Sunday, May 25, 2008


I planted several herbs, but I have never cooked with fresh herbs.

I was looking at potato recipes for dinner to use up the red potatoes and found one with rosemary, so I thought I'd try it with my fresh rosemary. However, when I went out and smelled the rosemary I wasn't sure I would like it. From what I've read, it tastes like lemon and pine. That doesn't sound very appetizing to me. LOL

I am sure I've even foods with rosemary in them, but I don't recall ever having cooked with it.

I ended up just making the potatoes like I did to go with the pork loin chops before - olive oil, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, pepper and this time sea salt instead of regular salt.

Maybe I should have used some fresh oregano. I need to experiment with these things, or how will I ever know?? Maybe I can use the rosemary in some other way...

Rosemary, both fresh and dried, has numerous cosmetic, decorative, medicinal, and culinary uses, besides its ornamental appeal. The aromatic oil is added to soaps, creams, lotions, perfumes, and toilet waters. The leaves can be used in sachets and potpourris, as well as in herbal baths, facial steams, hair rinses, and dyes. Rosemary is used as an astringent and cleanser in bath and beauty products. Rosemary water is often called Hungary water since one of the Queens of Hungary was said to bathe in rosemary water everyday, and that she was so beautiful even in old age that she was asked for her hand in marriage at the age of 75.

Long included in herbalists' stores, rosemary is used as an antiseptic and astringent. Sixteenth century Europeans carried it in pouches and in the heads of walking sticks to ward off the plague, and judges placed it on their benches to protect them from typhoid. Until recently, rosemary purified the air in French hospitals. It has been prescribed for depression, headaches, muscle spasms, pains, sores, eczema, bruises, wounds, and to restore digestion. Studies show rosemary leaves increase circulation, reduce headaches and fight bacterial and fungal infections. It contains many compounds that are reported to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, usually a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Japanese researchers find it promising for removing wrinkles. However, prolonged handling of fresh rosemary plants or using cosmetics scented with rosemary oil may cause contact dermatitis in sensitive people.

Rosemary is used to flavor poultry, fish, lamb, beef, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, potatoes, vinegars, and herbal butters. Both the flowers and leaves of rosemary can be used in cooking and for garnishes, and woody branches can even be used as skewers for barbecues.

Hungary water was first invented for the Queen of Hungary to "renovate vitality of paralysed limbs." It was used externally and prepared by mixing 180g of fresh rosemary tops in full flower into a liter of spirits of wine. Leave to stand for four days then distill. It is also supposed to work as a remedy against gout if rubbed vigorously on hands and feet.[3]

Rosemary has a very old reputation for improving memory, and has been used as a symbol for remembrance (during weddings, war commemorations and funerals) in Europe, probably as a result of this reputation.[citation needed] Mourners would throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia says, "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." One modern study lends some credence to this reputation. When the smell of rosemary was pumped into cubicles where people were working, those people showed improved memory, though with slower recall.[4] A second study shows that carnosic acid, found in rosemary, shields the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's.[5]

Don Quixote (Chapter XVII, 1st volume) mixes it in his recipe of the miraculous balm of Fierabras with revolting results.

Health Precautions: In some cases, rosemary can cause autoimmune diseases. Rosemary in culinary or therapeutic doses is generally safe; however, precaution is necessary for those displaying allergic reaction or prone to epileptic seizure. Rosemary essential oil is a powerful convulsant; if applied to the skin, it may cause seizures in otherwise healthy adults or children.[6] Rosemary essential oil is potentially toxic if ingested. Large quantities of rosemary leaves can cause adverse reactions, such as coma, spasm, vomiting, and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) that can be fatal. Avoid consuming large quantities of rosemary if pregnant or breastfeeding.[7]

Rosemary may also be useful in the prevention and treatment of headlice.[8]

Rosemary, for example, a cup of rosemary tea, can cause drowsiness.

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