Growing Culinary Herbs by Nicolette Goff [great books]

  • Full Title : Growing Culinary Herbs: The Complete Guide to Growing and Using Fresh Herbs
  • Autor: Nicolette Goff
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: November 21, 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1519455593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1519455598
  • Download File Format: pdf, epub


“Growing Culinary Herbs” will inspire you to start your own herb garden, regardless of where you live. Find out exactly how easy it is to grow herbs suited to your local conditions and climate, how to design your space for maximum results, and the right plants to grow in your gardens or containers.This handy book will show you a multitude of methods to grow and to use these healthy, aromatic and flavorful herbs that earn you rave reviews at mealtime.

You will find many useful planning and planting tips, along with a Plant by Plant Guide to the 21 Most Common Culinary Herbs. This comprehensive section includes preferred climate zones for each herb, soil type and best growing conditions , along with photos and clear plant descriptions. Best ways to use each herb in the kitchen to enhance the natural flavors and aromas complete this invaluable reference section.

In the section Herbs in the Kitchendiscover recipes and directions for creating your own delicious herbal butters, sauces, pestos, and vinegars. Find out which herbs to add for zest and flavor in your salads. A short recipe section, including delicious recipes for including fresh herbs in your soups, main dishes, salads, and even baking gives you even more ideas on how to use these tasty, aromatic plants and lift every-day meals to taste-bud tingling heights.

Two bonus sections, How to Preserve Your Garden Herbs and 5 Ways to Make Money With your Herbs are included.




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de Quevedo on the Curse of Tobacco and

Chocolate (1628)

Edward Kidder on Chocolate Cream (c. 1730)

Brillat-Savarin on Chocolate (1825)

Alice B. Toklas on Hot Chocolate (1954)

James Beard on Hot Chocolate (1974)

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: Their Just Desserts Pliny the Elder on Bees and Honey (first century A.D.)

Galen on Pastry (A.D. 180)

Apicius on Rose Patina (first century A.D.)

A Baghdad Recipe for Meat, Sweets, and Bananas (1373)

Amelia Simmons’s Independence Cake (1796)

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa on Rum Jelly (1958)

Gelatin Hints from Knox (1929)

Pellegrino Artusi on Ice Cream (1891)

M.F.K. Fisher on Gingerbread (1937)

Jane Grigson on English Puddings (1974)

William Ellis on Apple Pie (1750)

Hannah Glasse’s Apple Pie (1747)

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: A Good Drink Alexandre Dumas Père on Coffee (1873)

Sarah Josepha Hale on Drinking (1841)

Alexis Soyer on Soda Water (1857)

Brillat-Savarin on Water (1825)

Alexandre Dumas Père on Water (1873)

The Talmud on the Right Amount of Wine (A.D. 500)

Maimonides on the Benefits of Wine (twelfth century)

A. J. Liebling on Rosé Wine (1959)

George Sand on Eau-de-Vie (1845)

Anton Chekhov’s Menu for Journalists (c. 1880)

Frances Calderón de la Barca on Pulque (1840)

Malcolm Lowry on Mescal (1947)

Robert Rose-Rosette on Martinique Punch (1986)

Martial on Drinking Mates (first century A.D.)

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: Bugs Frances Calderón de la Barca on Mosquito Eggs (1840)

Peter Lund Simmonds on Edible Spiders (1859)

Vincent M. Holt on Eating Insects (1885)

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: The French Jérôme Lippomano on How Parisians Eat (1577)

George Orwell on Being Hungry in Paris (1933)

Virginia Woolf on French Cooking (1927)

Alice B. Toklas on French Cooking (1954)

Thomas Jefferson on French Produce (1785)

Hannah Glasse on French Cooking (1747)

M.F.K. Fisher on Leaving France (1932)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: The English George Orwell on English Food (1933)

Jane Grigson on English Food (1979)

Elizabeth David on the Onward (and Downward) March of the

English Pizza (1977)

E. M. Forster on Prunes and English Food (1944)

Giacomo Castelvetro on Prunes in England (1614)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: The Americans Louis Prima on the Pizzeria (1944)

Larousse Gastronomique on American Food (1938)

Louis Diat’s Oyster Crabs (1941)

Angelo Pellegrini on the Abundance of America (1948)

Joseph Wechsberg on Cooking for Americans (1948)

Alice B. Toklas on Gertrude Stein’s Return to

America (1954)

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: The Germans Tacitus on Germans (A.D. 98)

Joseph Wechsberg on Austrians (1948)

Karl Friedrich von Rumohr on Teaching Germans to

Cook (1822)

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE: The Politics of Food Honoré de Balzac on Eating (1828)

Curnonsky on Political Categories for Gourmets (c. 1950)

Émile Zola on Fat and Thin People at Les Halles (1873)

Lu Wenfu on Revolutionary Cuisine (1982)

CHAPTER THIRTY: What Does It Mean? Claude Lévi-Strauss on the Idea of Rotten (1968)

Margaret Mead on the Meaning of Food (1970)

Plato on the Art of Cooking (387 B.C.)

Marcel Proust on Madeleines (1913)

A. J. Liebling on Proust (1959)

M.F.K. Fisher on Why She Writes About Food (1943)

Text Credits

Photo Credits



Other Books by This Author


Better Than Sex

Food, like sex, is a writer’s great opportunity. It offers material that is both universal and intensely personal—something that illuminates the nature of humankind but also offers insights into the unique and intimate foibles of an individual.

To write only of the pleasures of eating would be pornography—a legitimate use of a writer’s skills but, from the standpoint of both reader and writer, limited. The writer intuitively wants to explore the broader and more far-reaching effects of food, or for that matter sex, rather than the physical pleasure alone.

In the case of food—not usually the case with sex—the much sought after physical pleasure involves the acquisition of commodities. Sex only sometimes involves commerce and rarely is impacted by climate or land use. Food is about agriculture, about ecology, about man’s relationship with nature, about the climate, about nation-building, cultural struggles, friends and enemies, alliances, wars, religion. It is about memory and tradition and, at times, even about sex. “Nothing is more agreeable to look at than a pretty gourmande in full battle-dress.… Her lips are soft and moist.…” wrote the nineteenth-century French food writer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. And as the twentieth-century American food writer M.F.K. Fisher explained about the erotic power of eating eel: “There is a phallic rightness about the whole thing, visual as well as spiritual, which has more to do with the structure of the fish than the possible presence of a mysterious and exotic spice.”

Today, our initial expectation of food writing is that it will be about food, but the earliest food writers used food as one tool among many for illuminating broader subjects. The ancient Chinese wrote of food in terms of medicine and alchemy, as well as agriculture and ecology, but rarely simply as food. Food writing was often about land use and, by extension, sometimes about effective and incompetent government. “If you do not interfere with the busy season in the fields, then there will be more grain than people can eat; if you do not allow nets with too fine a mesh to be used in large ponds, then there will be more fish and turtles than one can eat,” wrote Mencius (372–289 B.C.), a leading disciple of Confucius.

Much of the Old Testament is devoted to explaining what the Hebrew people should and should not eat. It was through this food, this specific diet, that the Hebrews were to define themselves as a distinct people. Food is an integral part of the moral code, the Mosaic law, and history’s strongest expression of the often quoted Brillat-Savarin statement “Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are.”

In the fifth century B.C., Herodotus, considered the first historian, would no doubt have agreed. Herodotus began his Histories, and with it the discipline of history, with the simple declaration “The purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time.” Among those traces were the food habits of bygone cultures. He observed how the Egyptians intertwined life and death, preserving their food in salt and curing their dead in much the same way. He described the food and gave recipes for mummification and explained how, after extravagant banquets, a carved wooden replica of a corpse in a coffin would be carried around the room, shown to each reveler with the words “Drink and make merry, but look on this, for such shalt thou be when thou art dead.”

Perhaps the first true food writer was Archestratus, a poet who lived in the fourth century B.C. in the Grecian colony on what is today Sicily. Little more is known of him than that he wrote a poem called The Life of Luxury, which was characterized by Athenaeus, a later writer:

Archestratus, in his love for pleasures, traveled over every land and sea with precision, in a desire, as it seems to me, to review with care the things of the belly; and imitating the writers of geographical descriptions and voyages, his desire is to set forth everything precisely, wherever the best to eat and the best to drink are to be found.

But among subsequent Greek and Roman writers, food continued to be merely an embellishment to discussions of broader topics. In the second century B.C., Cato wrote extensively about food in the earliest surviving complete book of Latin prose, but the central subject of this work is agriculture. In the first century A.D., Pliny the Elder wrote about food, though his principal subject was natural history. So he discussed the seas, their nature, the sea creatures that we eat, and then, without warning, launched into a tirade against eating seafood: “But why do I mention these trivial matters when shellfish are the prime cause of the decline of morals and the adaptation of an extravagant lifestyle? Indeed of the whole realm of Nature the sea is in many ways the most harmful to the stomach, with its great variety of dishes and tasty fish.”

But what of this extravagant lifestyle that Pliny denounced? The whimsical Martial used food to describe his social life in first-century Rome, both praising and criticizing dinner parties, such as dinner at Cinna’s:

By daily making himself sick

With minuscule drops of arsenic

King Mithradates once built up

Immunity to the poison-cup.

In the same way, your small, vile dinner

Saves you from death by hunger, Cinna.

Plutarch, the brilliant biographer, used food the way later novelists would. Just as Tomasi di Lampedusa brings us a vision of the faded aristocracy in his twentieth-century novel The Leopard, by describing their meals, Plutarch reveals the egocentric character of Lucullus, the aristocratic political leader, by describing the lavish manner in which he dined when alone. We also get to know something of Lucullus in the story of how servants came to him from Pompey’s doctors. Pompey was ill and his doctor had prescribed thrush though the birds were out of season. But Lucullus had pens where he kept thrush for fattening. “So,” said Lucullus smugly. “If Lucullus had not been an epicure, Pompey had not lived.” Whereupon he ordered up a more common dish.

The oldest cookbook of which we still have a copy is by Apicius and was probably produced in Rome in the first century A.D. Unfortunately, there seem to have been a number of people named Apicius living in Rome within that century, and at least three of them were noted gourmets. The leading candidate is M. Gabius Apicius who lived from 80 B.C. to A.D. 40. Gabius Apicius was a renowned gourmet in a society that admired gourmetism. He was known to be wealthy and eat well and many dishes were named after him, including several types of cheesecake, called apicians. If this is the same Apicius, apparently he was unimpressed, because he did not include a recipe for a single apician in his book. It is quite possible that the Apicius cookbook we have was not even written by its namesake, but is a collection of recipes in his honor, possibly compiled several centuries later.

It seems that after Gabius Apicius had spent most of his inheritance on food, he killed himself rather than face financial restraints. The dishes described in this book seem to the taste of someone who would eat his inheritance and then take his life. Its brief and barely explained recipes for sow’s tits, stuffed dormice, and huge architectural centerpieces suggest the kind of extravagant cuisine that Plutarch said Lucullus ate.

It is surprising that the Greeks and Romans, known for producing hedonists, did not produce more pornography—both sexual and gastronomic. Imperial Rome seemed an age ideally suited for gastronomic pornography, with gourmetism appearing as a leitmotif in Roman writing. Some are denounced for their excess, others praised for it. Esoteric food debates run through the literature. Sow’s tits and vulvae are the delicacies of choice for great occasions. But what was the appropriate sow? Many said it was a virgin, but Pliny argued for a pig whose first litter had been aborted.

Yet food writing remained more intellectual than sensual. In the following century, Galen, Marcus Aurelius’s personal physician, wrote about food, diet, and health. “The humours from which animals and humans are composed,” he stated, “are yellow bile, blood, phlegm and black bile.” This unappetizing vision of four humors, whose balance was maintained by a proper diet, became one of the dominant medical beliefs in the Western world for more than a thousand years. The epicurean reader never completely recovers when the discussion of a delectable tidbit suddenly turns on the relative merits of phlegm and black bile.

Galen was that food writer from whom gourmets hoped not to hear. His descriptive powers were used for such subjects as “the stretching sensation” of flatulent wind. He informs that:

The nature of watermelons is generally rather chilling and contains a great deal of moisture, yet they possess a certain purgative quality, which means that they are also diuretic and pass down through the bowels more easily than large gourds and melons. Their cleansing action you can discover for yourself; just rub them on dirty skin. Watermelons will remove the following: freckles, facial moles, or epidemic leprosy, if anyone should have these conditions.

Care for a sweet, cool, juicy watermelon?

The influence of this black bile school of thought was felt for more than a thousand years. Platina, who wrote from Florence at the height of the fifteenth-century southern Renaissance, urged the eating of vinegar because “It represses bile and blood and also cuts phlegm with its intense acidity.” This is a branch of food writing that has been continued by those who extol the virtues of high fiber and low salt.

But, with the thirteenth century, another branch of food writing emerged: the cookbook.

The earliest known medieval cookbook was a German manuscript from the first half of the thirteenth century. At the end of that century a twenty-nine-recipe manuscript was written in Anglo Norman. In 1300, a French manuscript was written. These cookbooks, usually in the form of rolled manuscripts, were the work of chefs recording the cuisine of a royal household, generally at the request of the lord, in order to document the splendor of the court. The recipes, like those of Apicius, were seldom more than a vague outline a few sentences long. They seemed to have been written by professional cooks for professional cooks who already knew the basic concepts and techniques. And they borrowed from one another despite being in different languages.

The most influential of these early cookbooks was Le Viandier by Guillaume Tirel, the head cook for King Charles V of France. Five different versions of this manuscript have been found, four of which are still in existence. The earliest of these is a rolled parchment dated from the second half of the thirteenth century. The latest version was issued in 1604. A consistent curiosity of cookbooks is that subsequent editions are almost always longer than earlier versions. It seems that no one ever shortens a cookbook. The author, Guillaume Tirel, is believed to have lived from about 1312 to 1395. So the first of his manuscripts was written before he was born and the last after he died. It appears that the author was the pivotal player in a collection of recipes that was continually enlarged over several centuries.

Tirel, like many medieval cooks, had picked up his lifelong nickname in his apprentice days. Taillevent, the name he was known by, was the word for a lightweight sail used for quick maneuvering, a jib, and may be a reference to his agility. In 1381, Taillevent became chef to Charles V, who, being well known as a promoter of culture, is thought to have urged his chef to compile the recipes.

Taillevent was the most famous chef of his epoch and his book dominated French cooking and French cookbooks for centuries. Among the works it influenced was Le Mésnagier de Paris. This book was written in 1393 by a bourgeois Parisian, sometimes said to be elderly but possibly no older than mid-fifties, as a guide for a teenage orphan he had recently married. It instructs her on morality, taking care of the home, managing the domestic staff, and gardening, and it includes a chapter on cooking.

The recipe chapter of the Mésnagier is to a large degree taken from Taillevent, and only occasionally, in deference to the fact that the intended reader is an amateur housewife, are things more elaborately explained. Taillevent’s instruction for preparing peacocks begins, “They should be blown into and inflated like swans and roasted and glazed in the same way.” Little additional information is offered in the swan section. Le Mésnagier uses this recipe word for word. It is easy to imagine the sad scene of the fifteen-year-old orphan bride, wanting to do well, peacock in one hand, husband’s guide in the other, trying to inflate the heavy bird.

The Mésnagier was the first of a kind of cookbook that was to become commonplace until the twentieth century—the guide to young housewives. These cookbooks contained diverse chapters on such subjects as morality, gardening, running a household, and managing servants. Among the most famous English cookbook/guides to housewives were Eliza Smith’s 1758 The Compleat Housewife, Margaret Dods’s 1829 Cook and Housewife’s Manual, and Isabella Beeton’s 1861 Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Among the leading American ones were Lydia Maria Child’s 1829 The American Frugal Housewife, and Catherine Beecher’s and her sister Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1869 American Woman’s Home.

It is significant that these heirs to the Mésnagier were no longer a man’s advice to his young wife but books by women for women. Behind each of these books is a woman’s story. The most successful food book of eighteenth-century England was written by a woman, Hannah Glasse, but no less a figure than Dr. Johnson told Boswell that this was impossible and named a man as the true author. The accusation has been completely disproved. Like the recipient of Le Mésnagier, Isabella Beeton was a teenage bride, but she became a major figure in her husband’s publishing company and published her own guide to young housewives, which, like Le Mésnagier, became a classic. The Beecher sisters had a sense of mission and saw the housewife’s guide as an opportunity to write on their theory of the woman’s role in upholding the morality of a society. Sarah Josepha Hale became one of the most influential women in nineteenth-century America by not only writing about food and household issues but by developing the “women’s magazine.”

From the nameless fifteen-year-old bride given book-length instructions on how to run her husband’s home, to M.F.K. Fisher who dared to write about men the way Brillat-Savarin wrote about women, the history of food writing became the story of the long, slow struggle toward women’s emancipation.

In 1825 a new kind of food book was invented. The author was Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer who fled the revolution and spent two years in New York struggling as both a language teacher and a violinist. Although fascinated with the scientific and even medical approach to food, his book La Physiologie du goût, despite its title, The Physiology of Taste, was more of a philosophic and literary musing on food than a scientific investigation. Appropriately, the chapters into which he divided his book were called “meditations.” He meditated on sleep, overeating, undereating, on women, on obesity, on food and sexuality, and on food history. He philosophized, told anecdotes, and made pronouncements, such as “Every thin woman wants to grow plump” and “People predestined to gourmandism are in general of medium height; they have round or square faces, bright eyes, small foreheads, short noses, full lips and rounded chins” (surprisingly, this is not a description of the very tall Brillat-Savarin himself), or “Gourmandism, considered as a part of political economy, is a common tie which binds nations together by the reciprocal exchange of objects which are part of their daily food.”

Yet, somehow, this seemingly meandering book held together, and still does, as a singular literary work.

Three years ahead of Brillat-Savarin, and some say more talented, was Karl Friedrich von Rumohr, a German contemporary who in 1822 had published Geist der Kochkunst, T


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