Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Steps

As I battle the cats over trying to keep houseplants, there is one plant that I have managed to keep on the kitchen windowsill for three weeks without it being destroyed.  It's a curly leaf parsley plant.  I decided it was time to pick up my first little wee herb for the flat when two recipes I planned to make in one week both called for parsley.  I would have preferred flat leaf parsley, but beggars can't be choosers.  I am lucky that the fancy grocery store nearby sells little pots of herbs in the first place.

Potted parsley

Growing herbs is definitely the way to go.  Whenever I buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, I get more than I need and they just rot away in the fridge.  With a little plant, I can pick parsley as needed for recipes and it adds a little greenery to the kitchen in the meantime.  Also, herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow.  As long as they get reasonable amounts of light and water (and don't get mangled by cats), they will be happy.

However, there is another perk to this windowsill parsley that I didn't anticipate: I am using it much more often in my cooking.  It's right there, all the time, and gains my attention.  To be honest, most of the herbs in the MKG just languished in the garden unless they were specifically called for in a recipe.  With the parsley right there, it gets added as a little burst of fresh green flavor much more frequently.  For example, I made sauteed mushrooms with garlic, butter, and cream the other day and thought, "Perfect- I'll add a handful of chopped parsley to the mushrooms."  Without the plant at arms reach in the kitchen, the mushrooms would have been a little less tasty. 

Now I'm looking forward to expanding my wee indoor herb garden.  Wherever you live, in a flat or in a house or on a boat, I encourage you to add a few little potted herb plants to your world.  Your cooking will thank you for it.

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