A few years ago Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton starred in a film called Bandits. After escaping from jail, the two men begin a bank robbing rush that made Bonnie and Clyde look like child’s play. This has to do with gardening. No doubt about it. After their initial heist, the two concoct a plan to rob future banks that will keep them from being caught by the law. It works perfectly and before they know it, they have garnered national attention.
Shortly after the news of the “Sleepover bandits” goes national, they show up at a banker’s home where they will stay the night and go in with the bank manager in the morning to clean out the vault. In the following scene, everyone, the bank manager, his wife and two kids and the Sleepover Bandits are sitting around the dinner table enjoying a spaghetti dinner.
Billy Bob’s character comments on the pasta sauce telling the bank manager’s wife that it is delicious. Crying, she thanks him and he begins to guess at what the secret ingredient might be. It adds the perfect flavor and he knows it is right on the tip of his tongue. “Tarragon!” he exclaims excitedly. The bank manager’s wife smiles and nods, though still crying, because she is flattered by his enjoyment of her cooking.
Tarragon is the point. Not just Tarragon, but thyme and basil, dill, mint, parsley and oh so many more herbs make for delightful cuisine. So many gardeners do not consider the joy of these tasty leaf-bearing plants though. Having a small raised bed for a variety of herbs, or even a half dozen hanging planters for their growth is a wonderful way to save money on expensive brand name herbs at a grocery store, control the growth (and therefore potency of flavor), and capture freshness.
Indoor herbs need only a sprinkling of water once a week as a controlled environment causes much less water depletion. Outdoor herbs, especially those planted in the ground can handle two waterings a week, but regardless of how they are planted, herbs are one of the easiest to grow plants and they arguably add the most to cooked dishes.
Most people will not be kidnapped by civilized, bank-robbing, food connoisseurs who appreciate the subtle flavor of tarragon, but that does not mean that the whole family and everyone who enjoys a cook’s dish will not want a fresh, perfect herbification. And yes, herbification is a new word. Use it. Love it. Do it.
Herbify: to grow one’s own herbs for the purpose of flavoring a dish to perfect taste.
About the Author
Jody Sperling is a contributing writer for Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC. The exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club.