Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Volume XVIII, Issue 8, October, 2009

Volume XVIII, Issue 8, October, 2009


The Charlotte Herb Guild

DATE: October 13, 2009

TIME: 7:15 P.M.

LOCATION: McGill Rose Garden

940 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28206-3369
(704) 333-6497


Bring gloves, clippers, labels, and a basket or box. Also bring a plant you have had success with this growing season and share your tips.

Please also bring your kitchen garden photos to our October Herb Guild meeting if you would like to offer them for the November program. Choose two or three photos that illustrate your approach to growing plants for culinary uses. What plants are successful in your garden? Do you put them in separate beds or mix them into the landscape with other plants?

Dixie Spivey, Jane Ireton, Len lee Cornish



Minutes of the September Meeting

Annual Potluck at the home of guild member, Margery Orell, September 8 2009.

Dana Debellis called the meeting to order.

Margery Orell was thanked for opening her home and garden to members for the annual potluck dinner. Margery was treated to a rousing “happy birthday” a capella tune by members. President Debellis suggested that we use members homes for future pot luck dinners.

Jacquelyn DeBellis was welcomed as a guest.

The minutes for August were approved as written.

Next month’s hostesses are Dixie Spivey, Jane Ireton, Lenlee Cornish.

Announcements from committees:

· Be sure to check the list of hostesses on the blog as many changes have been made since last spring.

· Attend the “Know your farms” tour on Saturday, Sept. 11 if you can. More information is on the website: knowyourfarms.com

· The Hezekiah Alexander herb garden workday is September 16th. Contact Jane Ireton.

· The next CHG meeting will be at the McGill Rose garden. Bring your gloves and clippers and a basket so that you can take cuttings. Eric Ritchie and Virginia Frazier will be speaking.

CHG is hosting the next Charlotte Garden Council meeting on Sept. 13 from 9:00-12:00. We need a couple of volunteers to help and also some food items (enough for 25). We only have this responsibility every other year.

· As members of CHG, there are some benefits for us with renting the Garden Council House, aka the Betty Little House. We can rent the facility for ½ price. 6 hours is $100 and 12 hours is $200.The rental applies to the use of the house and the kitchen. A refundable deposit of $100 is also required when renting the facility. Another benefit available to CHG members is access to the Council Library. It is located in the back room of the house.

· Because of the increase in NC sales tax, the price of the cookbooks has been changed. Cookbooks are now $22.00.

There was some discussion about the logistics for the September 12, Yorkmont Farmer’s Market. Members were briefed about when and where to arrive for their shifts and how to label and price the goods that they bring. Members were reminded to cut the Tussie Mussie fillers and flowers Wednesday or Thursday for Saturday market. Still needed are small, clean glass jars, oregano, all varieties of thyme, germander, and lamb’s ear. Instructions for cutting herbs can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/charlotteherbguild/

At 8:00, the business meeting was adjourned and members enjoyed a wide variety of delicious foods and drinks prepared by attending members.

Respectfully submitted,

Margery Orell

Newsletter Chair


September Refreshments

Spinach Squares

Anna Brandl-Kleine and Becky Standford

6 to 8 cloves garlic, to taste

¼ cup melted butter

1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash/salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup chopped onions/scallions

2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided

1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and pressed dry (or 10 ounces fresh spinach)

2 eggs beaten

1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray an 11 by 7-inch pan. Squeeze garlic into melted butter and set aside. Add flour, salt and soda into a bowl. Add onion, 1½ cups cheese, spinach, eggs, milk and melted butter. Mix and pour into the pan. Sprinkle ½ cup grated cheese on top. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into squares. May be frozen after baking. Reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Bean Salad

Lenlee Corish

1½ cups edamame (soybeans), shelled and cooked

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

½ cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped celery

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon garlic, optional

1½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Prepare soybeans. Heat oil in skillet over moderate heat (hot, but not smoking). Add cumin, stirring frequently until fragrant and a shade darker. Mix beans, onions, celery, lime juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. Pour cumin oil over ingredients and toss to coat. Let stand to blend.

Honey Roasted Carrots

Hilda Norwood

3 bunches fresh carrots, peeled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut carrots into strips. Bring salted water to a boil in a pot fitted with a steamer basket. Let steam about 5 minutes. Drain in a bowl and toss with oil, honey, salt and pepper. Place carrots on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25 minutes. Adjust seasonings and remove to a serving bowl.

Guacamole Salad

Dixie Spivey

Yield: 6 servings

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa at Home

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, and ½-inch diced

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

½ to 1 cup small diced red onion*

2 tablespoons minced, seeded jalapeno peppers (1 to 2 small peppers)

½ to ¾ teaspoon freshly grated lime zest*

¼ to 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)*

¼ cup good olive oil (a mixture of regular and extra virgin is tasty)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon minced garlic (1 large clove)

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ to ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro*

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, diced into small cubes

* Measurement variations allow you to tweak salad to your personal taste preference

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper; pour over the vegetables.

Add the chopped cilantro and toss well. Fold the avocado cubes into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Eggplant Casserole

Cathy Tolman

This is Madge Eggena’s recipe that she brought to the potluck in October, 2008.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano fresh from the garden, chopped

1 large can tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

3 large eggplants

Fresh garden greens (young turnip greens, collards, kale), rolled and sliced thin

Slivers of freshly picked garden peppers

Mozzarella cheese, grated

Goat cheese, several dollops

Salt, to taste

Oregano, for garnish

In a saucepan, pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil and add the chopped garlic. Add chopped onions, cook both until onions are clear. Add chopped herbs. Stir in the tomatoes and paste. Simmer for 30 minutes.

In a casserole dish, layer eggplant peppers, greens, top with a layer of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese. Do this two or three times ending with a layer of mozzarella cheese topped with the goat cheese. Sprinkle oregano on top. Bake until it is bubbly and the eggplant is tender.

Green Pepper Pesto

Brenda Dills and Virginia Frazier

8 green peppers

2 hot peppers

2 cloves garlic

1½ tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Parsley, cilantro, basil, pine nuts (optional)

Roast, peel and seed green peppers. Seed hot peppers and roughly chop with garlic. Put into a blender with lemon juice and blend as you add the olive oil. You may also add parsley, cilantro, basil and pine nuts.

Tomatoes and Cucumbers with Basil

Dixie Kelley

Yield: 8 servings

4 cups tomatoes, in quarters or eighths according to tomato size

1 small onion, sliced

1 English cucumber, sliced

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ cup chopped basil

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Papa a la Huancina

Julie Courtney

A delicious Peruvian salad!

1 package queso fresca

1 can evaporated milk

Aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper), to taste

Aceitunas de Botija (Peruvian olives)

Boiled potatoes, sliced


Hard boiled eggs, quartered

In a blender, crumble cheese. Add milk and puree to a creamy consistency. Add aji amarillo to taste. The more you add, the hotter it gets. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and top with sliced potatoes. Add eggs, cream sauce and olives.

Blender Mayonnaise with Herbs

Brenda Dills and Virginia Frazier

Yield: 1½ cups

From Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis

1 whole large egg

1 egg yolk

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

1½ cups canola or vegetable oil or half canola and half olive oil

Garlic, to taste

Fresh herbs, to taste

Combine egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. With motor running, pour the oil through the feed tube very slowly at first, adding more quickly at the end as the mayonnaise comes together. Add 2 or 3 minced cloves of garlic at the beginning to make aioli or add fresh herbs such as thyme or basil.

Curried Chicken Salad

Mary Beth Collins

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, cooked

1½ cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup dry white wine

¼ cup Major Grey’s chutney

3 tablespoons curry powder

Fresh ground black pepper

1 cup medium diced celery (2 to 3 stalks)

¼ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts

¼ cup raisins

1 cup whole roasted cashews

Cilantro leaves, to taste

Cook chicken breasts. You can boil these, grill them, or bake them at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove bones and skin. Dice. Combine mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Combine diced chicken, celery, scallions and raisins. Add curry sauce until moistened. Add cashews and cilantro just before serving.

Thai Cucumbers

Sandie Fenton

3 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced red onions
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped raw peanuts (can toast before chopping)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro


4 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons water

Mix cucumbers and onions together; set aside. In a pan, bring sauce ingredients to a boil; then cool. Pour over sliced cucumbers and onions. Chill. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro before serving.

Texas Caviar Bean Dip

Jan Sundberg

2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (15 ounce each) white corn

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, undrained

1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped (or 4 green onions)

1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped

½ cup rice vinegar

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup sugar

1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (or to taste)

Mix the black beans, pinto beans, white corn, green chilies, jalapeno peppers, red and green bell peppers, green onions and cilantro together in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, stir the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar and garlic together in a pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cool. Pour over bean mixture and toss to mix evenly. Serve with scoop-style tortilla chips to make a zesty party appetizer.

Miss Ada’s Bean Pasta Salad

Judy Powell

Salad Dressing:

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon, lightly squeezed

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Salt, to taste


1 can great northern beans, rinsed

1 can black beans, rinsed

½ box mini-farfalle pasta, cooked as directed

2 ½ tablespoons fresh green basil, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme, leaves stripped

½ teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh purple basil, thinly sliced

1/3 cup of each yellow, green. red and banana peppers, cut into thin strips

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

Microwave carrots in a small amount of salted water. Drain and quickly cool. Quarter the zucchini slices and microwave in a small amount of water. Drain and quickly cool. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake well. Pour over salad mixture and stir. Salad is best if made 24 hours before serving.

Rosemary Beer Bread

Lara Barnett

Yield: 1 loaf

2 cups self-rising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup white cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 can (12 ounces) of beer, room temperature

1 teaspoon butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Mix all ingredients together. Bake for 60 minutes or until brown.

Rosemary Basil Chicken Wings

Netta Turnbull

Netta adapted Dixie Spivey’s recipe in The Charlotte Herb Guild Cooks Again (page 132) by broiling the chicken about 10 extra minutes after baking it.

Finely grated zest and juice from 1 small lemon

1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

2 pounds chicken wings or drummettes

Combine all ingredients, except chicken, into small heavy saucepan. Bring almost to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour marinade over chicken wings and toss well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. If you can, marinate them about 4 hours, occasionally recoating the wings with the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or grill over moderately hot coals.

Summer Squash Pizza

Madge Eggena

4 cups finely shredded zucchini and/or yellow summer squash

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Salt, to taste

Pizza toppings, as desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once zucchini or summer squash has been shredded (a food processor works well), lightly salt the squash and transfer it to a strainer. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes and press all remaining liquid out of squash.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine squash, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, pepper and salt. Mix well. Spread the mixture into a greased and floured jelly roll pan. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove the crust from the oven and change the oven temperature to broil. Brush the top of the crust with oil, and then broil the crust for 3 to 5 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Allow the crust to cool slightly and slide spatula underneath all edges and under the middle. Place a large baking sheet over the top of the crust and gently flip the crust over so that the bottom of the crust is now facing upwards. Because it can be difficult to flip the crust smoothly, it may be necessary to cut the crust in half to facilitate the flipping of the crust. If you want to omit the flipping stage, that is okay, but the crust won't be as crunchy.

Brush the top of the crust with oil and broil for another 3 to 5 minutes until the top is browned. Cover with toppings as desired. Madge used peppers, onions, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Broccoli Garlic Quiche

Mary Ann Nagel

From Gourmet, September 2009

Pastry dough for a 9-inch pie pan

10 ounces broccoli with 1 to 2-inch stem attached

2 cloves garlic, less if preferred

6 large eggs

1½ cups half-and-half

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cayenne

5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

You may use a 9½- inch deep dish pie pan or a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and fit into pie plate, folding overhang inward and pressing against sides. Prick bottom with a fork and chill for 30 minutes. Line with foil and pie weights. Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake until deep golden all over, about 15 minutes. Place pie pan in a rectangular four-sided baking sheet.

While the shell bakes, cook broccoli in boiling salted water 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, pat dry. Mince and mash garlic with pinch of salt. Whisk together eggs, garlic paste, half and half, nutmeg, cayenne and a pinch of salt until smooth. Pour filling into crust, add broccoli and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until custard is set, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake

Jane Ireton

8 large eggs

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

2¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1¾ cups sugar, divided

1½ cups butter, softened

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon extract

¼ cup milk

½ cup fresh whole lemon thyme leaves


Powdered sugar or powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice

Separate eggs, placing whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and yolks in a small bowl. Let them warm to room temperature. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. With electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in ¾ cup sugar; beat until stiff peaks form; set aside. In another bowl, with the same beaters, beat together remaining 1 cup sugar and the butter until mixture forms a smooth paste. Beat in reserved egg yolks, lemon rind, juice and extract until thick and lemon colored. Beat in milk until well mixed.

With mixer at low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until well combined. Stir one fourth of beaten egg whites into cake batter to lighten it. Fold in lemon thyme leaves and remaining whites into batter. Turn into prepared pan.

Bake cake 1¼ to 1½ hours or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto wire rack; cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or lemon juice mixed with powdered sugar and drizzle onto cake.

Watermelon with Rose Water and Mint

Karen Sullivan

Yield: Serves 8

Buy rose water at a Middle Eastern market such as Cedarland on Central Avenue.

6 cups watermelon cut into bite-size pieces

1 to 1½ tablespoons rose water

1 to 2 springs spearmint for garnish (optional)

Place watermelon in a serving dish. Drizzle with rose water, stirring gently to coat all well. Tear or chop mint and add to top.

Ruby’s Applesauce-Mint Bread

Theresa Travelute

From Susan Wittig Albert’s Unthymely

Death Recipes

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup slivered almonds, chopped

1 egg beaten

1 cup applesauce

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two small loaf pans. Sift the first five dry ingredients together, add almonds and blend well. In a separate bowl, combine egg, applesauce, brown sugar and oil. Stir to mix. Add mint.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until blended. (Don’t over mix). Pour batter into pans and bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on rack.

Fresh Ginger Cheesecake

Ann Baldwin

From Santa Fe Recipe

½ cup graham cracker crumbs, crushed

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

2 egg yolks

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ginger extract

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1 pinch salt

2 egg whites, beaten until stiff

24 fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved

In a medium bowl place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and ground ginger. Mix. Press the mixture into the bottom of a buttered 7-inch spring form pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the crust for 10 minutes. Let it cool.

In a medium bowl place the cream cheese and sugar, and beat them together. Add the egg yolks and beat them in. Add the sour cream, flour, ginger extract, vanilla, fresh ginger and salt. Beat the ingredients together.

Fold the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake the cheesecake for 1 hour. Turn the heat off and let the cheesecake remain in the oven for 40 minutes.

Cool the cheesecake to room temperature and then refrigerate it until it is chilled. Garnish with the fresh strawberries.

Chocolate Angel Pie

Linda Ferguson

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

From The Art of Southern Cooking

Meringue Shell:

2 egg whites

½ cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped nuts

½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and lightly grease an 8-inch pie pan. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add sugar gradually. Beat till very stiff. Fold in chopped nuts and vanilla. Turn into pie pan. Make nest-like shell, building sides up above edge of pan. Bake for 55 minutes. Cool. Fill with chocolate filling.

Chocolate Filling:
1 package (4 ounces) German chocolate

3 tablespoons hot water

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add hot water, blend and cool. Add vanilla. Fold in cream. Turn this mixture into meringue shell. Chill.


Lemon Ginger Iced Tea (Stash)

Dana DeBellis

Lemon Verbena Tea with Lemon

Margery Orell

Margie modified the recipe in The Charlotte Herb Guild Cooks Again (page 37), omitting the stevia.

Plantation Mint Iced Tea (Bigelow)

Mary Beth Collins



From Lara Barnett: I would like to thank each of you for the letters, cards, and gifts that we received for the birth of George. We appreciate the love that you have shared with us. Thank you, thank you!


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