Monday, August 25, 2008

The Year of Angelica

I'm always looking for a big herb to fill in spaces in my herb garden or elsewhere in the garden. This was the year of angelica in my herb garden. Angelica is a biennial, but if it likes its place, it goes CRAZY. It is a little hard to see in this picture, but it is in the back near the grape arbor. It was 7 feet tall! The seeds can be collected but have to be planted within 3 months of harvesting. It is a beautiful architectural plant in the garden. Does better with some shade. You can candy the stems for a treat.
Here is a recipe from Bertha Reppert's book, Growing and Using Herbs with Confidence.
24 6-inch pieces of angelica (large hollow stalks, fresh)
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
To prepare the angelica, soak it in cold water for several hours; plunge it into boiling hot water until, when pressed with your fingers, all stringy parts are easily removed. Do this under cold water. Boil a simple syrup of the water and sugar. Place the prepared angelica in the hot syrup (225 degrees F) for 24 hours; drain, reheat the syrup, and repeat three times. On the fourth day, boil the syrup and angelica at 245 degrees F. Remove from heat; cool. Drain; sprinkle with sugar. Dry thoroughly (this may take two weeks); store in a tin. Keeps indefinitely.
I will post a picture soon of a purple angelica. It has purple stems and flowers. It makes a real statement in a shady part of a garden.

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