It's Monday afternoon, and delightfully there is no school today, thanks to the new U.S. government policy of declaring that when a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday will be a federal holiday. The feds so declared, and my school district decided, finally a federal policy we can agree with! Of course, true to form, the feds do not fund us for the days when we have no school, so it just extends our calendar another day. But still, it's nice to have an unexpected day off.
Seriously, it's time to recap the herb blogging that happened over the weekend. Since it was New Year's Eve this weekend, I wasn't expecting too many herb bloggers, but there was quite a bit of participation. Next week we will go back to the regular schedule with the recap coming on Sunday night.
SINGAPORE The first blogger to post and report in was Stephanie from Mana Makan - The Feast Crusade. She wrote a very interesting post about lotus seeds, something she uses as an ingredient in a dish called Eight Treasure Duck. Stephanie reports that lotus seeds are an acquired taste, but they do have lots of health benefits. I want to look for them in the Asian market in Salt Lake, but Stephanie promises to send me some if I don't find them. Also, when I said I was not familiar with this plant, Stephanie posted some beautiful photos of the lotus flower the next day, so be sure to check out that too.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, U.S.A. I learned a lot when I visited the next blog, The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz. Here the lovely Paz reported on interesting information about mistletoe, a plant I recently found was fascinating to fourth graders. Paz cautions that mistletoe is poisonous, although it does have some healing qualities. She also shares how the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe got started, and gives pointers on the correct ettiquette if you should happen to participate in a little mistletoe kissing. (Paz, I shall be sure to pass that on to my fourth grade students who are much fascinated with the idea of a plant that compels people to kiss each other.)
PISTOIA, TUSCANY, ITALY From beautiful Tuscany we heard from Ilva, with more of her trademark beautiful photographs, found on her blog Lucullian Delights - An Italian Experience. This time, Ilva reports she was actually pondering what she could feature for Weekend Herb Blogging when she happened on a green hellebore plant, which was not only surviving, but still flowering in the snow. I had never seen this beautiful flower before, but the other sites Ilva linked to showed that there are lots and lots of colorful varieties besides the lovely pale yellow green one that Ilva photographed.
SANTA VENETIA, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. It's raining and raining in Santa Venetia, where Cookiecrumb writes the saucy blog I'm Mad and I Eat, but that didn't stop her from venturing out with Bean Sprout the Herb Blog Dog. Despite the rain (which does sound quite miserable) CC and Bean Sprout managed to capture four amazing photos of still-surviving tomatoes, and Bean Sprout even made it in one picture. If you have not visitied Cookiecrumb's blog during the holidays to see her rotating collection of blog headers, you have missed a treat. I' m lobbying her privately for the return of my favorite one, so you'll have to check and see if she brings it back.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA Ed Charles, from the great blog, Tomato, caused me to suffer serious rosemary envy when I checked out his post about giant rosemary plants and enormous bay trees. I was fantasizing about all the great food I could make if I had a plant half the size of his. Ed and Steve were planning to use a tiny bit of the rosemary for some delicious sounding baked snapper. Ed is thinking about New Year's Resolutions, but he has been traveling (lucky guy) so first he resolves to unpack his bags!
NEW JERSEY, U.S.A. Sweetnicks has been very busy partying and hosting Weekend Dog Blogging, but she did stop in for a minute and report that she had Weekend Herb Blogging on her mind lately when she prepared a delicious sounding mussels recipe which used fresh parsley. Hey, parsley is definitely a plant, and all plants are great for Weekend Herb Blogging!
DENVER, COLORADO, U.S.A. From a brand new food blog called Indian Spice Trail, Sheela sends us an interesting post about curry leaves. (I was so proud of myself because I knew a tiny bit about them from previous WHB posts! See how much I am learning.) When curry leaves were hard to find in Denver, Sheela was lucky enough to get an actual live plant. She shares some of the uses for curry leaves in Indian cooking and how to store them also.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. U.S.A. For my own Weekend Herb Blogging post this week, I talked about black-eyed peas (also called cowpeas or blackeye peas). These interesting looking little legumes are really a type of bean which is eaten all over the world. Since I was writing this on New Year's Eve, I shared my resolutions for 2006. I found some interesting information about the traditions for eating black eyed peas while writing this post, and I wrote about them again on New Year's Day when I made Hopping John Soup for my annual New Year's Day Soup party so my friends would all have good luck in the new year.
I hope all the people who have been having fun herb blogging with me now for 13 weeks will all have good luck in 2006 as well. I can hardly believe that 13 weeks have gone by since we started this silly but fun weekend blog tradition. I have learned so much about plants from around the world, and I keep meeting new bloggers from different places, some of whom I hope will participate now that the holidays are over and things have calmed down a bit. Next weekend, back to the normal schedule of reporting in by midafternoon on Sunday (Utah time) if you manage to post about any herb, plant, veggie, or flower over the weekend. Link to Kalyn's Kitchen with the words Weekend Herb Blogging, then send me your permalink (kalynskitchen AT comcast DOT net) and I will include you in the recap next Sunday.