AlloBaber
5,000+ Views

Thyme, A Savory Antioxidant and Anti-Microbial Herb

An amazingly versatile seasoning that goes well with nearly every savory dish, thyme is a delicate herb with an unforgettable aroma. There are lots of reasons to cook with it, especially in its fresh form: it adds a light but enjoyable flavor to bean, egg, vegetable, and meat dishes; it's got antioxidant and anti-microbial properties; and for such a small herb, it packs an impressing serving of vitamin C and iron.

Tips for using thyme:

– Add to your favorite pasta sauce for an unexpectedly complexity of flavor.
– Use in omelets and egg scrambles to add an appealing aromatic element.
– Hearty bean and lentil dishes are perfectly complemented by the flavor of thyme.
– When poaching fish, try adding thyme to the poaching liquid.
– Thyme is a part of the traditional French "bouquet garni," a bouquet of herbs used to season stocks, soups, and broths.
– Stuff several sprigs alongside some fresh rosemary and a bay leaf or two for a delicious, flavorful roasted chicken.
– Thyme was burnt as an incense in ancient Greek temples; the smell from burning it is said to shoo away insects.
– When cooking with thyme, either fresh or dried, always add towards the end; too much heat can cook out its delicate flavor.

Thyme in the Garden

Planting

Slow, spotty germination can make it tough to grow thyme from seed. It's much easier to buy a mature plant, or start from some cuttings from a friend. But with a little determination and some trial and error, you can definitely grow thyme yourself! (I'm doing it right now!)
For a head start, you can plant seeds or cuttings indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. This allows the seeds to germinate in a controlled environment, where harsh temperatures won't slow them down. Plant outside 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost in well-drained soil, about 9 inches apart. Thyme will grow to about 6-12 inches in height.
If you want to grow in a pot indoors, that's totally doable too! Plant in a clay pot in a mixture of sand, potting soil, peat moss, and perlite, so that your plant has access to all the nutrients it needs without being in danger of soggy roots (herbs hate soggy roots). Thyme can grow in indirect sunlight, which makes it an excellent addition to a kitchen herb garden. Try to give it at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, and place in a west- or south-facing window.

Caring for Thyme

Water normally. Trim to encourage new growth. You can prune in the spring and summer to keep the plants from getting out of hand. If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.

Harvest and Storage

Throughout the summer, leaves and sprigs can be harvested at any time. Harvest as needed and use fresh, or if you prefer, dry and conserve. Remove leaves from woody stems by pinching the end of the stem with your thumb and forefinger, and pulling up the stalk. Discard peripheral twigs.
To dry, first wash fresh thyme and then towel off thoroughly. Tie several sprigs together in small, bunched bouquets. Hang them in a dark, well-ventilated, warm area with low humidity. About two weeks should be all they need. Once dried, store in an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can remove the leaves and place them on a cookie sheet, stirring them up once a day, for a few days. This is the quickest way to dry the herb.
To freeze, remove leaves. Pack an ice tray about 3/4 of the way full with thyme, and then fill the rest of the way with olive oil or unsalted butter. Place in the freezer. This is an excellent way to save money and make the most of your fresh herbs!
Sources:
2 Comments
Suggested
Recent
well 'thyme'ing! thanks for d wonderful write out, eager 2 start thyme-away...
This is really really interesting (and made me want to use a lot more thyme when I cook)! What else is in the bouquet garni?
Cards you may also be interested in
Easy Spinach Artichoke Quiche Cups – Gimme Some Oven
Do you love quiche? I'm always down for a slice of my favorite savory brunch staple. Quiches are cool because you can vary them in so many ways, depending on how you dress them up. These mini quiches from Gimme Some Oven are filled with artichokes and spinach, then baked in a muffin tin so they're extra-cute! ^.^ Super easy and SUPER delicious, these are definitely worth making ASAP :) P.S. All photos are by the magnificent Gimme Some Oven! :D Easy Spinach Artichoke Quiche Cups Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 20 min. Difficulty: Super Easy Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven What You'll Need 1 (14.5-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 1 package frozen spinach, drained 5 eggs, whisked 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 2/3 cup milk (any kind) 1/2 cup chopped white onion 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray (or line with paper liners). 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir together. 3. Divide the mixture evenly among 12 baking cups. They should be almost full. 4. Bake until eggs are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the quiche comes out clean – about 20 minutes. Serve immediately, or freeze for a delicious breakfast on-the-go! Enjoy :) For more yummy recipes, follow my Cooking collection! Let me know if you make these – I'd love to hear how yours came out :)
sassy
Grow Your Own Avocado Tree From Seed
Planting your own avocado tree is a lot easier than you think. You don't need a lot of materials, space, or time. This project is great for people of all ages and can grow from your outdoor garden or inside your home. Here's how to get started: Directions: 1. Take a ripe avocado and cut it into 2 halves. Remove the seed from the center, rinse off with fresh water, and make sure there is no fruit on it. Let the seed dry completely. 2. Push 3-4 toothpicks inside the seed from all sides towards the middle. Place in a full glass of water so the pointy end of the seed faces upward, while the round part is in the water by an inch. 3. Keep the glass in a semi warm climate controlled place (away from direct sunlight). Leave for 4-6 weeks and check regularly to see if additional water needs to be added. Note: The seed will sprout a stem and roots. Once you see the stem is 6 inches long, cut it down to 3 inches. The stem will continue to grow and you will start to notice some leaves. 4. Take out the seed from the glass and move it to a large pot 3 ft. wide and 3 ft. deep. Add some rich fertile soil and compost to the pot and plant the seed. Note: The root of the seed should be pushed inside the soil about 1-3 inches, while the top half of the seed should remain outside the pot. 5. Place the pot where it can get good sunlight, water, and air. The soil should remain moist, but not completely saturated. Note: It's helpful to use a pot with good drainage. Pinch the top leaves of the plant every time the stem length increases by 6 inches to help the growth of the plant. *It's beneficial to start planting in the Spring. Also, if you don't want to plant your avocado tree in the garden, make sure to take your plant outside on a daily basis for sunlight and fresh air. It will take about 7=15 years for the tree to yield fruit, so be patient!
A Crème Brûlée, in Cocktail Form
As @marshalledgar recently observed, there truly is a made-up food holiday for every day of the year. And according to the powers that be, today is National Crème Brûlée day! Why do we Americans celebrate a dessert that the French, Spanish, and British all claim to have invented, you ask? Because it's PURE AMAZINGNESS. Delicate vanilla cream with a crunchy, crackling caramelized shell – come on, who wouldn't want to dedicate an entire day to singing its praises? Not all of us have the time or tools to whip up a crème brûlée at a moment's notice (although you totally should, using my recipe here), so I've researched an easier way to get your fix this holiday: the Crème Brûlée cocktail. There are plenty of versions out there, but so far, this one seems the best and most accurate in flavor. That's thanks to the homemade "burnt sugar"-flavored simple syrup, to give the cocktail a true authenticity. Give it a try tonight, and share your thoughts! Crème Brûlée Cocktail Original recipe by A. Huddleston of Cook In / Dine Out To make this incredibly delicious drink of the gods, you will need: 1 oz. vanilla-flavored vodka (like Stoli Vanil) 1 oz. heavy cream 1 oz. vanilla burnt sugar syrup (see recipe below) Assembling the cocktail is simple. Chill a martini glass in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Stir the ingredients together, and then serve in chilled martini glass. If you have a cocktail shaker, try shaking the ingredients together with ice, and then straining into the glass for a colder final product. Vanilla Burnt Sugar Simple Syrup To make the easy homemade syrup, you will need: 1 cup water 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 vanilla bean pod 1. Heat the sugar in a small (8-inch) frying pan over medium heat. Leave sugar undisturbed until it begins to melt and then stir sugar as in melts and caramelizes until all the sugar has melted and it is a dark amber color. 2. Meanwhile, add water to a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and use a knife tip to scrape the vanilla beans into the water. Add the pod halves to the water and bring to a boil. 3. Pour the burnt sugar syrup into the boiling water (be careful of sputtering, you may want to stand back a bit). Continue boiling and stir to dissolve any hardened clumps of syrup. Set aside to cool. Strain when cooled and store in a container in the refrigerator. I hope you all celebrate this lovely holiday with a sweet and creamy Crème Brûlée Cocktail. Enjoy!
17
2
13