Friday, September 29, 2006

Laurel and Hardy-har-har

It’s my favorite herb, and I grow it in a pot on the patio: Greek bay laurel.
Would I give up my parsley, oregano, marjoram, chives, mint and rosemary for laurel? You bet. I think fresh laurel leaves combine all the lovely green flavors of those herbs, and then some.
Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen has been urging food bloggers to talk about herbs for Weekend Herb Blogging for One Whole Year now, and happy anniversary, WHB. You can read a wonderful review of the past year’s WHB over at Kalyn’s this week, and the grand finale — in which we submit our favorite herb for the first birthday party — takes place Sunday.
So why laurel? Personal quirks, I guess. It grows easily for me. I’ve already said I love the flavor, which blossoms in stewing liquids; my favorite things to cook are soups and stews. There’s a lot of leaves on my tiny tree (not “bush”) so I can go a little overboard if I want to and never actually quite overdo it. Finally, laurel has been used historically as a clever savory touch in sweet foods, and there’s nothing I like better than adding a savory touch to sweet foods.
So chez Cookiecrumb, the laurel is victorious, and Bean Sprout gets to wear the wreath.
Now I’d just like to piggyback an idea onto this post. I do have a lot of laurel leaves; enough to share a few now and then without stripping the plant bare. I also have generous amounts of other herbs and the like, and I know some of you do too.
I’m proposing that whenever one of us feels a little glut in the garden or pantry, we offer to see if anyone out there wants a little sample. Nothing huge; just enough to fit in a first-class envelope. A few leaves. A teensy bag of seeds or peppercorns. Some exotic salt. Anybody out there smoking their own paprika? Make extra. Like that.
I suggest that we give this impromptu project the name Share Package, and tag our posts with a Technorati Share Post tag. Then, whenever somebody wants to go snoop at Technorati and see if there have been any recent posts with the Share Package tag, they can see what’s being offered and put in a request (but remember, “offer good while supplies last”).
This is a low-key, low-tech launch of an idea that might just die on the vine. I don’t know. I’m not about to set up a clearinghouse that needs an administrator. Just consider it a random act of kindness and take it from there if you wish. (Although I do have a sekrit blog pal who just might have a far geekier approach to getting this thing BIG. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Especially the nudge part, Mrs. — oh, yeah, right. Sekrit. We’ll let you know.)
So for now. I have some nice, shiny Greek laurel leaves. I’d love to send out, oh, five or so leaves to, oh, ten or so people. (I don’t want to go broke being generous.) Any takers? You can find my e-mail address by clicking the cryptic phrase underneath my profile.
Let’s see what happens.

PS: If you decide to participate, remember that “Share Package” needs to be treated as one word, by typing Share+Package, when you convert it to a tag.

Technorati tag:


Kalyn Denny said...

Is that dog cute or what! I love the idea of sharing and I can mention in the recap that you have a great idea how food bloggers can share herbs with each other. I think it's a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Is Laurel the same as Bay? My mum has a bay tree and I've always bought Bay leaves...

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, thanks Kalyn. I'm glad you like the idea, because after all, I am sort of riding your coattails in getting the idea out (hoping just maybe some of your WHB readers will click over to my WHB post and read about it).

Jenny: Yup. Don't know if it's all interchangeable, but it surely wouldn't kill you. Pull a leaf and crunch it in your hand, and see if you like the aroma; if it's something you'd cook with.

Dagny said...

Bean Sprout has to be the cutest dog on Earth. Oh, and so noble with the mini laurel wreath.

MizD said...

Owie! My ribs are bruised!

Now, if I can just get caught up after weeks of screwed up internet service & sneaky modem-hiding housemates.

Btw, we are house sitting for Chopper's parents right now. And dog sitting. Two big sloppy pooches that I'm certain can't wear laurel nearly as well as Bean Sprout can.

Anonymous said...

The only treats I need are the pics of that little fluff of love. Keep the eye candy coming!

Catherine said...

Laurel & Hardy were my Dad's favorites. He actually met them in London as a boy.

We, of course, adore Bean Sprout. ESp. Sweetpea!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cookiecrumb, Thank you for dropping in and sharing my party. I am still very much a novice with this blogging but its fun learning. You know my weakness for the beautiful little Bean Sprout that is a very cute picture. My list of blogs to read daily is gradually growing but I now have the time which is great, I'm not sure my husband is pleased as I hog the computer. I think your idea about the herbs is excellent I have a small herb garden and often wonder how to share Bay leaves. I am wondering now, could I do this in England but maybe that's a bit too ambitious.

Greg said...

I could send you some lovely ripe tomatoes...I don't know if I could fit them in the envelope though.

cookiecrumb said...

I've had my first request for leaves. Share Package No. 1 is on its way!

Dagny: He's cute, but I had to take a lot of pix to get a good shot. (She said modestly.)

Mrs D: That was a nudge, not a karate chop. Good luck with your unknowns (oy). Must tell you that Bean Sprout's leaves were *taped* on, and I'm sure a dignified big dog wouldn't like that.

Jen's Mom: He's due for a trim (sigh) again, and then... more pix!

Catherine: Wow, very cool! Almost unbelievable. Yes, we gots to introduce BS to SP.

Sam's Mum: Well, look at you, cruising around the Internet, leaving comments, posting photos on your own blog. (Everybody go look!) If you like the herb sharing idea, just watch for a while and maybe you'll be inspired to do the English version.

Greg: My dad mailed me some tomatoes once. Bad idea. I'm jealous of yours, but so happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Bean Sprout + bay laurel = maximum cuteness.

Anonymous said...

Cooks: Our California bay trees have leaves that are much stronger (more tannic, acrid) than the type you're growing. You can use the C. tree leaves, but only in teensy amounts. Mediterranean laurel is more gently balanced. (Yeah, I remember moving to a lot covered in huge bay trees---I had $$$ in mind until I realized what they were really like!)

cookiecrumb said...

Karina: Shucks. :-)

Kudzu: Yep, I'm lucky to be a laurel ranchin' bum! I do want to give the California laurel a try, and some time when I'm walking by a tree with foliage at my height, I'll snatch a leaf or two just for comparison.

Anonymous said...


Glad to see that the laurel has survived and even better, became your favourite herb! I remember very well when you went and got it and put it in your patio.

Gosh, it's nearly a year ago! :-)
Beansprouts looking good.

Kevin said...

So chez Cookiecrumb.


And I loved having fresh laurel when I lived in CA. Sadly, I can't grow anything here, I have zero sun.

cookiecrumb said...

Hi Mae! Yes, it was you who inspired me to grow my own. I'm so glad you came by for a visit to see what a success your suggestion has become. Thanks again.

Kevin: I feel sad for you. Do you think you could get your HOA to designate a little plot on the grounds in a sunny spot for a group garden? Or, there's always gro-lights, but you'd have the DEA hangin' around. :)

Kevin said...

The thing is, I don't like gardening, I just want a spot for a few herbs located conveniently outside the door. But none of the herbs I put in pots on the porch last spring(including the garlic chives you sent) got enough light to thrive.

sallywrites said...

Ditto Jenny - is it the same as what we would call a bay leaf? If so we have a lovely bay tree growing in a big pot in the garden.

Found you again through Chris B ( Have seen you once before too)! Great blog!

Love the sentiment.


cookiecrumb said...

Hi Sally. Nice to see you again. I've been following you via Chris as well. :-)
Yes, it's a bay leaf. I love it, and as you must know, it's pretty hardy.
PS: New photo of Bean Sprout on my main page as of Feb. 5.