Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Indoor Gardening and Summer's End

How does our garden grow?  

Quite well, actually.
How did you guess?

Remember the pictures from earlier in the summer?  My, how our babies have grown.  From one planter to two, with the addition of dill and penny royal.  The basil has taken off!  He loves the warm sun in our window.

For those who do not know about penny royal, it is a traditional culinary and aromatic herb in the mint family.  It's also one of those herbs that can be toxic when taken in excess.  But then again, aren't most things bad in excess?

For instance, read this:

"Pennyroyal was commonly used as a cooking herb by the Greeks and Romans. The ancient Greeks often flavored their wine with pennyroyal. A large number of the recipes in the Roman cookbook of Apicius call for the use of pennyroyal, often along with such herbs as lovage, oregano and coriander. Although still commonly used for cooking in the Middle Ages, it gradually fell out of use as a culinary herb and is seldom used so today.

As an easily-made poison, pennyroyal has had a long historical use. Early settlers in colonial Virginia used dried pennyroyal to eradicate pests. So popular was pennyroyal, that the Royal Society published an article on its use against rattlesnakes in the first volume of its Philosophical Transactions (1665).[1]

Pennyroyal tea is the use of an infusion made from the herb. The infusion is widely reputed as safe to ingest in restricted quantities. It has been traditionally employed and reportedly successful as an emmenagogue (menstrual flow stimulant) or as an abortifacient. In 1994 a young woman died from an undetected ectopic pregnancy while performing a self-induced abortion using pennyroyal tea; reports say that she had consumed the tea for longer than the recommended five days.[2][3] The most popular current use of the tea is to settle the stomach[citation needed]. Other reported medicinal uses through history include treatment for fainting, flatulence, gall ailments, gout, and hepatitis (presumably Hepatitis A), and as a lung cleanser, a gum strengthener and, when ground with vinegar, a tumor remedy.[citation needed]."

It is obviously all true, as it is from wikipedia!  (Notice all the citations needed.)  

Amusing regardless.

The dill is also overgrown and gangly looking.  I just trimmed a third of him off to dry.  I'm thinking of recreating a lovely dill sauce the Cafe Gardens Restaurant in Gainesville uses for their sweet potato fries.  Stay posted.  It won't suck.

It seems that my lowly apartment windowsill herb planters are making their last jaunt before the summer ends.  The dill will thrive in a cooler climate, but the basil longs for the warm Mediterranean climates.  I don't blame them.  Who doesn't want to live off of the Southern coast of France or Italy?  I do!  .... but that's another post altogether.

I appreciate their last push to glean to fruits of summer weather, but I cannot wait until the weather turns.  It is fast approaching my favorite season: Fall!  The crispness of the air, the beautiful produce, the lack of sweating, the holidays!  Normally it would accompany my anticipation of being in the full swing of school, but I have different things on my plate this year.  More exciting?
I hope so.
I think so.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure.

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