Garden Update

My herb garden is underway! I broke down and bought a rosemary (officinalis) and lavender (‘Grosso’).

Everyday on my way to work at my previous job, I walked along a trolley line which was bordered with sweet smelling lavender, two city blocks of it! It made my mornings glorious and often I couldn’t resist picking just a sprig or two to place on my desk and smell throughout the day. In fact, I kept one lavender stalk in the pocket of my jacket so long it crumbled into little flecks of dried lavender potpourri. I bought this lavender in memory of those mornings and in the hopes that it will help me slow down and appreciate the day as those plants did for me then.

My interest in rosemary, however, is entirely culinary. I loooooove Italian food and rosemary is an essential ingredient. Recently I made my Rosemary Foccacia bread recipe and I hope this plant will be able to furnish the fresh and dried rosemary I need for that recipe and many more.

Here is my Rosemary Focaccia Recipe as adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook:

2.5-3 cups of all purpose flour

2 tbsps chopped fresh or 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves crumbled

1 tbsp sugar

1tsp salt

2.25 tsps active dry yeast

3 tbsps olive oil

1 cup very warm water

2 tbps olive oil

In large bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, rosemary, sugar, salt, yeast. Add 3 tbsps oil and warm water. Beat with mixer, stir in remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5-8 minutes until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet and shape dough on the sheet, making deep indentations on the top with fingers. Brush with oil. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool.

Delicious! It is easily customizable by adding toppings like Parmesan cheese, caramelized onions, sun dried tomatoes…let your imagination run wild!

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