Sunday, June 13, 2010

herbes de le bois vert

Somehow I've always thought that the fall was the proper harvest time. I'd been wondering how I would get through the summer without buying another tin of herbes de Provence before I could properly harvest the greenwood herbs and start making my own greenwood blend. We grow all the required herbs here, after all, and it's not all that difficult to dry them and mix them together in a blend I can keep on hand to use most everyday!

The herb garden has become horrendously overgrown, however, so yesterday - midsummer - I took my shears to it. There are a lot of herbs!

The oregano in particular was invading all its neighbors and had to be dealt with, with a severe hand. Likewise, the thyme. They're all washed and bundled now, drying. With any luck, I'll have another harvest in the fall.

Meanwhile, I have to decide upon the best recipe to combine the herbs. There are as many recipes as there are people who make the concoction. As I do not intend to try and slavishly copy my idea of the proper "French" mix, though, I shall take a free approach to it. The herbs I usually cook with are rosemary, thyme and savory. I'll use them in approximately equal proportions (25% each of the whole), and add in lavender, tarragon, sage, oregano and basil to make up the remaining 25%. A lot of the blends available here in the States also include dried garlic. Oh no. The garlic must always be fresh!

I'll certainly have a new batch of herbes de Provence before my last tin of the commercial blend runs out. But it's not herbes de Provence, is it? It's herbs of the greenwood: herbes de le bois vert.

I can hardly wait.


Lee Anne said...

Congratulations on your lovely harvest. What a bounty!

queenie said...

Thanks Lee Anne! The herbs have been doing well. I figured I'd better strike while the iron was hot [as they say] - you can never tell when the deer might decide to eat them, or stripey caterpillars descend upon them, or a mysterious blight wipe them out! It's a precarious existence. . . . [grin]

Joyful said...

Good for you.....and you did those herb plants a favor, too since they'll now be bushier and lovelier than ever. Save me a small tin if you have enough! xoxo ym

Jenna said...

Mmmm! I'm extremely jealous ... I love fresh herbs, and they are so ridiculously expensive at the grocery store. Your photos are lovely, by the way.

queenie said...

Thanks for the compliment on my photos, Jenna! Much appreciated from a fine photographer like yourself. . . . . I've been enjoying your posts about Photoshop - which I aspire to learn one day. Have you no wee plot of earth where you live where you could tuck some herbs in? You're right - herbs from the grocery store are ridiculous.

Maman - righto; wilco!