“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10
Today was the March Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs - All About Thyme - uses for culinary, tea, aroma, health and the language of herbs. For the first time this season, Marvette Bagwell and I teamed up to share everything!
Whole gardens can be planted around the taste, texture, color and fragrance of these delightful plants. There are both upright and prostrate varieties used for culinary, aromatic and ornamental purposes:
CULINARY - The culinary thymes are a good substitute for salt. Thymus vulgaris are the best culinary thymes and have a pleasantly hot bite tempered by a savory-sweet note.
- English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Most often used in cooking with broad, green, oval leaves
- French Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Narrow, gray-green leaves that fare the best during hot and humid summers
- German Winter Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Gray/green leaves
- Lemon Thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) - Lemon scented leaves which are either glossy, green or green and gold variegated
- Caraway Thyme (Thymus herba-barona) - Caraway scented dark green leaves
- Coconut Thyme (Thymus pulegioides “coccineus”) – Coconut flavor and scent
AROMATIC - The leaves of the aromatic thymes scent potpourris and sachets and may be added to bath water to help relieve arthritis pain, tone up the nervous system and clear the congestion of a cold.
- Silver Thyme (Thymus argenteus) - A pretty variety with grayish green foliage with a silver edge
- Lavender Thyme (Thymus thracicus) - Spikey, light green fern-like leaves with light purple flowers
ORNAMENTAL - The creeping thymes are low growing and make attractive aromatic rock garden or edging plants plus may be grown between brick pavers on pathways so the scents is released while walking over it. All spread quickly and are suitable for any well-drained spot such as patios and stone walls and cascade, drape and mound in soft mats, however due to the humidity they do not grow well in Florida except in containers.
- Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) - Aromatic mat forming leaves with lavender flowers
- Doone Valley Thyme (Thymus 'Doone Valley') - Green and gold foliage with lemon scent and lavender flowers
- Elfin Thyme (Thymus serphyllum minus) - Tiniest of the thymes - looks like moss
- Red Thyme (Thymus praecox 'Coccineus') - Faintly scented leaves with crimson flowers
- White Moss Thyme (Thymus praecox ssp. arcticus 'Albus') - Tiny white flowers with shiny green leaves
- Wooly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) - Creeper with pale pink flower and very hairy, gray leaves
Thyme is good for new cooks:
its flavor heightens most any food but
it doesn’t overpower any dish
even if you add a little more than intended
For more general information, see this earlier post on THYME.
COOKING WITH THYME
Zucchini with Thyme, Plum & Thyme Iced Tea, and ending with a sugary delight - Lemon Thyme Bars
Recipes are available at http://fullmoonnatives.com/recipes.htm
Finally, my Demonstration included several other uses for thyme including in soaks for sore muscles, aroma as an odor repellant and a tea to help see the fairies!
SORE MUSCLE SOAK
2Tbs Epson Salts
1tsp Calendula petals
Combine all ingredients and store in air-tight container. To use: Fill a drawstring muslin bag with 1/4c mixture and tie closed. Pour 4 cups boiling water over bag and let steep for 10 minutes. Pour the tea, and the bag, into a tub of hot soapy water and soak.
SOCK DRAWER SACHETS
1Tbs Lemon Balm
Combine ingredients and place in a 3”x4” muslin bag or decorative sachet bag. To use: Place in drawers for a clean, refreshing scent which is especially nice for a man’s drawer or wardrobe
FAIRIE THYME TEA
1Tbs chamomile flowers
Mix all together and store in a cool, dry place that is not in the sun. To use: take one teaspoon of the mixture per cup, add boiling water, and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain tea and sweeten with honey as desired. Serve hot or cold.
FAIRIE THYME ROUNDS
Cream 1c butter and 1c sugar, then add 1 egg, 1Tbs fresh lemon thyme and 1tsp lemon zest and mix well. Add 2½c flour and 1tsp baking soda, then 1tsp vanilla. Roll into two logs, wrap & refrigerate overnight. Slice, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins.