Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Betting on Rosemary

This past week my beloved basil plants froze and blackened. Because they had taught me always to seize the day, I had made basil paste the week before, so they live on in spirit. The rosemary plant is the only herb left. It's in the sunniest corner of the front garden plot, and I am betting on it to survive the winter. Chances here are two out of three.

My first rosemary plant survived two mild winters. Last year's rosemary plant I bought, memorably, from the Weird Sisters collective at the St. Louis Pagan Fest. My high hopes for it were dashed after the lengthy February deep-freeze. This year's plant came from a fancy garden shop with a snooty clerk who could barely trouble himself to ring up only a single $3 purchase. Nonetheless it has always been cheerful and bushy.

I like herbs because they teach me. If you have herbs, information about their powers and lore will somehow come to you, as will recipes. Until I grew basil I had never heard of pesto. With rosemary I make a lemon/butter sauce from an Italian recipe known as "chicken under a brick." Maybe free-association gave me the idea, but rather than dig up the rosemary plant and bring it indoors, this year I built a small brick wall around its base to hold heat and protect it from sharp winds.

1 comment:

Paula said...

I love herbs (and gardening generally) for eggzackly the same reason! And because of the smells and the tastes and the lore and...well, one can go on about herbs, can't one? We don't have your problem of freezing winter. The opposite for us - forgetting to keep up the water to herbs (especially tenderish ones like basil - is my main crime! "Chicken under a brick" sounds very intriguing! As does "Weird Sisters" Pagan Fest! Now where's my Google icon? PS: Hope Rosemary survives the sharp winds!