Sunday, March 05, 2006

Parsley Dancing: Weekend Herb Blogging

This is a picture of parsley dancing in the wind. And what it signifies, apart from the fact that our parsley shot to seed, is that I eventually got around to participating in Weekend Herb Blogging, as kindly arranged by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. Every week I'd see other people's entries and think "I forgot AGAIN! How can I be so disorganised?" And Herb Blogging is really the only one for me, given that I don't have a cat or a dog. I have a small child but I'm not about to start putting up the Plumbaby's picture everywhere. Although I wouldn't mind an event to capture tried and tested recipes for children once a month or so. Should I do it? Or will it be one more event for me (and the rest of the food blogging world) to forget and then feel guilty about?

Anyway, back to the parsley. I grew up with curly parsley, of the Petroselinum crispum variety. The kind which decorates 70s plates as a tasteless garnish. It revolted me and I learned to push it under my plate, before I could be upbraided for ignoring it. It was not until I realised that there was indeed another kind, flat leafed parsley, that I understood that some parsley is edible, although in limited circumstances. I am still not at the point where I could endorse eating it by the handful, such as Nigella suggests in this salad, but I can see its use. Most often, it's in flavouring, not as a full star ingredient, and my favourite is in chicken stock.

For this, I dice a couple of brown onions and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and throw them into a stockpot sizzling with a splash of olive oil. Then I add five to eight raw chicken carcasses (depends on how many can be crammed into the pot), 3 diced large carrots, a couple of diced leeks and a big handful of parsley. Throw in fresh bay leaves, and a few twigs of thyme and cover with cold water. Bring up to the boil on a low heat and simmer away for two to three hours.

Most recipes will advise skimming the stock scum off the surface during cooking, but to be honest, I can never be bothered. Strain, refridgerate and remove fat if desired. When organised, I reduce the stock down and freeze in ice cube trays for future use. But as I freely admit, I'm not that organised.


At 11:57 PM, Blogger Kalyn said...

Beautiful parsley photos. I love growing parsley, especially the way you only have to worry about planting every other year.

BTW, I love the idea of an event for kid-tested recipes. I don't have kids but I do have a friend who has a child who comes to my house once a month for cooking lessons. I have a very small section in my recipe archives for those recipes, mostly cheese/noodley dishes like kids like.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Isil S. said...

Interesting, I have never seen these flowers before, thanks for sharing.


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