I’m starting out this post with a couple of public service announcements. First, to your left is the great new Weekend Herb Blogging logo created by my ultra-talented brother, Rand. There is also a smaller version on my post this week that some people may prefer. Weekend Herb Blogging participants may use the icon on their post if they wish. It’s totally optional, so if you don’t want to bother that’s fine too. (Kudos to Mae from Rice and Noodles for this brilliant idea. We are still working out the details of getting it to display properly on all systems, so when we do I will let you know.)
Second, if you’re a blogger who is thinking of participating in Weekend herb blogging sometime, you might want to check my Weekend Herb Blogging Archives to see what kinds of things people submit. Herbs do not need to be included; our focus is on learning about new foods or plants from around the world.
Third, if you have not had a chance to visit The Best of Blogs, where Kalyn’s Kitchen is a nominee for Best Cooking/Recipe Blog, here is a link to The Best of Blogs Voting. The cooking blogs are ten boxes down. If you have voted correctly, a bar graph with the results should pop up. Ok, enough with the announcements. Let’s talk about herb blogging.
Jersey, Channel Islands The first participant this week was Mae from Rice and Noodles who started early so she wouldn’t miss out on telling us about the glories of sage. Mae had some awesome photos of sage leaves in her post, as well as information about the uses of sage. However, what caught my eye the most was a recipe for Pork Chops with Sage and Apples. Yum, yum. Mae was also sweet to remember a sage recipe that I published in a previous WHB post and include it in her post.
Santa Venetia, California, U.S.A. Next to post something was Cookiecrumb from I’m Mad and I Eat. Bean Sprout the Herb Blogging Dog was featured as a puppy in this interesting post about Crazy Salad, more specifically Miner’s Lettuce, also called winter purslane, Cuban Spinach, and claytonia perfoliata. Cookiecrumb remembers how she used to pick this growing wild near her former house, and says if she doesn’t find it growing where she lives now, it is worth a trip back to the past to get some.
Malaysia Rokh from Tham Jiak wrote a fascinating post this week where she spotlighted two Malaysian dishes and kaffir lime leaves. Rokh was on her way home when she noticed someone selling lemang, glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves, then put inside a piece of bamboo and smoked. It is a Malaysian delicacy sold during festivals, and right now it is Hari Raya Jahi (Pilgrimage Day of Celebration) in Malaysia. Rokh also gives a great recipe for Beef Rendang along with a photo and information about the kaffir lime leaves used in this delicious sounding dish.
Forrest Falls, California, U.S.A. The next post was one of many firsts for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, our first tree! Cyndi, from Cookin with Cyndi, shows us a giant incense cedar named Molly who lives next to her cabin. Molly has been pretty good so far about not getting too close to the cabin, but when it is windy, she sometimes brushes up against it. Probably just looking for a little love! Molly is also home to a family of squirrels, but they were out cruising when Cyndi shot the photo. (Cyndi, I still like you even if you hate Lake Powell.)
New Delhi, India Sury, from the very interesting blog (Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t was next to check in. (Visit her blog to understand the interesting name.) Sury shared information about carrots and a Gujarti carrot recipe. I learned that there are two kinds of carrots. Sury shared information about the health benefits of carrots, from the Carrot Museum, no less! The recipe which she named Carrot Stir Fried with Green Chile is a traditional Gujarti dish, so if someone from that part of the world knows a more authentic name for it, Sury would like to hear from you.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy Next up was Ilva, from the visually stunning blog Lucullian Delights, this week featuring amazing photos of Savoy Cabbage and a recipe for Savoy Cabbage Braised in White Wine. Recently on her blog Ilva confessed that she does not know much about the technical aspects of photography (me too!) but you would never know it. Her photos of wrinkled savoy cabbage in this post look like works of art. I think I’ve only eaten Savoy Cabbage raw, and this recipe is one I must try!
Brussels, Belgium Our next herb blogger was not only a first time participant, but she is also the first person we’ve ever had from Belgium. Andreea, from the great blog Glorious Food and Wine, decided to write about her favorite herb, basil. She discovered that there are 150 varieties of basil, and shared interesting information about the origins of basil and symbolism associated with basil. Andreea made me very jealous by talking about basil growing on her terrace, and she shared a recipe for one of my very favorite uses for basil, pesto. Welcome to WHB, Andreea.
Barcelona, Spain Next came another first time participant, and the first herb blogger from Spain! I was quite excited to hear from Kel, from the blog Green Olive Tree. I had been hoping she would participate ever since I met her online about a month ago. Kel has been spending the Christmas holidays in the South of France (big sigh from Kalyn) where she ate Le Pissenlit, or dandelion greens. Kel shares the origin of the French name, and some information about how nutritious this plant is. I also didn’t realize that the young tender shoots are used raw in salad, while the older leaves are cooked. (So much to learn, so little time!) Great job, Kel.
Toronto, Canada Life is very busy in the house of Ruth from Once Upon a Feast, our next herb blogger. Ruth is writing a cookbook and discovering it’s challenging to keep up on testing recipes and keeping the food eaten. (She’s looking for volunteer recipe testers – e-mail Ruth if you’re interested.) Anyway, Ruth says she was uninspired for Weekend Herb Blogging until she spotted a recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. Ruth’s post shares how squash soup morphed into pumpkin soup and gives us a peek into why Ruth is such a good cook: she adjusts the recipes as she goes. (Sound familiar? I do that too!) You can tell Ruth knows what she is doing because the final result sounded delicious.
New York City, New York, U.S.A. Tomatoes were the topic of Paz from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz. Besides a stunning tomato photo (which made me long for summer, along with Andreea’s basil), Paz shares a recipe for Pieve Com Mollo de Tomate or Fish With Tomato Sauce. Paz got this recipe from Grace, who lives in Angola and writes the blog The Kitchen Journal. (Small world because I have been in contact with Grace urging her to put a mark on the Food Blogger World Map, maintained by Tana Butler of Small Farms, since there were so few bloggers from Africa on the map. Check it out if you’re not on there.) Anyway, back to Paz, the Fish with Tomato Sauce truly did sound like one of those recipes where the sum was greater than the parts. Paz made it with Tilapia, one of my favorite types of fish.
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
For my own post this week I wrote about the prehistoric Indians who lived in Utah long ago and the Anasazi beans that were discovered among the ruins of a cliff dwelling and then re-cultivated. I know, I know, I promised I would come back today and share the recipe for what I made from the beans, but dear readers, I have been just a tiny bit distracted since today I had a professional photo shoot for a magazine article! It’s for an article about The South Beach Diet, and I’m a tiny part of the article, but still it was quite exciting. (Listen to me. The truth is that I have been semi-dysfunctional with excitement ever since I found out about it. What a week I’ve had! I’ll share more when I can.)
From the Anasazi Beans I made a soup with beans, carrots, celery, onions, ham, spices, and a mystery ingredient which is something that Sweetnicks and Alanna would both be proud of me for using. I think I’ve done all the posting I can do for one day, so tune in tomorrow for that recipe. Now I’m off to call everyone I know
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