The Table is Set | Robin Anish: Never mind flowers, say it with herbs

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My feelings for her, I have kept to myself, a secret I have carried from the moment I first saw her. Alas, my heart cannot keep this secret any longer. Surely, my declaration of love will be unforeseen. So, as not my anxious heart overwhelm her, I mustn't be bold in setting forth my feelings. I must be considerate of her heart. Perhaps, expressed with my identity unknown for now, my words will be received kindly. Perhaps, knowing of a secret admirer will bring to her delight in wondering and the favorable time to come to know me, though not to know who I am, through my most sincere words and then, perhaps, she will welcome my love into her heart.

I will send to her a bouquet of flowers that speaks for me. A gardenia admits to my being a secret love. A hibiscus tells of her delicate beauty and the white hyacinth of how her loveliness charms me. Her smile like that of a yellow tulip is bright as sunshine. Let this red carnation express how my heart aches for her and a red rose to tell her I love her.

This is the language of flowers or floriography. Meaning has been given to flowers for thousands of years and in Victorian times, the language of flowers was used as a means to express, often anonymously, feelings of friendship, good wishes, congratulations, love and even rejection through bouquets of flowers that represent a desired message.

Herbs, too, have meanings as expressed in my recipe for a fragrant and flavorful blend of herbs .

ALL-PURPOSE HERB SEASONING BLEND

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons Remembrance

2 tablespoons Praise Worthy

2 tablespoons Good Wishes     

2 tablespoons of Joy

2 tablespoons of Courage

2 tablespoons gratitude

1 tablespoon of Wisdom

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2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried them

2 tablespoons dried parsley

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1 tablespoons dried sage

Run the rosemary and fennel seeds through an herb grinder or small food processor just enough to break up a bit. Combine with remaining herbs and store in a small jar.

Use generously and often to season poultry, meats, fish, vegetables, soups and stews. Makes a great marinara sauce and perfect for pizza and foccacia. Add to marinades and salad dressings.

This blend of herbs enhances the smoky flavor of grilled foods. Try this savory lemon herb barbecue sauce for grilling chicken.

LEMON HERB BARBECUE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

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2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons herb blend

Whisk together ingredients until creamy. Use to baste grilled chicken or fish.

Serve a grilled steak with generous pats of herbal compound butter.

COMPOUND BUTTER FOR STEAK

INGREDIENTS:

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons tablespoons herb blend

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate several hours to allow flavors to blend. The longer the better.

Serve on grilled steak.


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