Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrating the 2015 Herb of the Year-Savories-Part Five!

One of the First Herb Books I Bought!
The Complete Herb Book by Maggie Stuckey was one of the first herb books I bought way back in the early 1990's.  Remember I really started gardening with herbs seriously when we bought our house in 1989.  This is a small paperback jammed packed with herbal information, recipes, crafts and gardening tips, etc.  It has given me an immeasurable wealth of information over the years.

On the traditions of savory, it was brought by the Romans to the United Kingdom and northern Europe and became important in the kitchen and for medicinal purposes.  It was said that the juice of savory was used for ringing ears, a poultice was used externally for joint pain and even for arthritis and a tea made from savory by the American colonists was said to lift the spirits and then there was savory and the power of the aphrodisiac.  One 17th century herbalist warned that "It is forbidden to use it much in meats because it stirreth him that useth it to lechery."  Fair warning!

In this digital age, I e-mailed Maggie this morning asking permission to share some of her recipes in the book.  She wrote right back and gave her permission.  So wonderful to share our knowledge and she has inspired me my whole herbal life.  So here are a couple of my favorite uses for savory from Maggie Stuckey's The Complete Herb Book:

Herb Blend No. 1--Meat and Vegetable Dishes

2 parts marjoram
2 parts savory
1 part basil
1 part thyme
1 part tarragon

Bouquet Garni for Fish

2 tablespoons celery leaves (I used lovage)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

Mix all ingredients; divide into three equal portions and tie into cheesecloth bags (or I use the teabags or spice bags that are made of muslin).

Mediterranean Rice (Serves 4 to 6)

1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh summer savory
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram
1-1/2 cups chicken or beef stock
1-1/2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes

Saute the onion and garlic in oil over low heat until soft.  Add the rice, thyme, oregano, savory and marjoram and cook for a few minutes more, stirring constantly.

Add the stock and the tomatoes; cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for approximately 50 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

The Herbal Husband is the rice cooker in the family, but I do do a version of rice that he loves.  We're going to try this recipe this summer.  It just sounds so fresh and tasty.

I'm also doing a container class at the end of May and Maggie has co-written one of my favorite container books with Rose Marie Nichols McGee called McGee and Stuckey's Bountiful Container.  In The Complete Book of Herbs, she mentions a couple of combinations with savory for containers that sound good.  Salad burnet, creeping savory and woolly thyme in a container and then a window box for summer with basil, calendula, chervil, chives, dill and summer savory.  Thank you Maggie Stuckey for letting me share your savory recipes with my readers!  You can find all of her books through Bookfinder.  She also sent along a photo of the latest cover of The Complete Herb Book.

A More Up-To-Date Version of the Cover

So hopefully we will continue to learn about savory together.  I have read a lot more information about the 2015 Herb of the Year.  So please stay tuned.  It has been a blustery day here in the 'Burgh.  Rainy, sunny and sort of warm.  Better than it has been.  The daffodils are slowly rising from the ground.

The 'Goodwin Creek' lavender has slowly dried out from over watering.  Please if you get an Easter plant and it is in a foil wrapper either take it off entirely (less festive) or poke large holes in the bottom so that the water drains out of the wrapper and the container.  I said to The Herbal Husband that if we take the lavender out of the container, I thought that we could squeeze another cup of water out of the soil.  Never a dull moment here.  Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  I'll talk to you later.


Carol said...

The rice really does sound good!! I will definitely be trying it too :) I might even get the husband to try it. He doesn't like Thyme or Savory so when I use it on meats it's just on my portions.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

It just sounds very fresh to me, Carol. I hope I can get The Herbal Husband to try it. Thanks for stopping by as always! xo