- Author: Launa Herrmann
Published on: January 10, 2022
Outside the weather is chilly, and I'm glad to be in. With the leaf raking finished and rain on its way, I'm refilling jars in my spice cabinet with herbs harvested and dried from last summer's garden. I always enjoy the fragrance they leave behind on my fingertips.
Herbs are fascinating. For thousands of years, they have been used to enhance the flavor of and add a touch of color to food. Herbs also were used to mask odors and camouflage putrid tastes such as rotting meat. Different cultures use them to tan or dye leather and ward off nightmares. Herbs provide health benefits.
Herbs also are symbolic. Rosemary means fidelity or remembrance. Borage conveys courage. Dill purifies the air. Thyme symbolizes sacrifice. Basil references love, fertility, and happiness.
Personally, I hadn't thought much about herbs beyond their aromatic and culinary uses until I spotted a photo of what appears to be a frittata or quiche. Baked into the mixture are what appear to me to be artistically placed basil and rosemary leaves, leak stems, and a couple of cherry tomatoes. The longer I look at the photo, the more I see it as edible art. A playful palette of creativity limited only by one's imagination. I don't think I'll ever again bake a plain quiche in my oven.
Along the way to researching the history of herbs, I came across a couple of interesting websites:
https://theherbalacademy.com/herbal-history/ This site features an intriguing article entitled “Herbal History: Roots of Western Herbalism.”
https://www.herbco.com/s-2510-the-art-of-dyeing-naturally.aspx This website offers a list of herbs and spices from which various hues and shades can be made.
https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-paint-for-kids/ Check out instructions on “How to Make Non-Toxic Herbal Paint for Kids.”
Finally, I ran across the following colorful photo showing a couple of simple ways to use herbs to decorate cookies, pies, and tarts. Kayleigh Kosmas is the author of the featured article, located on this website:
For more information on herbs, including the difference between annual, biennial, and perennial, and how to propagate by stem cuttings, and how to grow them, visit: