Friday, August 21, 2009

Volume XVIII, Issue 7, September, 2009

Volume XVIII, Issue 7, September, 2009

CHG Next Meeting
DATE: September 8, 2009
TIME: 7:15 P.M.
LOCATION: Home and Garden of Margery Orell
1133 Berkeley Ave, Charlotte NC, in the Dilworth neighborhood

Pot Luck Dinner

Bring a dish with a serving spoon and a recipe attached.

Hostesses: Everyone

Visitor fee: $5.00

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Minutes of the August Meeting

Charlotte Garden Club House, August 11, 2009

Dana Debellis called the meeting to order.

Mary Ann Nagel, Leslie Belcher, Joan Smith were thanked as this month’s hostesses. Next month’s hostesses are "everyone" as we are having a potluck dinner.

President Debellis welcomed Paulette Kerr as our newest CHG member. This meeting marks her final membership requirement. Welcome Paulette!

The minutes for July were approved as written.

The budget for CHG covering March 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010 was also approved, after a discussion.

Dixie Kelly, Treasurer, presented the budget for July 2009.

Beginning balance $15,446.56

Deposits $20.00

Payouts $794.99

Balance Aug. 11, 2009 $14,671.57

Dixie also asked all members to use these forms when submitting income or requesting reimbursements: “Charlotte Herb Guild Income Report,” and “Charlotte Herb Guild Expense Reimbursement.” Both forms are available online on this blog (under the heading Good to Know) or in paper format from Dixie.

The meeting was turned over to Sandie Fenton and Lynn Lytle, organizers for the evening’s activities, preparation of herbal materials for the Yorkmont Farmer’s Market in September.

Members chose stations for this work meeting: Hand-stamping tiles; creating lavender sachets, assembling edible herbs into lavender sugar, rosemary salt, and a dried herb mix for vegetable dip; and making dried herbal wreaths and swags.

At 9:00, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Margery Orell

Newsletter Chair


Farmers Market Herb Day

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lynn Lytle and Sandie Fenton, Co-Chairs

We are getting excited and ready for our annual Herb Day at the Yorkmont Road Farmers Market. Set up begins at 7 a.m. Sales begin around 8 a.m. and continue until noon, unless we sell out sooner.

In addition to our signature and popular tussie mussies and our award winning cookbooks, we have some new and exciting items. Members hand-stamped tiles in two different sizes that can be used as coasters and trivets.

We’ll have our hand painted lavender sachets and also have vintage handkerchiefs that have been filled with lavender and tied with ribbons. Holly again has painted ladybug rocks and herbal garden markers and, we’ll have carefully tended herb plants, plus swags and wreaths crafted of dried herbs and flowers.

A new section this year, “L’Epicere” will feature edible herbs like lavender sugar, rosemary salt, dried herb mix for vegetable dip, bouquet garnis as well as our homemade herbal jellies, vinegars and foods.

We definitely could use some more dried herbs along with a recipe or two for this area. Let Lynn or Sandie know what you can bring or contact Netta Turnbull if you are planning to bake or create an herbal delicacy for sale.

We will have a workshop at the Garden Council House to finish up our swags, wreaths and dried herbal bouquets. This will be announced as soon as we get a confirmation of a date.

We still need more volunteers for all shifts on the big day and, you’re in luck because we have one more meeting before our annual Farmers Market Herb Day and you can sign up then.


August Refreshments

Watermelon Mint Punch

Joan Smith

Joan adapted a Southern Living recipe.

2 ½ cups water

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar

2 cups fresh orange juice

1 small watermelon

6 springs of fresh mint

Bring first three ingredients to boil. Boil three minutes. Add mint. Cool, stir in orange juice. Cut watermelon, put through a sieve reserving 3-4 cups juice. Discard pulp. Stir watermelon juice and sugar mixture. Chill.

Tea Sandwiches

Joan Smith

1/4 lb. cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 celery heart, chopped fine

¼ cup diced walnuts

1 tablespoon finely chopped pineapple sage

1 small can, drained, crushed pineapple

10 pieces thinly sliced bread, crusts removed.

Mix all ingredients, except bread, until smooth. Spread mixture on sliced bread.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Mary Ann Nagel

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup grated carrot

¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 seedless cucumber

12 pieces thinly slices sandwich bread, crusts removed.

Grated carrot for garnish.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt. Stir in carrot, walnuts and parsley. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thin ribbons of cucumber. Spread thin layer of cream cheese mixture on bread. Top with a single layer of cucumber, slightly overlapping. Cut each sandwich into fourths. Garnish with grated carrot.


Leslie Belcher

1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas

¾ cup tahini

2-3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Juice of 2 lemons

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 7-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers

Drain chickpeas, reserve liquid. Process the chickpeas in a food processor. Add the tahini, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes and red bell peppers. Pulse several times. Add the lemon juice and the olive oil in a slow steady stream, puree until smooth. Add reserved chickpeas liquid if needed. Add the parsley and finish processing. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve with spiced pita chips.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Spiced Pita Chips

Leslie Belcher

Leslie adapted this recipe from one by Ellie Krieger.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

3 pitas, cut into eighths

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine olive oil and all spices in a large bowl. Add pita wedges and toss to coat. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes, tossing once, until brown and crispy. Cool before serving.

Italian Style Sausage Skewers

Leslie Belcher

Leslie adapted this recipe from one by Ellie Krieger.

8 ounces Italian sausage links

8 basil leaves, large

12 pitted Kalamata olives, halved

24 grape tomatoes

24 wooden skewers

Cook the sausage, then cut it into 1-inch rounds.

Cut basil leaves lengthwise into thirds.

Arrange skewers: Olive half, strip of basil (folded), tomato, sausage. Arrange so that the skewer can stand up on its sausage end.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Shell Bean Vinaigrette

August Hostesses

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped Vidalia onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4 cups shelled fresh black-eyed peas, crowder peas, or purple-hull peas

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

4 basil leaves, thinly sliced

4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

Saute onion in olive oil, add garlic, bay and ½ teaspoon of the thyme. Stir a minute. Add peas/beans and chicken broth; boil. Cover with lid slightly ajar, simmer until peas/beans are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette. Whish vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper. Pour over peas/beans, toss. (Can be done ahead to this point.) Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature, if chilled. Stir basil into mixture. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange tomatoes on a platter. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon peas/beans over tomatoes and serve.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Mary Ann Nagel

From Ellie Krieger and the Food Network

4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

2 teaspoons tasted sesame oil, divided

1 pound, skinless, boneless chicken breasts

½ head Napa cabbage, shredded

¼ head red cabbage, shredded

1 large carrot, shredded

3 scallions, thinly sliced, greens included

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts

1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges in water, drained

1/3 cup plain rice vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons chili sauce

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ½ teaspoon sesame oil and bush onto chicken breast. Arrange in a baking dish, bake until juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Cool completely and cut into ¼ inch slices. In a large bowl, combine cabbages, scallions, water chestnuts, oranges and sliced chicken. In a separate bowl, whish together 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, oil, 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil, brown sugar and chili sauce. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Top each serving with toasted almonds.

Beet Salad with Feta and Lovage

August Hostesses

The herb, lovage goes will with beets. It is a strong herb. If you can’t find lovage, use the tops from a bunch of celery, or some flat-leafed parsley.

8 Chiogga beets (or some other variety)

4-6 ounces of crumbled feta cheese

½ tablespoon lovage

½ red onion, minced

¼ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the beets in slated water for 30-40 minutes, until they are tender. Peel and cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss with some olive oil while they are still warm. Add the remaining ingredients, except salt, and toss gently to combine. If you use dark beets, add them just before serving to minimize bleeding. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lavender Cookies

August Hostesses

From a recipe by Martha Hayes

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lavender flowers, finely chopped

1 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and lavender, mixing well. Combine the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, stirring until well combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.

Rosemary Almond Cookies

August Hostesses

From Favorite Recipes with Herbs.

½ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon Pernod (anise-flavored liqueur)

1 ¼ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (1-2 teaspoons dried)

¼ cup chopped almonds

¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in Pernod (or substitute vanilla). Mix well. Stir in flour, salt, rosemary and almonds. Mix well. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Add a little flour if you need to. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Roll in ¼ cup sugar. Flatten to ¼” thickness between your palms or using the bottom of a glass.

Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

This dough may be rolled into logs, placed in plastic wrap and frozen. Thaw slightly, slice into ¼ “ slices, dip in sugar, and bake.

Lovely Lemon Verbena Pound Cake with Lemon Verbena Glaze

August Hostesses

From the Herb Garden Cookbook


3 6-inch fresh, lemon verbena sprigs

1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

2 ¾ cups sugar

6 eggs

¼ teaspoon lemon extract

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sour cream

2-3 teaspoons lemon zest


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons brandy or dark rum

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon verbena

Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Place the lemon verbena springs to cover the bottom of the pan with the underside of the leaves facing up.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well, incorporating the almond, lemon and vanilla flavorings. Sift the flour, salt, and soda three times. Add alternately with the sour cream to the butter-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Add lemon zest last. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, taking care to flatten the lemon verbena leaves. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours, or until a wooden pick inserted into the middle of the cake tests dry.

Loose the edges with a knife, let stand for 15 minutes in the pan; then invert on a wire rack to cool.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the honey, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the brandy and chopped lemon verbena. Drizzle over cake slices.

Note: Lemon balm and lemon thyme may be substituted for lemon verbena in the glaze.

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