Fall is a favorite time of mine. I love to see all my herbal gardening work stored and ready for use in the winter months. After going nuts for the warmer months, it is always nice to be able to create herbal dishes that satisfy my family and my love of playing with herbs.
Starting with a hot spiced drink mix, try a mulled spices blend. Mix this blend together, store in a glass jar, and use it to create a fabulous hot drink for bolstering your children before school, replace your morning coffee or offer a crockpot filled with apple cider and spices for a party treat.
Blend equal parts:
For easy retrieval of the herbs before serving, mix and use in a tea ball or muslin pouch for steeping.
Herbal Chai is also a beloved favorite.(see link at bottom of this article). I use this as a replacement for coffee throughout the winter. It keeps me from drinking endless cups of coffee, without tasting bland. I carry this in my thermos, while working in the barn as well. It is a bracing drink while waiting for animals to be born. You may not have that particular experience, but it will taste wonderful while watching the kids slide on the local hill, when it is far too cold to be out there. Since it offers no caffeine, you can share with the kids, too!
Spicy dips are a great way to keep those same kids trying new dishes in the cold months, when there aren't many fresh foods available. Using a plain yogurt or sour cream, mix powdered herbs like thyme, sweet marjoram, oregano, into a smooth dip for toasted pita. My kids like these with some pepper and chives mixed in.
Cooler weather means cooking heartier dinners. Do not forget to rub the outside of your roasts and chickens with herbs! One of my favorite way to serve whole chicken is to mix rosemary with butter and stuff the mixture under the skin of the bird. Turn the chicken over and roast it upside down, will allow the breast to remain moist and flavorful. You will lose the crispiness of the skin on the breast area, but you will love having this portion tasty and delicious, instead of its traditional dry nature.
I hope some of these herbal ideas spark some creative dishes in your home. I plan on searching for even more herbal recipes and interesting ways to use my herb garden rewards.