Rosemary in flower

February 26th, 2007

Okay, an admission… I love food!  I’m pretty flexible too… if it’s for eating, then I’m all for it.  Some people think the finer points of cooking are “lost” on those who eat just about anything, but I assure you that my palate is as discriminating as those who are much more finicky!  I’ve eaten in many places around the world- some that cost a small fortune, and many on side streets or with local families in foreign countries. 

I remember a meal in Rio de Janeiro that went on for hours… I didn’t want it to end with the combination of grilled meats and finger food that can only be found in South America.  The breakfast buffet in Phuket… the Sushi-go-round we loved in Japan.  And the simple meal of a variety of kimchi, provided sincerely by a South Korean family after being taken “home” by a missionary in the local market was something I’ll never forget- especially the old fish kimchi :0  

I think one of my favorites was a little Italian restaurant in Sydney, Australia that served fresh Sangria and endless, incredible pasta.  So many other places, but yes, food is something that strikes a chord deep within.  I just don’t see the point of not eating food when I’m hungry that is a) ready to eat, b) potentially nourishing, and c) going to be wasted otherwise.   So yes, that means I enjoy leftovers a lot too… and I need to watch my weight :)  But I also love herbs and the flavors that plants and spices provide. 

We inherited a wondeful rosemary plant… okay “bush” when we bought the house, and it has amazing flavor when added to many dishes.  The variety is ‘Arp’ and it has an almost light sweet lemony flavor- wonderful with chicken and fish.  Not all rosemary is alike however, as I also found out with another plant given to me.  I’m not sure, but the plant is a variety of Rosmarinus officinalis some of you many know.  But it is not a very flavorful rosemary for cooking… it is much more “resinous” and “bitter piney” than others.  It is very fragrant however, a beautiful plant and has an amazing history.  This rosemary plant is over 30 years old!  My mom got it as a small plant in the 1970’s, and cared for it as she does so much else.  It’s in a very large pot now on the patio. 

Last summer I nearly neglected it too much, but being drought tolerant it held its own over time.  When bringing it indoors this winter I paid a little more attention to it.   Plant research indicates we can pay too much attention to plants that prefer drier soil, so I tried not to water it too much.  But wouldn’t you know it, with the heat and cold fluctuations,  a little more water and a lucky choice of location… this 30 year old rosemary plant went into flower this winter!  Maybe it’s the little things… but it’s neat to see the tiny blue-purple flowers on this older plant.  The site above says rosemary is the herb of “remembrance, friendship and love…” which sounds pretty good.  Think I’ll put it next to the Distlefink…   * Update 2009:  The old rosemary plant finally died this year.  The roots were too constricted, bugs… who knows really.  But we will grow another! 

Rosemary in flower, variety unknown

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