Thursday, September 10, 2015

Three Lavenders Contained!

Green Fringed French Lavender
'Goodwin Creek' Lavender
Spanish Lavender
Since my lavenders in the ground didn't do well, I resorted to putting them in containers.  These three did just fine and in fact for the most part flourished!  As you may be able to see, the green fringed French lavender (Lavendula dentata) is in my favorite container of lavender for devotion.  That container sadly got a big crack when it fell because The Herbal Husband used it (without my permission) to plant a tomato plant that was way too big.  He has since mended it and all has been forgiven.  Happy to have my container back with the herb it is meant to have in it!

The middle lavender 'Goodwin Creek' (Lavandula x ginginsii) was purchased in the spring at Trader Joe's and it has had an up and down year.  I think just recently The Herbal Husband has been giving it too much water and it started to die back in the center.  He cut the dead bits out and it is coming back from the bottom.  It is a little too big for a windowsill so we will have to come up with an alternative solution in the coming days!  At least have it positioned near the western windowsill.

The third lavender is a Spanish or maybe a French one or maybe even an Italian one (Lavendula stoechas) but no cultivar name that I bought at Lavender Fields Herb Farm in Virginia.  They just put up their schedule for the fall season.  Getting back to the name, in the United States we called it Spanish, in the UK they call it French and in Australia they call it Italian lavender.  Whatever you call it, it is a very cute grayish green bush.  It hasn't flowered yet and I hope it will make it on a windowsill through the winter.

So it has stopped raining heavily.  Our figs have started to ripen finally.  We got the first of the green figs a couple of days ago.  We are going to have to start moving plants inside sooner than later.  Need to start digging plants up and placing them in containers.  I got a question about lemon verbena from a reader about what happens when it comes inside after doing so well outside.  You are doing everything right Penny!  So refer to the Lemon Verbena Fact Sheet on my home page.  Feels like I have neglected my herb garden this season.  Hopefully, I can get some enjoyment with the cooler temperatures coming.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you maybe!  Talk to you later.    

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Recipe for Tarragon Wine Jelly!

Love the Color of Herbal Jelly!
With thanks to the Chattahoochee Unit of the Herb Society of America for inspiration and from An Atlanta Herb Sampler, here is my version of tarragon wine jelly.  I tend to make multiple recipes of one kind in one afternoon.

(Make four 8 oz. jars)

1 cup fresh tarragon leaves
2 cups of dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc and a 1.5 liter bottle makes 4 recipes.)
2 T. of vinegar (I used tarragon but you could use rice or white wine vinegar.  You could also use lemon juice.)
3-1/2 cups sugar
A 3 oz. pouch of Certo

First before you start wash your jars and lids in soapy water and boil the jars in a large pot for ten minutes.  Place the lids in hot water until ready to pour.  You don't have to boil the lids.

Measure 2 cups of wine in a medium saucepan and add the cup of tarragon.  Bring to a boil, count to ten and remove from heat and cover for 20 minutes.

Open the Certo pouch and stand it in a measuring cup.  In the meantime measure out 3-1/2 cups of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a second saucepan.  Once the 20 minutes are up, measure out 1-1/2 cups of flavored wine, reserving the 1/2 cup for the fourth recipe.  Add the 1-1/2 cups of flavored wine to the sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil that can't be stirred down.  Remove from burner and quickly add the pouch of Certo.

Return to the heat and bring back to the boil and boil exactly one minute.  Take it off the burner.  Let it sit while you take out the jars and lids.  There will not be foam to skim but there will be a skin to remove.  Pour the jelly and remove any bubbles in each jar with a teaspoon and put on the lids and rings.

Place in a pot of water with the water covering the jars by an inch and boil for 5 minutes.  When removed from the water, the lids should make that popping sound that says they are sealed.  If they don't seal, put them in the refrigerator and use promptly.

Now for the fourth recipe.  You have 1-1/2 cups of flavored wine from the first three recipes and a tiny bit of wine in the bottle.  I was slightly short so I added a couple of tablespoons extra of tarragon vinegar to get to the 1-1/2 cups.  There is your liquid for the fourth recipe.

Just remember once they have cooled to label what it is because making as many different recipes as I do, they begin to look alike!  It is very hot and humid for September in the 'Burgh!  I have been picking raspberries and making jam almost every day for a while.  The Herbal Husband is watering at the moment because we have had no rain for quite a while.  We only had 5 days with rain last month and we are looking dry for the foreseeable future!  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.