|Thyme, Thymus vulgaris|
An easy herb to grow, simple garden thyme, is a small, woody shrub growing 1'x1', loves the sun and well-drained, even gravelly, soil. Easily started from seed, cuttings or pegging a stem down and covering with earth until roots strike, this member of the mint family owes it's robust flavor and scent to volatile oils found in the leaves. After years of consideration, I no longer use essential oils in my practice preferring the natural scent of whole plants in my cooking and medicine making. In the mild NW climate one can harvest thyme any time of year.
A culinary herb of high regard, used whole and fresh or dried, thyme's tasty contribution to foods is a delight. For a quick breakfast or tasty side at dinner try these easy potato latkes...
Shred 2 potatoes into mixing bowl
add the following:
1/2 cup finely chopped leek, onion or chives
|Latke ingredients ready for milk & eggs|
3-4 chopped dandelion leaves,
parsley as you like
1-2 tablespoon fresh thyme stripped and minced
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons flour
a pinch of salt and dash of pepper
Mix thoroughly and fry on a hot, greased skillet until potatoes are done
Enjoy with applesauce and sour cream or yogurt
thyme enhances the flavor of potato dishes adding warmth and pizazz to your nourishing winter menu. A member of the mint family, thyme's warmth supports digestion when a warming element is called for. Used on a regular basis in food, thyme aids digestion and strengthens immune function.
|Thyme, Thymus vulgaris, Garden thyme|
Cut 1-2 hands full thyme and strip leaves from stems
Fill small jar with thyme
Fill jar again with honey
Macerate in warm place for at least 1 month.
Best made in summer when thyme is growing fast for use in winter when thyme growth slows
Thyme honey off the spoon or in a cup of hot water as tea relieves a sore throat, relaxes the trachea and clears congestion when a cough persists and gently strengthens the body's ability to fend off outside pernicious influences.
By having 1 or 2 thymes in the dooryard garden you have food & medicine close to hand. There are many species and varieties of thyme to add to your garden. In a future post we'll take a look at them and how they can enhance your garden experience.
For now, be sure to get outside every chance you can and enjoy the green blessings of the winter season.