June Mona Newsletter
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Rosmary (Labiatae)

Rosmarinus officianalis

Rosemary, usually associated with the summer herb garden, but makes a wonderful scented pernennial hedge, and can be enjoyed winter and summer.

In Victoeian times Rosemary was used to border formal flower and rose bbeds, much like Lavender because, of it's insect repellent quailities.  It was also used in the sick room to purify and cool the air.   During the great plague, it was carried in pouches and sniffed when traveling through infected areas as it also has disinfected properities.  In some Mediterranean villages still, linen is fried over the Rosemary bush to utlize its pungent scent and moth repellent properities.

Rosemary can grow up to 6ft tall, depending on the variety of which there are many; Prostratus, as it implies, is a prostrate form, beautiful in cracks and crevices in the patio, so when trodden on, exudes a glorious scent.  The upright form "M/s Jessop's Upright", looks good as a freestanding shrub, or hedging.

Rosemary retains its best flavour when dried, for culinary use; this makes it easy to use in soups, stews and stuffing, but always sparingly! It is better to crumble leaves , as some can be coarse.  Mix with cream and add to fruit puree or mousse, having first pounded with sugar.  Place fresh leaves in the oven when baking bread to impart flavour.  Rosmary is particularly good with roast meats like lamb and pork.  Sprinkle over meat before roasting, and it is said to aid the digestion of fats.  It can also be added, fresh, to oils and vinegar for dressings, again sparingly.

A poultice of bread and fresh

 


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