Now, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: It’s spring time and I’m in love! The subject of my infatuation is not a pretty, young girl, though, it’s a myriad of fresh herbs from my friends over at growinghome.dk !
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend an amazing sunny Sunday afternoon at an event entitled “Taste of Southern Jutland” (Smag på Sønderjylland) which showcased a lot of my favorite things in this world: locally produced, top-quality, niche foodstuffs and culinary specialties. Among these was a large display of crisp, green, fragrant and pungent herbs from Growing Home, a local business run by good friends, specialized in growing robust, fragrant and tasteful herbs for the home gardener.
You’re excited about herbs now, but why?
Yeah, that’s right, I’m excited about herbs now! And yes, that is a little weird, but stick with me my story gets better! Honestly, I’ve always been a fan of fresh herbs because they’re the very definition of the taste of spring and summer and they just taste so differently and so much more alive than their dried counterparts that get us through the winter. I’m a sucker for taste, why would I not like fresh herbs? Also, more than anything, I’ve always been a fan of unique, quality products with character and attitude, and Growing Home herbs are nothing if not that, I mean, look at them! These are early breeds and they’re already ginormous, and they taste the part, too!
Fresh herbs that you buy at the super market are usually either already cut up, washed and bagged or they’re little teensy-weensy things grown in batches in mega greenhouses, split into small paper cups and sprinkled with a shit-ton of chemical fertilizers with the sole purpose of looking pretty on shelves for a day or two until they’re taken home, cut up into whatever you’re cooking and then disposed of. And their taste very much match their appearance. Sadly.
Not so these babies. These are grown slowly and attentively with great care by real people. Good people, I might add, who are honestly excited about and devoted to what they do. They’re meticulously grown and nurtured to strength outside in the rugged Danish spring weather using natural fertilizers without chemicals and other nasties. They’re then relocated into big spacey pots and shipped off to consumers. In other words, they’re grown not to be used and disposed of, but rather to be tough, lively and provide you with fresh tasting herbs throughout all of spring, summer and fall… Oh, and to please your tastebuds as well. They actually taste like you’d expect wild, Danish herbs to taste: flavorful, pungent and aromatic!
Alright, I’m getting entirely too excited about a herbs, ahem, so yeah… Did I mention I’m in love?
Anyway, as you can imagine, being the easily swayed kind of guy that I am, I saw absolutely no choice but to acquire a small array of fresh, green and fragrant herbs for my kitchen. You see, one of my absolute favorite things about spring is that it lets me add new herbs and plants to my small urban garden. Since I’m a city boy and live up in the altitudes (first floor apartment), I really don’t have the advantage of a conventional garden, so rather than that I have transformed my kitchen windowsill into a small urban garden in which I grow all sorts of fragrant greens right where I need them; next to the cutting board and the stove. It’s a rather brilliant setup if I do say so myself.
As a consequence of having acquired these new friends and spring being in the air, I’m currently doing all sorts of imaginable (and probably soon unimaginable) experiments in my crash test kitchen. Some of these, for better or for worse, will be featured on this blog in the coming days and weeks. Fear not, though, most of them feature plenty of butter and/or cheese as well, we’re not going all green just yet!
And we won’t be staying sober either, one project I have planned is my own first trip into the wonderful Danish tradition that is DIY infused spirits. Yes, we’ll be talking herbs and getting drunk. It’ll be awesome!
Sounds good? Stay tuned…