So I was lucky enough to receive a very exciting, new book through the post the other day- Herbarium by Caz Hildebrand for Thames and Hudson. I unwrapped it and found this below!
So with enthusiasm and eagerness and flicked through the book! It is a very useful guide to all things herbs and I think it will be a quick reference book for me to use both in the garden and in the kitchen. I first noticed that it looks modern, crisp and has bold, bright pictures that add to the book. Then once flicking through it in more detail I realise that it is going to be so helpful for my foraging for herbs (such as Dandelion) too! It has a very easy reference section to use and lots of interesting snippets of quotes and historic facts to add to the reading experience.
One of the main things I loved about it was that it not only provides you with ideas for the kitchen and how to cook with the herb; but also it has information about how the herbs can be used medicinally or for beauty reasons.
The section at the back entitled ‘Everyday Herbarium’ is very informative and easy to access including sections on the symbolism of herbs, herbs for well-being and more importantly herbs which taste perfect in accompanying cocktails!
Overall, I thought that this newly published book Herbarium was a fresh idea for a reference book with more substance than a classic gardening or recipe book – I will be using it a lot for smallholding, the garden, the kitchen, beauty, remedies and more.
If you want to learn more about this book or other books by Thames and Hudson (such as the Geometry of Pasta) click here: http://www.thamesandhudson.com/Herbarium/9780500518939
Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx
A quick recap of what has been happening in the garden. I have worked from scratch in an overgrown, weedy garden trying to create flower beds and making a sustainable, crop producing place. Below a few photographs of some of the beds – the Lemonbalm has blossomed – lovely for tea making and fish dishes! Also the French Lavender ready for biscuit making, and other flowers to brighten the space and provide cut flowers for the house. Moreover, the chives are blooming ready to be added to a number of dishes to brighten them up. The Raspberry canes are doing well – hoping to get double the produce this year!
The currant and new Gooseberry plants have become more established and I can’t wait for fruiting season. Also, Mr Podge the cat has been loving the more active growing season – with me out and about in the garden gives him more of an excuse to sleep and sunbathe in the grass outside.
The mint varieties I have gone for are a bit random but I love trying the different types in tea. Grapefruit Mint, Chocolate Mint and Apple Mint simply smell delicious!
Its autumn and that means foraging!
Outside ours in our garden is a Rosehip bush so we collected as many as we could to make Rosehip Cordial. Rosehips contain a high amount of Vitamin C in them so are a good thing to have in the winter seasons for colds and snuffles!
In WW2 the government actually released a pamphlet on the benefits of using Rosehip and the benefits to health – this was of course at a time when other forms of vitamin C such as Citrus fruit were rationed. Additionally, Children in the countryside were sent out by their parents to collect Rosehips from the British hedgerows and they even got paid pocket money for this! It was sometimes worth going on a wet day as the bag of Rosehips would weigh more due to the extra water!
The red outer fleshy part is the bit which makes the tasty syrup – the redder the flesh the redder the syrup will be. N.B. do not try to eat the seeds though – these once dried can be used to make very rustic itching powder!
Anyway, the recipe for Rosehip Syrup is really easy.
Making the Syrup
Ingredients and Equipment:
- Rosehips (cut in half or blitz in blender)
- Sugar (depends how thick and sweet you want your syrup, we used approximately 200g)
- 2 Pans
- Muslin cloth, jelly strainer or a clean pair of old tights
- Simply add Rosehips to a pan then cover them in water. Bring this pan to the boil.
- Take the pan off the heat and put to one side to cool.
- Strain the Rosehips and liquid through the tights/cloth into another pan. Squeeze as much of the liquid and juice as you can out of it.
- Return the Rosehips to a pan, cover with water then bring to the boil again.
- Once boiled put Rosehip pan to side to cool.
- Strain the last Rosehip mixture through the tights/cloth to get last liquid out.
- Put the liquid pan on the hob and add the sugar.
- Bring this pan to a rolling boil for approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. The liquid will by this point be getting thicker and stickier.
- Pour into bottles and keep in fridge for up to about 2 weeks.
I like to put some in a mug, add hot water and a squeeze of lemon for a cosy drink to deter or fix colds! : )
Katy, The Good Life In Practice x