“I like to eat my food, not smell it.”
My 18 year old niece was objecting to the liberal application of herbs on food of any kind.
Rosemary she found particularly objectionable. “Makes things taste all planty”, says she. Well yes, I suppose it would.
I think I can safely say that it not had not occurred to me that a “planty” taste was something to avoid. I forget that copious amounts of herbage may not be to everyone’s taste, being firmly of the opinion that a handful of fresh herbs can do a lot to enhance most things. Like potatoes.
My very own parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
It was a simple choice: eat my words or eat the contents of my freezer.
What happened, you see, was that Love Food magazine, published with yesterday’s Irish Independent, had included a little piece from me on tips for Christmas (ah, yes, fame at last! – even if it did miss out on my current top tip, which is to head over here for a shot at a free box of Tayto crisps).
Exciting indeed to see my words in actual newsprint but, having urged everyone in the country to fill their freezers with mince pies and the like, I had a weeny problem on that front myself. My freezer bore one of those looks that said “defrost me now, or else…”.
I first made my acquaintance with rosemary early in life. As children, we were often sent to fetch rosemary and thyme from the bushes of same that grew along the avenue which lead to our house. It was important to learn to distinguish the two and not return with the wrong one! The rosemary, though, I only ever remember being used with meats and in savoury dumplings for beef stew. Much later, I developed a liking for slices of courgette fried with rosemary and finished with a splash of lemon juice. Then, a few years ago, MGH gave me a little rosemary plant which, despite massive doses of neglect, has thrived in my garden, but was only pressed into use in the kitchen occasionally and, even then, always for savoury purposes.