Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Herbal Day of Celebration!

It was a day of herbal learning and fellowship with the Western Pennsylvania Unit of the Herb Society of America. I'm a Member at Large. It was held at Old Economy in Ambridge, PA. It was a sunny but cold day. The Unit maintains a medicinal and dye garden there. It is called Herbes de Pittsburgh VII. They sold a tin with an herb mix. I have purchased several of them and given all of them away. This time I'm keeping this one because I can make the Herblets from the first Three Rivers Cookbook. A staple of cookbooks in this area. The recipe is on Page 20 if you have this cookbook. The tin contains dried shallots, dill, basil, thyme and marjoram. Here is the recipe:

"Keep these on hand for unexpected guests."

thinly sliced Pepperidge Farm bread
shallot buds

Slice each piece of bread into 4 sections. Do not remove the crusts. (if you don't have the dried herb mixture). Cut shallot buds in slices and gently saute. Dip each section in melted butter sauteed with shallots. Remove from dip and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with finely chopped herbs. Use any one, or make a variety of toasts. Toast in 350 oven for approximately 10 minutes or until browned. Cool and store. Will keep indefinitely in air tight containers. Use for soups, salads or cocktails.

Preparation: 15 min. Easy
Cooking: 10 min. Can do ahead
Mrs. Howard G. Wilbert
(If you have the dried herbs, I would melt the butter, dip the bread into the butter, place on cookie sheet and sprinkle with herbs. Bake as noted above.)

Old Economy was the home of the 19th century Christian communal group, the Harmony Society. Established in 1824, Economy was known worldwide for its piety and industrial prosperity. Despite the Society's economic success, time and events brought about its decline. By the end of the 19th century only a few Harmonists remained. In 1905, the Society was dissolved. It's always a good day when you are learning about herbs.

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