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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 17, 2003 - Issue 87


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Culinary Herbs - Container Gardens

You don't need to have a sprawling lawn or giant garden plot to discover the joy of growing herbs. A single herb in a container that you pamper and fuss over can be more enjoyable than a vase of flowers that will soon need to be replaced. Fresh herbs will give you visual, aromatic and taste sensations for months, or even years, to come.

Some of our most common herbs are also the easiest to grow. Cilantro, thyme or basil will stay beautiful while giving you an entire season of enjoyment. Not to mention the savings realized when you are not shelling out the money for expensive "gourmet vegetables."

Some plants that will grow well in a container hover on the line between herbs and vegetables. Jalapenos or other chiles are fun to grow and a single plant provides a steady supply. Cherry tomatoes that will maintain a small bush form are rewarding. Even onions and garlic could turn into a project that will net edible results.

It's okay to plant several herbs in one container, but try to match their water needs. Softer, herbaceous annuals like Parsley, Basil, Dill prefer soil kept evenly moist, while the woody perennials like Lavender, Rosemary, Echinacea are drought tolerant. You can let their soil dry out a bit between waterings.

Herbs can be used and enjoyed in both fresh and dried forms. Fresh herbs lose their flavour quickly, so they need to be used as soon as they are picked, and should never be subjected to prolonged cooking. When gathered for drying, herbs should be picked as they are coming into flower, as this is the time when the nutrients and aromatic oils in the plant's leaves are at their strongest.

Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh herbs, and need to be used more sparingly. As a general guide, 4 teaspoons of fresh herbs is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. Fresh herbs can be kept in the refrigerator for a short period of time, and dried herbs can be kept for 6 to 9 months in air-tight containers stored away from the light.


Culinary Herb Uses

  • Anise - Pork, chicken, fish, stews, beverages, stewed fruit. Seeds in baked goods.
  • Basil - Tomatoes & tomato dishes, vinegars, rice, eggs, meats, duck, salads, vegetables.
  • Chive - Salads, stews, appetizers, vegetables, butter, yogurt, & sour cream sauces.
  • Dill - Fish & fish sauces, cottage cheese, breads, beets, cucumbers, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, salads.
  • Fennel - Tomato dishes, eggs, fish, marinades for meats, carrots, pickles, breads & baked goods.
  • Marjoram - Stews, soups, meats, tomato dishes, vegetables, eggs, breads, French dressing.
  • Mint - Salads, lemonade, tea, potatoes, scallops, sauces & jelly, sherbet, lamb, fruit.
  • Oregano - Italian tomato sauces, barbecue sauce, soups, eggs, cheese, pork, vegetables, salad dressings.
  • Parsley - Tomato sauces, fish, meats & poultry, soups, stews, vegetables.
  • Rosemary - Lamb, pork, vegetables, chowders, cheese.
  • Sage - Fish, meat, poultry stuffing, chowders, soups, tomatoes.
  • Savory - Pork, chowders, stews, fish, eggs, salads, beans, biscuits.
  • Tarragon - (French) Eggs, yogurt & sour cream dishes, meat asparagus, beans, cucumbers.
  • Thyme- (Lemon or English) Stews, clam chowder, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, stuffings, bread, biscuits, lima beans, broccoli, onions.

Thyme Meat Loaf




  • 8 ounces lean ground meat
  • 4 ounces chopped bacon
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons soft breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • salt
  • pepper


Mix all the ingredients together and press into a loaf tin. Bake in a moderately-hot oven for 40 minutes. Turn out onto a platter, slice and serve with a fresh salad.

Basil Pasta


  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped basil leaves
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper



Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and return pasta to the pan. Combine butter, lemon juice, chopped basil leaves, garlic salt and pepper. Toss with the cooked pasta, serve in individual dishes and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

1. Toss in 2 cups cooked, diced chicken before serving and sprinkling with cheese.
2. Toss in 1 cup each chopped tomato and mushrooms.

Parsley Soup




  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 8 ounces potatoes
  • 1½ pints chicken stock
  • 1 cup parsley (heads only), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • salt
  • pepper

Peel the onion, scrape the carrot, and chop roughly. Melt the butter in a pan, add the chopped vegetables and simmer for 6 minutes. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and add to the pan together with the chicken stock. Season to taste and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and add the chopped parsley. Purée in a blender, then re-heat. Add 2 tablespoons cream before serving.

Rosemary Punch


  • 2 cups honey
  • 7 pints water
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 8 cups diced strawberries
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 pints sparkling mineral water
  • ice cubes



Combine the honey, 4 cups water, one-eighth of the lemon juice and the rosemary leaves in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the honey is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Strain into a large punch bowl.

Press the diced strawberries through a sieve into the punch bowl, add the rest of the water, lemon juice, lime juice and sparkling mineral water. Stir gently. Add the ice cubes 5 minutes before serving.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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