“That’s rosemary, for remembrance.”
The past few days have been witheringly hot around here. Certainly, those of you in the Midwest can make fun of us when we wilt in 90° plus. But you know, we are used to cool marine air, morning mist, and blue-skied days in the 70s for most of July. When I step onto the back porch to take out the recycling in mid-day, and my feet start to fry like that mythical egg on the sidewalk, I’m shocked.
Plus, take 1 darling baby who fights sleep on cool days, and add 20° = no sleep for anyone.
We were a little cranky last evening, when the clock read 9:30 pm and the thermometer 84°. Danny was taking his turn trying to soothe a sweaty baby. I walked into the garden for the first time all day.
The promised garden of May has become dry grass and shriveling shoots. The lush plants of late spring are all still alive, but they are starting to sound faintly like The Wicked Witch of the West: “I’m melting. I’m melting!” Except, instead of melting, they are drying. No matter how much we stand patiently waiting with the hose running, some plants are waning. It hasn’t rained here since May 19th.
This is just outside of Seattle I’m talking about, after all.
Last evening, I stepped into the garden and saw the rosemary. The rosemary is still thriving.
Rosemary smells like deep woods and the sharp sting of pine needles in the nose. It’s pungent and tough, a tiny bit bitter, like a jaded fighter with his guard up. Rosemary tastes like grilled meats and polenta in the evening and lemonade with a kick. In summer, it’s stronger than in the winter. All that sun seems to bring out its assertive nature.
We like chopped rosemary on roasted lamb, a light dusting of it on seared salmon, threads of it in a plate of roasted potatoes, and in a marinade with lime and lemon juice for zucchini on the grill. It brings out the full flavor of pumpkin soup, roasted duck breast, and a crusty loaf of gluten-free bread.
One whiff of rosemary reminded me of the scope of the year ahead.
The heat will pass. The baby will learn to sleep.
One smell of the rosemary in our garden on that unfocused, over-heated evening, and I was feeling strong again. I went back inside to help the baby let go.
Today’s post kicks off Summer Fest 2009. Danny and I are honored to be part of this four-week cross-blog event, co-created last year by Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple. This year, they’ve asked a couple of new folks to join in, including Simmer Till Dones Marilyn Pollack Naron and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project. Oh, and Danny and me.
THE 2009 SCHEDULE:
* Tuesday, July 28: HERBS. Any and all.
* Tuesday, August 4: FRUITS FROM TREES
* Tuesday, August 11: BEANS-AND-GREENS WEEK
* Tuesday, August 18: TOMATO WEEK.
HOW YOU CAN JOIN IN:
Leave a comment here, sharing your tips with rosemary. Or your favorite herb. We’d love to learn what you do.
And then go visit the other blogs, to read their ideas and leave comments with them. Soon, this will feel like a huge party, focused on rosemary. (And next week, we’ll do the same with fruit.)