffins and gooseberry jam. You could also chill and serve later for ice tea. Right... Read More

Flowering Basils

As a rule, I always keep my sweet Genovese basil from flowering. Any summer day, you’ll find me strolling through the kitchen garden pinching and clipping to keep the plants squat and full. You might say, obsessively pinching and cultivating the precious pesto basils so I can use them well into the late summer before they stretch out, get lanky and finally flower in spite of my best intentions. There are other culinary basils that I let flower, in fact, I grow them... Read More

Cornbread Stuffing with Jalapeños and Garden Sage

In my Ohio garden sage and thyme stay evergreen through most of the late fall and early winter. Berggarten is my favorite culinary sage because of how it looks in the garden all year and because of how it tastes. Fill your kitchen with the aroma of sage for the holidays.  This cornbread stuffing with sage, thyme, jalapenos, corn, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley is for the vegetarians at Thanksgiving or feel free to stuff it into your favorite turkey before roasting. Here is... Read More

Lime Cheesecake with Chartreuse and Blueberries

Lately I have been crazy for Chartreuse– and I don’t mean the color, nor the mountain range. We have been concocting ways to use the elixir in everything from grilled vegetables to desserts. We’ve also been drinking it… in the recommended fashion with lime juice, soda water and a little sugar muddled with mint over ice in good company. The striking color of the liqueur comes from chlorophyll in the 130 herbs used to make the drink. Imagine the Carthusian... Read More

What’s Growing in the Winter Garden; Thankfully.

Thanksgiving day in the middle of winter. In Ohio. What could I possibly glean from the cold kitchen garden? Surprisingly, a few things…. the first to harvest will be the sage. Perfect for the stuffing. Perfect for the turkey. Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’ does well in my garden. The gray leaves stay evergreen, well ever gray-green all winter. The last few years I have enjoyed harvesting this culinary sage on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Under my glass cloches... Read More