Welcome to Friday Feast in the tavern!
With my herb garden flourishing (ahem, overflowing), I’m beginning to gather the oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme for specific needs. Some of these herbs I’ll hang to dry for use later in savory dishes and soups this autumn and winter. But I’m looking forward to making an herb-infused oil. Ages ago, I included garlic in my herbal oil. The result was delicious, though I found it best to make them in smaller jars. This harvest, I’m thinking of adding red pepper flakes to the oil. Adding a bit of heat adds extra depth to the flavor, in my humble opinion.
Let’s explore a wee bit about each of the herbs I’ll be using…
Did you know that oregano was virtually unknown in the United States until the end of World War II? Apparently, American soldiers brought home the seeds after being stationed in the Mediterranean. In ancient Greece, the people believed that the Goddess Aphrodite created and grew oregano in her garden.
This herb spans centuries. Even Homer wrote how the chariot horses of his day were given parsley to eat. It is definitely considered a healing herb as it’s rich in calcium and iron. Parsley has also been known to stimulate blood circulation.
This shrubby herb is an emblem of faithfulness in love. Long ago, rosemary was used in weddings and funerals. Brides often wore rosemary in their bridal wreaths. In Tudor times, this herb was a favorite plant in kitchen gardens. Rosemary was used in various forms of healing—from upset stomachs, headaches, and gout.
In the Middle Ages, thyme symbolized courage and action. Ladies embroidered scarves with a bee working on a sprig of thyme. Once completed, they presented these scarves to their knightly lovers for performing noble deeds. An herb which also has medicinal benefits.
***Note*** Now I'm not suggesting you dash out to your local market to make a purchase for healing. Whenever my knight researches an herbal remedy, he first sends out a message to his doctor to see if it’s safe. Some herbs and spices do not mix well with his current medications.
Until next Friday, explore the many uses of herbs in your town, state, or country.
Mary’s Herbal Oil
Fill a jar with fresh herbs of your choice and immerse them in sunflower oil.
If you desire, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Cover jar with lid or seal with muslin. Store on a windowsill that gets sunlight or other sunny location in your home.
Shake your jar daily.
At the end of two weeks, strain into a clean jar or bottle.