Culinary Herbs: A Palette for Your Palate

Herbs can take the ordinary to extraordinary.  A one-note dish becomes a symphony with the right blend of seasonings.  Once you have preserved your herbal bounty use the dried herbs to experiment with custom blends.  If this is your first foray into creating herbal blends, begin with the familiar.  A typical poultry seasoning includes sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary, savory and marjoram.   Perhaps you would prefer to omit one of these or exchange the thyme for lemon thyme and toss in a sprinkle of dried lemon zest to add a bright, citrusy note.

Think of the various herbs you have at hand as an artist's palette.  Artists rarely use colors from their palette in their pure form.  They are typically mixed on the palette or blended on the surface to achieve the desired result. You can do the same with herbs.

Create small batches of dried herb blends to taste in a recipe before making a large batch or experiment with combinations based on how the herbs smell.  Smell is a significant part of taste so by smelling the herbs you may be able to develop combinations that you want to use to create your own herbal blends. 

Original herb blends make wonderfully artful gifts from the kitchen.  Packaging can be as simple and economical as a hand decorated cellophane bag or more elaborate such as an eye-catching tin or decorative glass jar.  Be sure and include a recipe for the recipient so they know how to enjoy your gift to the fullest.

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