Yesterday I spent the evening making fresh lemonade. I used 4 lemons, 5 cups of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, fresh lemon balm leaves and mint leaves. First I washed the lemons and peeled the zest off of one lemon. I placed 3 cups of water in a pot to boil and added the zest. Once the water was boiling I added the sugar and stirred. While the sugar water was boiling I cut and squeezed the lemons by hand, which is great for nails and cuticles. I ended up with a cup of lemon juice.
Once the sugar had dissolved, I removed the water from the heat and lightly bruised the lemon balm and mint leaves and placed them in the hot sugar water. I left that to cool while I worked on other projects. Once the mixture had cooled I added the lemon juice and the additional 2 cups of water.We like ours a little less tart than others, so add the lemon juice first, stir and taste, add then additional water if desired.
Pour the lemonade into a pitcher and place in the refrigerator until chilled. Strain to serve and enjoy.
That was one project using the fresh herbs that are growing in the garden. The other project was a chive oil.
This recipe was passed along from another herb freak!! To make the chive oil, I cut a large bunch of chives, about 2 oz. I placed them in a pot of water and brought it to a boil. I removed the pot when the chives were bright green. Then in the blender I added the chives and a cup of olive oil, blend and let sit. I let the mixture sit for about an hour, then I strained it. Done.
I used the chive oil to top a tomato dish.
Cut tomatoes into slices, lay out on a plate, sprinkle with fresh oregano and chopped garlic. Then add a thin slice of mozzarella to each tomato slice. Then drizzle with the chive oil. This dish can be served cold or it can be broiled until the mozzarella melts to make a tasty hot appetizer.
We are enjoying the fresh herbs and increased the herb garden by adding horehound, peppermint, pineapple sage, catnip, arnica, angelica, lavendar and tansy.