Monday, May 12, 2008

Herbal Remedies by Nannette Croce

We gratitude gals love our herbs.

I don’t buy mine at a nursery but at one of the annual sales the Philadelphia Herbal Society regularly holds in my area. They sell unusual herbs and hybrids you can’t find in your, pardon the pun, “garden variety” home store.

Purchasing the desired herbs is a bit like getting on the choice rides at Disney World. The line begins forming an hour before opening. Strangers make conversation while scanning the alphabetical lay-out from a distance to estimate the location of their “must-haves.”

My first stop is always the lemon grass that grows as a beautiful fountain-like spray in the middle of my garden and flavors many Asian dishes. Next I hit the nasturtiums as PHS always offers new and unusual colors. Finally I move to the zinnias (they sell flowers as well) and work backwards, checking for any new flavors or hybrids along the way, like parcel––a cross between parsley and celery that saves buying a whole head when you need just one stalk. Along the way I buy the standard stuff, sage, rosemary, and end at the sweet basil which is always well-stocked so I can get there last.

My purpose is to purchase herbs, but despite what usually turns out to be bad weather, the most pleasurable part is standing in line for the opening and the cashiers, meeting people with whom I share a common interest, comparing prior sales, and always, always laughing. No one seems to grump when a box falls apart or someone else grabs the last spiced basil. You win some; you lose some. It’s all part of the game.

Traditions come in big and small. This small one means a lot to me.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Love fresh herbs! We have many healing herbs and roots in the mountains and I'd love to know more about them.

Angie Ledbetter said...

We're all "suffering" from a natural form of Spring Fever. Isn't it nice?

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