Friday, November 20, 2009

Bouquet Garni

I planted my herbs in containers this year. I bought them from an Amish run business named Lurgan Greenhouse and Nursery in Orrstown, PA. It is overwhelming how many plants they have.

Herbs do not seem to over-winter well in this part of Pennsylvania, so bringing them inside may help to keep them for our winter use and through next summer.

Sometimes a recipe will call for a bouquet garni which is French for "garnished bouquet". It is defined as a bundle of herbs tied together with string and thrown into soups, stock or stews for seasoning.

I made a bouquet garni with my container herbs this year. Only the bay leaf was bought fresh from the store. The bouquet included a bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, savory, thyme and sage. You can include a combination of other herbs, and imagine cooks have done just that depending on what they have available in their gardens and pantries.

I wrapped the herbs in a cheesecloth sachet and tied it securely with string.

The stew I cooked with it was wonderful. Most all was from my garden or the farmers' market. You can see the stew recipe here.

I brought the potted herbs in for the winter last week. It will be so nice to have them available throughout the winter for more soups and stews.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Life of a Pumpkin in Pictures

This pumpkin called "Pumpkin Rouge Vif d'Etampes" was grown in Cumberland County and is also known as the "Cinderella" pumpkin. The variety becomes a stunning dark orange and is what the artist used as a model when he drew Cinderella's pumpkin coach. It had long been popular in France before Burpee introduced it to America in 1883. The pumpkins are slightly flattened, heavily ribbed and make wonderful autumn displays.