Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Herbal Treats

For an afternoon treat in the garden, there is nothing like an icy glass of tea and some cookies. Since most of Linderhof's gardens are herbs, the herbs find their way into both tea and cookies.
My favorite cookie is shortbread. Plain, lavender, ginger. Any and all shortbread. I love using "savory" herbs in sweets and rosemary is perfect for shortbread.
It's an easy recipe (as all shortbreads are) from Recipes from a French Herb Garden by Geraldine Holt. A favorite book. And rosemary shortbread is a favorite, too.
The tea -- lemon balm iced tea. The recipe gotten ages ago from a bed and breakfast. Since the lemon balm grows rampant in Linderhof's garden, it makes a great tea for summertime sipping.
But it was not just me in the garden -- but two friends. The three of us worked on a succulent living wreath. Our gift to a dear friend who lost her 10 year old granddaughter last month. We felt she didn't need another philodenrun but would appreciate a living wreath. A living wreath done by not just one hand but by three.

(From a Paola, Kansas bed and breakfast)

1 bunch fresh lemon balm (a good handful)
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
4 mint tea bags
2 cups boiling water
3 T. honey (or use sugar sweetened to taste)
4 c. cold water

Combine lemon balm, lemon slices and mint tea in a teapot. Pour in boiling water. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes.

Remove tea bags. Stir in honey. Cool to room temperature.

Strain into a large pitcher. Add cold water and stir well. Refrigerate until serving time. Pour cold tea over ice in glasses.

(From Recipes from a French Herb Garden)

8 T. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 - 2 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
a little extra sugar

Cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Work in the flour and the rosemary to make a soft dough then shape into a ball.

Roll out the dough on a floured board until 1/4 inch thick and cut out rounds using a 3 inch fluted cutter.

Bake on a greased baking sheet in a warm oven 325 degrees fro 15 to 20 minutes or until the shortbread is changing color. Cool the cookies on a wire rack and then sprinkle with the extra sugar.


Keetha Broyles said...

This "treat" look really refreshing - - - and the living wreath is lovely.

Blondie's Journal said...

What a wonderful treat!! I too, love sweet & savory. Do you have a problem with your shortbread dough falling apart~it may have been the recipe I used recently but I was so frustrated...

I love growing lemon balm, you are right, it is rampant indeed!!!

The wreath looks lovely... Ihothi am so sorry about your friend's grandaughter. I hope the wreath cheers her up a bit.


Mary Bergfeld said...

This looks like a wonderful afternoon treat. The herb wreath really does look lovely.

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Mmmmmmmmmm! How wonderful of you to share these recipes. I am not so hot in the kitchen and honestly had never thought about adding herbs to cookies. Rosemary cookies sound delish! Who would have thought? Well, probably anyone who is hot in the kitchen! :-)

Your home looks darling...

Thank you so much for your visit! I'll be back too.


Rosemary said...

What beautiful herbal treats! I know I would be happy sipping lemon balm tea and munching rosemary shortbread while strolling your herb gardens! Fun post!

Missy Wertz said...

Martha, I suppose, because I am a trained photographer, and now with Photoshop I can shoot under less than idea conditions and have at least 90-95% keepers. And that is what you want with a photographer. Since going digital, I shoot too many photos and the issue is "which one do I choose?" I learned for children's portraiture, too many photos makes it too hard for a client to chose.