Sunday, February 16, 2014

Garden Update

The indoor gardening set E gave me for Christmas is working really well. It came with a variety of herbs so that's what I started growing. I've got Thai basil, Italian basil, dill, mint, chives, parsley and cilantro.

This is what it looked like about a week after I planted it. The two basils, dill and chives had begun to sprout

Here's the garden about weeks after I started it. The chives took off first (which is funny because they were supposed to be the shortest.) The dill went crazy right away too. Now a few weeks more and I've had to raise the lamp up a few notches because almost everything has grown so tall. The only one lagging behind is the mint. After six weeks, it's barely peeking above the surface. I thought I took a picture of it more recently but I guess I haven't.

I needed to prune the plants so I've been looking for different ways to use them. For the basil, I went with my old standby, pesto. The dill and chives have been used in roasted potatoes and carrots. l love roasting vegetables. Just cut up he veggies, throw in a gallon size bag with some olive oil, salt, pepper and the herbs, shake it up, dump it out onto a pan and bake. Easy peasy!

The parsley was used with basil in a manicotti filling. And the cilantro was used in salsa. I used Roma tomatoes, a Serrano pepper (I like spicy salsa), lime juice, onions, a little bit of sugar, cumin and of course the cilantro. This salsa turned out better than my first attempt but is still not quite right. I'll have to keep practicing.

I've also worked preserving some of the herbs. I've got dill outside drying and some chives and dill in olive oil in a ice cube tray in my freezer. Hopefully this works for long term preservation.


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