Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10 on Tuesday: Herbs

Today's 10 on Tuesday challenge is to name my 10 most favorite herbs.  There was a time when herbs and spices were considered two distinct things.  Spices were generally aromatic plants that were generally ground or grated when used in cooking whereas herbs were used whole or cut and were from leafy sources.  Think the difference between cinnamon and oregano.  Today, however, the word spice is used interchangeably for any plant-based material that is used in cooking.  You don't go to the grocery store and see an herbs and spices section.  It is simply labeled Spices.  So here is my list of my 10 must have "herbs."

1. Pepper  (I don't know how a kitchen can function without pepper (allergies aside))
2. Cinnamon (This is a necessary ingredient when making snickerdoodles, so one must have this spice)
3. Ginger (I know I use this on a weekly basis)
4. Basil (Lemon basil is probably my favorite of all, but I'll make due with regular sweet basil)
5. Oregano (You can't have Italian without it and basil and garlic, but mostly Oregano)
6. Thyme (We always need more thyme, time?)
7. Mint (Peppermint mostly, but I love growing chocolate mint because when it rains my front step smells like a York Peppermint Patty)
8. Rosemary (I think this is actually my most favorite herb ever)
9. Lavender (Although I don't cook with it often, I use it mostly for aromatics although I do have a fabulous recipe of lavender cookies and have added lavender water to cake frosting in the past)
10. Lemon balm (Again I use this more for aromatics than cooking.  I just love the way it smells)

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