Gardener's Grapevine 2012.11.21

Written by David Green.

This week, as we celebrate all we are thankful for and prepare a bountiful feast for our special day with family and friends, think about your food a little deeper. Most food is not too exciting without a little help. Spices are God’s way of zipping up our food. As the chef Emeril says, “Put a little BAM into the dish.”

I grow herbs in the summer, harvest them in the early fall, dry them, and store them until needed. Would a turkey taste the same without poultry spice? Would apple pie taste remotely the same without the spices?

My daughter, mother-in-law and I will be cooking our Thanksgiving dinner this year and it is a lot of fun to see what everyone’s favorites are. This has been the year of invitations for this special day and its hard to tell such good friends no, but how many meals can you eat in one day? We truly feel blessed with so many great friends and family. I enjoy hearing about their favorite foods and how they prepare them.

In the winter it is such a treat to have fresh herbs to cook with, and they are very costly if you purchase them in the grocery store. As I was looking through a copy of Mary Janes Farm, an absolutely great magazine, I came across an idea for an inside herb garden. They took an old wide wooden plank about an inch thick and drilled large holes in it about four to six inches apart. This was nailed or screwed to brackets attached to the sides of a window. The shelf needs to be tight to the window, as the herbs cannot take the cold coming off the window. Next they put ceramic pots planted with herbs in the holes. I plan to do this across the big kitchen window and hopefully enjoy fresh herbs on our food all winter long.

Dried herbs are fine and you can increase the amount of dried herbs to intensify their flavor, but nothing makes for a great meal like fresh herbs. My favorite Sunday go-to is fresh rosemary sprigs on a whole chicken baked in the oven with carrots and potatoes. The rosemary infuses its flavor into all the meat and vegetables very subtly. And homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream for desert.

Whatever rocks your taste buds, fresh is always best. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, make it flavorful.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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