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Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis

January 14, 2012

Rosemary is a hardy, fairly ubiquitous shrub in many parts of the world.  It thrives in Mediterranean climates, but it is also widely cultivated.  It will grow in climates where winter temperatures do not drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Numerous legends and traditions surround the herb rosemary, but my favorite indicates that in yards where the rosemary shrub grows large and heartily, the woman rules the household.  My own observation is that rosemary bushes almost always grow large and heartily.

In the event your household has an abundance of rosemary, here are some suggested uses.

  1. As a gift rosemary signifies love, friendship, and remembrance
  2. Include in sachets.
  3. Make a strong tea of rosemary and add to baths to refresh and stimulate.
  4. Use with poultry, fish, lamb, beef, veal, pork or game.  Rosemary harmonizes nicely with chives, thyme, chervil, parsley, and bay.

Dried rosemary stores well.  You can also freeze sprigs of rosemary.  When you’re ready to use it, just strip the leaves off the stem by running your thumb and index finger down the sprig.

Great source for info on herbs:  Kowalchik, Claire and William H. Hylton, eds. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press: Emmaus, PA 1987.

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