Do you ever name your plants? Last spring when I brought a little organic rosemary plant home, I wanted to name it Herb, but after a while, I felt the plant was too feminine to be a ‘Herb’, so Rosemary she became.
Rosemary lived outside in my garden container (see here) and gave back so much, delighting my nose and eye and sharing many of her branches to season food, I couldn’t see her go the way of other herbs in the garden.
Because she and I had became inseparable, I wanted her to come live with us. I crooned to her gently as I chopped through her gnarly roots, knowing it was all for the best and for her good. I’m sure I felt worse about it than she did! Re-potted and happily settled in the sunny south windows near the kitchen, Rosemary stoically watched, as one by one, all her garden friends succumbed to the frost and cold. Not even a tear was shed when I cut fresh sprigs for drying and recipes. She always gave back that wonderful woodsy piney fragrance, strong and invigorating.
Rosemary is always indispensable in the kitchen. It is one of the few herbs that can withstand high temperatures without losing too much flavor. Rosemary’s distinctive aroma is hard to describe, though noteded food scientist Harold McGee breaks it down as a combination of “florals, pine, wood, eucalyptus, and clove” (“enticing” also works).