Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More information: "Field Trip to The Herb Cottage, Hallettsville"


 
Hello everyone!

Even though Linda can't make the trip The Herb Cottage, I hope others of you will get a carpool or two together and come on up here! The wildflowers are out and it will be a pretty drive. Things here at The Herb Cottage are looking great, too.

As Linda mentioned, I have lots of plants to look at and purchase, if you like. For you succulent lovers, there are lots to see!

I'd would be good if someone could let me know if anyone is coming. All the email addresses are in the top of this and Linda's email, if you need to get in touch with anyone to make arrangements. Or just Reply All and your message will go out to the group.

I hope I'll be welcoming a great group of my fellow Herbies next week!


Cindy Meredith
The Herb Cottage
 

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Field Trip to The Herb Cottage, Hallettsville"

 
Dear Herbies,
I just love our group, and I especially love going on field trips up to The Herb Cottage, Cindy Meredith’s herb business located in Hallettsville. I had planned on being one of the drivers for our upcoming April 8, 2015 field trip, but I have to go visit family, and well that’s just the way it is.
So I’m going to send this notice to you all. Maybe a couple of you can make arrangements ahead of time to line up drivers and car pool. Meeting at the Ace Hardware parking lot is a good place to get together and car pool up to Cindy’s. I suggest you meet and leave at 8:00 no later than 8:15.
The following is information from Cindy about getting up to her house.
“There is a Google map and a hand drawn detail map on my website at theherbcottage.com/map.html.  If they get lost call me at 361-258-1192. Oh, for GPS users my address is 442 County Road 233, Hallettsville, TX. I'm pretty sure my location is accurate using GPS.”


Map:  http://theherbcottage.com/map.html
Some of the following information is from our Rockport Herbies Blog:
SUBJECT: "Field Trip to The Herb Cottage, Hallettsville"

WHAT: Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group

WHEN: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 @ 8:00 a.m.

WHERE: Ace Hardware Parking Lot, Rockport, Texas
Cindy has a good selection of herbs for us to choose from including some of them that we didn't have at the MG plant sale, i.e. rosemary, stevia, chives, both garlic and onion, mints, thymes, vegetables including salad greens and lots of succulents.

We pack our own lunches and then almost everyone brings something to share, whether it is a salad, dessert, or whatever. Cindy will provide us with some wonderful herb iced tea. We will carpool, so we will need to know how many of us are going. And we want to leave enough room to bring back lots of plants! Please let Cindy or one of the other members know by Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at telephone number 361-258-1192. Looking forward to having another great field trip up in the country!

Generally we have just our group take Field Trips with us, but our group loves to have any and all that are interested in herbs to join us. So feel free to invite anyone that you know that might be interested. We leave the Rockport Ace Hardware store parking lot at 8:00, and get to The Herb Cottage around 9:45 or so. We then check out all the plants and have a question and answer tour of the plants, eat lunch some where around 11:30 to noon, have a short business meeting during lunch, and generally leave to head back to Rockport around 1:00.

And be sure to check out our Rockport Herbies Blog noted below. Cindy, Ruth and I keep it updated with lots of great information on gardening, the environment and recipes. Don't be shy; just click on the link and you might be surprised at all of the information including photos!
Our herb study group was founded in March 2003 and meets the second Wednesday of every month at the ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas at 10:00 a.m. to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs including the historical uses of the herbs and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. We are open to the public. Some members of the group are available as speakers to other audiences.

The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing public knowledge and awareness about herb.

Linda T. Collins
Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group
Post Office Box 1988
Rockport, TX 78381
361-729-6037
361-729-6058 (Fax)
http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks" presented by Cindy Meredith


WHEN: Second Wednesday of every month, next meeting March 11, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas
 
Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol.

Come and learn everything you ever wanted to know about herbs. Did you know that there are over 2,000 herbs and that roses are herbs too? And did you know that many of our Texas Native Plants are herbs also? Herbs have been used for centuries for not only culinary purposes, but also for medicinal uses, cosmetics, cleaning solutions, clothing (one of which is Gossypium cotton), building supplies, dyes. arts and crafts.

Our herb study group was founded in March 2003 and meets the second Wednesday of every month at the ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas at 10:00 a.m. to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs including the historical uses of the herbs and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. We are open to the public. Some members of the group are available as speakers to other audiences, so please contact us if you need a speaker to present an herb program.

The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing public knowledge and awareness about herbs.

Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group
Post Office Box 1988
Rockport, TX 78381
http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the two herbs listed below.


There is lots of discussion about "Mexican Oregano"!  Here is some information that I have compiled! 


Well, "Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the two herbs listed below.  There is at least one other herb that is referred to as Mexican Oregano, but as far as I understand, it is not considered a culinary herb and it does not grow well in Texas! 


Poliomintha longiflora and Lippia graveolens are the ones most commonly grown as "Mexican Oregano" here in Texas with P. longiflora being slightly hardier than the L. graveolens.  Find information about both below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The P. longiflora is more attractive with the light mauve-pink, tubular flowers that hummingbirds love, and it stays smaller growing to about 3'. I have found that it can take a little more humidity and lower temperatures than the L. graveolens. It is considered to have the hotter taste of the two and is used in Mexican cooking as is the L. graveolens. It likes full sun but can tolerate partial sun during the afternoons.


Botanical Name
Poliomintha longiflora
Common Name
Mexican Oregano
Attribute
Perennial
Cultural Requirements
Full sun to part shade. Low water usage.
Mature size, Spacing
Ht: to 3' or so, 40" wide. Woody shrub.
Other Information
Light pink, tubular flowers cover this shrubby plant during the warm weather. Although not a true oregano, the narrow shiny green leaves are full of real oregano flavor. Dries well.
Courtesy of The Herb Cottage http://theherbcottage.com/

Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is a strong-smelling plant popular in Mexico and Texas. Excellent for hot, humid areas, this woody shrub grows 3 feet tall. The small green leaves yield an essential oil similar to that of oregano and are used in cooking. Its tubular flowers of white to lavender blue attract hummingbirds.


South of the Border: Mexican Herbs for Texas
By Ann McCormick


Mexican Oregano
If you have room for just one native herb, then Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is your best choice. The leaves of this shrubby herb are a somewhat spicy replacement for garden oregano. When substituting, reduce the amount in your recipe to about two-thirds of garden oregano.

Mexican oregano likes full sun but will also grow in partial shade. This graceful perennial provides lovely color through summer and into fall with tubular white, pink and lavender flowers. It generally reaches 3 feet. In my shade garden, however, it is prostrate, growing no higher than about 10 inches. Although native to the drier regions of Texas, it can adapt to the humid gulf area. It can also be grown in containers, where it will delight you with a cascade of showy flowers.

Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is doing very well with minimal water, and it's covered in the pinky-purple flowers it's known for. This is an underused plant. It has great flavor, is evergreen during the winter in our part of the state, and flowers during the hottest part of the summer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The L. graveolens is not as pretty as the P. longiflora, with small yelow-white flowers and growing to a lanky 5', but in my humble opinion, it has a better spicy oregano flavor than the P. longiflora. It is closely related to Aloysia triphylla (lemon verbena) which was once classified as Lippia citriodora. It likes full sun and well-drained, sandy soil and hot climates. I finally lost mine after 5 years. I think it was because it wasn't planted in full sun.


Botanical Name
Lippia graveolens
Common Name
Mexican Oregano
Attribute
Tender Perennial
Cultural Requirements
Full sun to part shade. Low water usage.
Mature size, Spacing
Ht: 4' to 5'. Shrubby in form.
Other Information
Native of Mexico. Very pungent oregano flavor and aroma. Very tasty in salsa. Long lasting flavor when dried.
Courtesy of The Herb Cottage http://theherbcottage.com/

It's a slender aromatic shrub or small tree, whose pubescent (felty) branches bear rounded to obtuse, bluntly serrated leaves. Fragrant flowers are yellowish or white with a yellow eye and occur throughout the year, especially after rains.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia) lippia graveolens Oregano, Mexican (Lippia graveolens) This is probably the better known of the "Mexican Oreganos" in this country. Actually a relative of Lemon Verbena, this grows as a small shrub, reaching 3-5 feet in one season in Zone 5. Much of the oregano used commercially in the U.S. is actually this one. North of zone 8 it should be grown as a tender perennial

Both of these Mexican Oreganos are tender perennials, growing in zones 9-11, and can be propagated from cuttings and are well worth growing here in south Texas.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Days like today, make for perfect "soup weather"!



It's cold and rainy here today! Days like today, make for perfect "soup weather"! I was looking for some recipes, and found this one by Epicurious! The following recipe is courtesy of website:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-and-sage-soup-with-sage-breadcrumbs-241346

Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs recipe



Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs Bon Appétit | February 2008

Deborah Madison

Yield: Makes 6 servings

ingredients

Soup:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock or 5 to 6 cups purchased organic chicken broth

Breadcrumbs:

  • 2 crustless slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, torn
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

preparation


For soup:

Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash and coarse salt; sauté until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot. Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.


For breadcrumbs:

Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Epicurious.com © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Savory, Herb of the Year 2015" by Cindy Meredith


Winter Savory in the foreground and Summer Savory in the background.
Photo by Linda Turner Collins



Hey Herbies!

We had a great turn out yesterday for Cindy's program on "Savory, Herb of the Year 2015". Next month Cindy Meredith and Ruth Hoese are presenting a program on the book The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks

Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol.

You won't want to miss this upcoming program Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 10:00, location ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas.

Also be sure to check out Rockport Herbies Blog http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com for lots of good gardening information. Cindy, Ruth and I try to keep it updated with articles. 
 
Here is an article about savory by Cindy Meredith: 

Also here are a few sites for you to check out about herbs.


 



 

 
We are an open group and encourage everyone to come and invite others to learn about the fascinating world of herbs.

Come and learn everything you ever wanted to know about herbs. Did you know that there are over 2,000 herbs and that roses are herbs too? And did you know that many of our Texas Native Plants are herbs also? Herbs have been used for centuries for not only culinary purposes, but also for medicinal uses, cosmetics, cleaning solutions, clothing (one of which is Gossypium cotton), building supplies, dyes. arts and crafts.

Our herb study group was founded in March 2003 and meets the second Wednesday of every month at the ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas at 10:00 a.m. to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs including the historical uses of the herbs and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. We are open to the public. Some members of the group are available as speakers to other audiences, so please contact us if you need a speaker to present an herb program.

The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing public knowledge and awareness about herbs.

In the meantime,
Great Gardening,

Linda


Friday, January 23, 2015

LINDA'S ROASTED BEETS ON SAUTÉED BEET GREENS WITH POACHED EGGS

 
I have always had the Midwest Pickled Beets which are just OK.  When I discovered that I had gallbladder problems, I researched and found that beets really can help. My hubby and I love this beet recipe, although only a couple of my family members like it.  They just don't know what tastes good! 
 
BEETS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! Beets and their foliage are good sources of folate, manganese, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, iron, copper, phosphorus, and tryptophan. They have one of the highest sugar contents of all vegetables, but one cup of boiled beets only contains about 75 calories. Betaine and betacyanin, both found in abundance in beets, proffer several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity.
 
 
LINDA'S ROASTED BEETS ON SAUTÉED BEET GREENS WITH POACHED EGGS

Ingredients:

4 beets, roasted

4 bunches beet greens

½ sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped

3 – 4 cloves crushed garlic

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar to taste

Salt & Pepper

4 eggs

*Dash hot sauce (Optional)

*Sprouts (optional)

**Hollandaise sauce (Optional: Can make home made or buy packaged Hollandaise sauce.)

Directions:
Cut greens off of the beets leaving about 1” of stem on the beet and scrub the beets. Then chop stems and greens and set aside. Toss beets in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in 350° oven until done, about 45 minutes, or you can roast them on the grill. After beets are done remove from oven, cool a little and cut off the root and stems, peel them, then cover and keep warm. Chop right before plating.

In a skillet add olive oil and heat to med high heat. Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add beet stems and greens, Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and sauté until tender. Add dash of hot sauce (optional).

While greens are sautéing, poach four eggs. I use a wok with about a teaspoon of white balsamic vinegar added to the water. Remove eggs and drain on a paper towel.

Plate:
Arrange greens on plate; add chopped roasted beets on top of greens. Top greens and beets with poached eggs.

*Optional:
•Can add sprouts on top of poached eggs.
•*Can top poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce

The following Hollandaise sauce recipe is courtsey of website: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/04/foolproof-2-minute-hollandaise-recipe.html

**Foolproof 2-Minute Hollandaise

Yield:makes about 1 1/2 cups
Active time:1 minute
Total time:2 minutes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 egg yolk (about 35 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon water (about 5 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon (about 5 grams)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, about 112 grams)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper or hot sauce (if desired)

Procedures

  1. Combine egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of an immersion blender. Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling constantly, until foaming subsides. Transfer butter to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.
  2. Place head of immersion blender into the bottom of the cup and turn it on. With the blender constantly running, slowly pour hot butter into cup. It should emulsify with the egg yolk and lemon juice. Continue pouring until all butter is added. Sauce should be thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce (if desired). If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender slowig pouring the melted butter.  Serve immediately, or transfer to a small lidded pot and keep in a warm place for up to 1 hour before serving. Hollandaise cannot be cooled and reheated.