Dill weed. It’s a silly name for a tasty herb. An herb I have not much explored. I gathered some recipes, was offered some more, and have been patiently waiting for my dill to be usable. It has reached that point.
I decided to start with a dill macaroni salad. Why? Because I am unfamiliar with dill and I am very familiar with macaroni salad. I found a recipe using dill for a potato salad, and just adjusted it to fit with the way my mom makes macaroni salad to create some sort of monstrous taste-pile of goodness.
I found the dill to be pleasant to work with. Very easy to chop and with a pleasant smell. The reason I have been so hesitant to venture into this culinary realm is due to the fact that I absolutely despise pickles, and in my mind “dill” and “pickle” are forever together. I thought maybe the flavor in pickles that I can’t stand came from dill. I was wrong. Turns out that anything pickled, even olives, instantly triggers the up-chuck reflex. Gross.
I have since learned the error of my ways. People have made many delicious treats involving dill, such as the ever hilarious Dill Dip. As much as I now know that dill is not the reason for my pickle hostility, I still am a little uncomfortable with it. Hence the familiar recipe made in a new and crazy way.
Plus, this has mayonnaise in it. You can’t go wrong with a recipe involving mayonnaise. I love the stuff! In the recipe I wrote that you should use 1 cup of mayo, however keep in mind that more is always an option. An option I frequently choose. Needless to say, yet I’ll still say it, I highly enjoyed this foray into the joys of dill weed.
Gardening is fun, especially if you have someone else do it for you, and then reap the benefits. That’s how I roll. Earlier this year, my dad and brother (with my assistance, of course!) felt the need to make a huge garden structure thing, in order to keep the deer and critters out as well as to make us look fancy. I must admit, it does look nice. I mostly helped by halfheartedly digging a hole with a post digger. Turns out that I don’t enjoy manual labor. At least I tried!
We planted some seeds, planted some already started plants, and I re-potted my herbs so they could have room to stretch. And holy crap did they stretch! The sage went insane! Especially in the past couple of days. I mean, it was doing alright outside, then when I looked at it yesterday they were giants! I definitely need to use them soon. And the basil has been growing well, but it seems some bugs might like it too since the leaves have little holes in them. Oh well, I still used some today in my grandma’s sauce.
The parsley and dill had all but died before I re-potted them. Now they’re coming back strong! It’s quite exciting. And I also cheated and bought rosemary and mint since I couldn’t find mint seeds, and the rosemary smelled too good to not buy. The mint is the only one not in the garden, I put it in it’s own pot right under my window. No real reason for that, it’s just where the pot already was.
Lots of stuff is growing, and I’m kinda looking forward to all the fresh and free vegetables that will be coming later in the summer. Oh, and the strawberries! I have learned that strawberries fresh off the vine are ridiculously fantastic.
Now you can all look forward to summer recipes with home grown ingredients besides just the herbs (which are finally usable and can fulfill the purpose of this blog!). I’m gonna make zucchini bread, butternut squash risotto, grilled vegetable sauces, green bean casserole, soups, desserts, drinks, anything and everything I can!
Now I’m freaking hungry.
Watch out, it’s pic heavy below the cut. Click them to see them bigger
I know it’s been a while since I posted new info about my herbs. And no, it’s not because I forgot or anything lame like that, it’s because they honestly hadn’t changed much since my last update. There was a few days when I thought they were going to die, and that wasn’t cool, but since it got warmer they’ve been doing much better and have actually grown a little! I’m going to start watering them with a fertilizer water thing that my dad made for our garden and I hope it will make the herbs grow to the point where I can actually use them. I did NOT expect it to take quite this long!
The basil has finely grown some new basil like leaves. After remaining unchanged for 2 months I was concerned that I had duds, but now I see actual progress. See how cute? It actually resembles basil now! I just want to gobble it up!
Now, the parsley I was really really worried about. It was not doing well at all. It was losing the green color and being all long and floppy and terrible and kind of shriveled up. Thankfully it looks like an actual plant again! I rescued it! I probably wasn’t watering it enough because of my fear of over-watering my herbs. But now the parsley is quickly on its’ way to a full and healthy recovery, all for the purpose of being eaten! Mmmmmmm tasty….
The sage has always been pretty and healthy looking. The only real change is the leaves are bigger and cooler looking, and there is more of them. Enough said, check out the pic.
My dill is being kind of strange. It’s growing well, but with a purple tint to it. Is this normal? I guess I just have to wait and see. It is steadily growing, so it’s still doing well, right? Oh well, at least it’s looks neat!
We’ve also started growing plants for the garden in the back yard. My dad and brother (with my help of course!) built this huge wooden structure for our garden, so we’re pretty excited about it. They had to build such a big garden so the deer won’t be able to just eat everything. I’ll put up pics of it when we’ve planted some of the plants outside. Right now the peppers and tomatoes and eggplant are growing inside, and are doing quite well if I do say so myself! Here are some of the tomato plants! They’re huge (compared to the herbs at least)!
So many growing things! Only problem now is how to get rid of all the stupid little flies. I’m going to blame my brother’s orange tree for them. No way can my cute little herbs be at fault!
First off, I heard about how some random from NY wants to ban the use of salt in all NY restaurants. That’s just a whole new level of stupid. Nothing will boost an economy like a massive chef strike! Hopefully NY realizes this is a silly idea and moves past it. If people are against salt in restaurant food, then they always have the viable option of cooking their own flavorless blobs of nothing at home. Oh well.
On to better things: herbs! Sage and dill are growing at an explosive speed! Meanwhile, parsley and basil haven’t changed all that much. The sage has started growing little herby leaves that are simply adorable. They’re all wrinkly and fuzzy and tiny, like a baby, except sage is actually cute.
The dill is just crazy whirls of mayhem. I like it. I had no idea that dill was quite so cool looking while it grows. I must say it is a pleasant surprise.
Poor basil and parsley are being wicked lame. They’re still so small! The parsley is starting to sprout little herby leaves, however they are not all that impressive right now. I tried to take a picture of it, but it was just too lame to post. I hope you enjoy the sage and dill instead.
My dill and sage have been growing awesomely. When they first started growing they were both kind of ugly, so I didn’t take any pictures. They were brownish and wimpy looking. Luckily, that quickly changed. Apparently dill grows really tall in a short amount of time. One day they were just peeking out of the soil, and the next they were like 2 inches high! I might have to raise my grow-light if they keep up like this.
Some of the sage kept the seed shell on for a while after they busted the soil. I wanted to just pluck it off, but I figured it’s probably a natural thing so I left it. It’s cool to watch it though because the stem is all fuzzy and weird. You can see one in the middle with the seed shell still on the top.
It’s so interesting how all the herbs look so completely different, and the shapes of them remind me of the seeds. Dill, for example is really long and thin. The sage is very round and fat. Basil is round and thin. The parsley is long and very delicate looking. Maybe I’m looking into it all too much, but I think its fascinating.
On a completely unrelated side note, I just finished making Runsas (beef and cabbage buns) today and they are FANTASTIC. Savory filling wrapped in a lightly sweetened soft bread? Yeah, doesn’t get much more delicious than that. I plan on using the bread recipe and inventing my own filling with various herbs. You should be excited, because it’s going to be epic.
I went to the store the other day with the plan of buying sage and mint seeds, and what did they have? Practically nothing! I managed to find the sage seeds, but there was no mint to be found. I really wanted another type too since my brother replanted his pear tree and gave me the empty pot left behind. I couldn’t just let an empty pot sit around when it could be the vessel for a glorious herb!
After a great internal debate (and about a half hour looking like a crazy person staring at seed packets) I finally decided upon dill. Why dill? Well, it’s tasty, pretty, and makes me laugh because I think it’s a silly name. Also I don’t have a lot of experience with it and figured this was a good time to learn. Those are good enough reasons for me!
I planted the seeds last night, so it’ll be a while until anything interesting happens with them. Although I do expect to see my extra basil soon!
Here are some photo updates of my basil and parsley: