I dedicated a small spot of my garden this year to herbs. After reviewing our family eating habits I think I better put more of our space to this use next year. I use herbs almost everyday. When you have an abundance of fresh herbs it makes almost every meal better. I planted three different types of basil. I use the traditional Italian basil the most, but when I cook anything Asian I use the lemon basil. I really do not know the purpose of the purple basil. I use it in salads when I want a purple color and basil flavor.
I use my fresh oregano in a stuffed mushroom recipe. I use my flat Italian parsley every time a recipe calls for parsley or I need to freshen something up.
All of my herbs have grown really well except for my cilantro. I just water and use miracle grow sparingly. I have never needed an insecticide. Does anyone know the secret to growing good cilantro? I have never seen it look great in a home garden. The leaves are always small and anemic looking.
I also grew a bunch of tomatoes and peppers. I picked all of my ripe cherry tomatoes the other day and made a cherry tomato salad. Of course I added some fresh basil.
The dressing was 1/3 C mayo, 1 T Dijon mustard, 2 T cider vinegar. This was poured over a pint of halved cherry tomatoes, 1/4 C minced onion, and a handful of fresh basil, washed and chopped up pretty fine.
My confession is that I have not used too many peppers. I have a hard time with spicy food. I do not think I will put them in next year. My new and experimental plant this year was eggplant. I have really bad memories of the eggplant my mother used to cook. I found a recipe for a Schezuan eggplant that was pretty good the first time. The excitement seemed to wane on the second and third attempts. I will try something new next year and probably skip the eggplant.
The big hole in the garden is where the squash plants used to be. They were doing okay but they require a lot of insecticide in Texas. There is some bug that likes to eat the plant off at the roots. I kept them going for a couple of months but while I was gone at one point the bugs got to them and I had to give up on them. I was also having trouble with blossom rot. I know there is a solution and I will have to find it next year.
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