Speaking at the Master Gardener Plant Sale

Photos by Sandi Pettus

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for the Master Gardener Plant Sale in Lawrenceburg on Saturday. I spoke on cooking with culinary herbs.

My brother Eric and his family came to give us support. I’m so thankful to my sister-in-law, Helen who worked with me during my presentation and kept me organized. I’d also like to thank a girl young named Breanna who helped us keep our area clean.

We all know there’s a multitude of ways to use herbs, so I focused on the areas of  barbecuing, condiments, compound butters, preserving, infusing, steaming and finishing with herbs. I explained some tried and true methods and gave some unique new ideas. Two of the noted favorites were an herb fire-starter and pretty ice cubes filled with herbs and edible flowers.

In the last part of my presentation, I chose to demonstrate pesto because of it’s simplicity and knew it’s something people could recognize. Pesto, which means “‘pounded” in Italian, was historically prepared using a mortar and pestal. However, it has since been revised for modern day. Most of us now use food processors to prepare this sauce.

I put my spin on the traditional basil pine nut pesto and added it to a prepared layered terrine (of sun dried tomatoes, tipenade and goat cheese) and topped it with our freshly made pesto. Then, I introduced a cilantro pepita pesto and a parsley almond pesto. Everyone got a chance to sample everything on crusty bread. I think the favorite of the day was our layered terrine.

I really enjoyed myself and was glad to see others enjoying my demos and samples. I had one lady tell me that she knows a lot about herbs, but she said she actually learned some new things, so I thought that was a great compliment! Sharing cooking knowledge is the one thing I really enjoy.


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