and an early start to making Christmas presents
I find my herb garden such a delight. Living as I do in a city with no space for a kitchen garden, it is a pleasure to be able to reach out to my pots and tubs for a choice of herbs to transform my cooking. So wherever you live and for me, that is Lambeth, we can all manage tiny beds and pots to grow our own herbs (see link).
Whether used separately or mixed together, herbs are the easiest preserve of all.
The herbs shown here were very definitely grown and picked straight from my Lambeth herb garden. They were hung up and dried in my Lambeth kitchen where they were finally mixed together for my use.
My only dilemma was what to name to give to my mixed herbs. I debated over Herbes de Londres, Clapham Mixed Herbs or South London Assorted Herbs. I finally thought it was about time that London borough of Lambeth had its moment.
So here is my simple Lambeth Mix recipe and full of south London flavours.
LAMBETH MIXED HERBS
I have a number of herbs in my plot and manage to grow and preserve bay, parsley, chives, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage.
Of these, I tend to use thyme and rosemary far more than the other herbs and these two herbs dominate my Lambeth mix.
Lambeth mixed recipe
3 measures dried thyme
3 measures dried ground rosemary
1 measure of dried marjoram
1 measure of dried sage
Ensure all the herbs are completely dry before starting your mix.
Crumble the herbs, then mix and store in a sealed jar or container and keep in a dark corner
Of the other mixed herbs the best known are the herbes de province
HERBES DE PROVINCE
The traditional recipe for herbes do province includes the basic herbs – thyme, marjoram, rosemary, savoury and lavender flowers. Some other herbs that may be added are basil, oregano, tarragon. A useful link for this basic mix is from the The Herb Gardener. http://theherbgardener.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/make-your-own-herbes-de-provence.html
More alternative herb mixes to check out and try
For more adventurous mixes
or for tea blends
USING MIXED HERBS
Fish, vegetable and meat casseroles.
Coat meats and fish in herbs before grilling or frying
Add to scones, breads, in shortcut and puff pastry
Introduce flavours to pasta sauces
Toss parboiled fluffy potatoes in mixed herbs before roasting
In a pretty bag or jolly jar, it will make a lovely present for someone’s birthday or at Christmas or for a pick me up moment.
Final tips for your dried herbs
For flourishing plants it is always a good habit to prune herb plants regularly and hang up the cuttings to dry and collect over the summer. The months of September and October are my final time to reap again.
Remember that if substituting dried herbs are for fresh herbs that dried herbs are a much stronger and I suggest the quantity should be adjusted by a quarter.
If in doubt the answers to all herb matters can be found at the herb society see link.