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Tuesday, September 09 2008

Thyme is a member of the mint family. This surprised me because I don't associate thyme with mint. I think of thyme with more of an earthier scent than a sweet aroma.

There are more than a hundred varieties of thyme. We are probably more familiar with the garden thyme or a lemon thyme. There is also a honey made from the thyme flower nectar that is supposed to be a gourmet treat. Bees like thyme so watch that if you have it in your garden.

Thyme is supposed to aid in digestion, as well as have antiseptic properties. It is used in teas as well as skin care products. However, don't let this herb fool you. It has a wide range of uses in your kitchen dishes. Bouquet Garni wouldn't be what it is without thyme - one of the prime ingredients.

Stews: I make a healthy chicken stew with lots of fresh veggies, garlic, chicken broth, red wine, and thyme. The addition of the thyme is what gives the stew just that little bit of extra flavor. I also add it to my beef stew for the same reason.

Baking: Topping off a hearty meal with herb biscuits is a great treat. Add a little dried thyme and sage to the batter. A little bit will make a huge difference in the taste of those melt in your mouth treats.

Soups: When I make lentil soup, I always add a pinch of thyme to the soup. It doesn't need much, just a touch to make its presence subtly known.

Lamb: I have a great marinade for a grilled butterflied leg of lamb that includes red wine, olive oil, garlic, allspice, lemon peel, and thyme. When I serve the grilled lamb with a chili sauce, it is a taste treat to be savored. As an added note, thyme is also used in many preparations of duck. This is due to its medicinal properties aiding in digestion, especially with these fattier meats.

Vegetables: Saute your veggies with a touch of oil, garlic, lemon, and thyme for a pleasant change from the usual steaming, microwaving, or boiling.

Give Thyme a chance in your kitchen. It has so many possibilities.

Judy Ferril is a freelance writer in Minneapolis. Are you a stranger in your own kitchen? Do you think eating healthy means no fun or flavor in your meals? Judy is the self-trained executive chef for the Ferril family and loves to share her passion for cooking and healthy foods with others. Join Judy Ferril at Baking With Lemons. What does baking and lemons have to do with fun, flavor, and health? Come see, stretch your imagination and enjoy new tastes and flavors at Baking with Lemons and Local Food Connections for fun and healthy local food options. Judy Ferril

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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