Sunday, April 18, 2010

Volume XIX, Issue 3, May, 2010

The Charlotte Herb Guild Newsletter

CHG May Meeting
May 11 2010, 7:15pm

Richard Flanagan presents: Bees in your own Backyard

Also, we will have the plant exchange at this meeting, so plan to bring one plant

Garden Council House
1820 East Seventh Street
Charlotte, NC 28204

Hostesses:  Mary Beth Collins,  Lenlee Corish and Dana DeBellis

Guests: $5.00


We need hostesses for upcoming meetings. 
 Please volunteer. (Netta Turnbull)

CHG Minutes April 13, 2010

Dana DeBellis called the meeting to order and welcomed members and guests. She thanked hostesses Joan Smith, Julie Courtney and Sandie Fenton.

Membership chair, Theresa Nardi, intorduced guests Lana Andrews, Susanna Maske, Leila Shapiro and Cheryl Wall. After a discussion led by Theresa, members decided monthly meeting RSVPs will not be necessary. We will ask for RSVPs for the annual tea, potluck events and for field trips.

Dana introduced Jerry Kendall from Kendall Sharpening Service. He gave pointers for keeping our gardening cutting tools in good working order: Use tools for the intended purpose; apply used oil from lawn mower to blades in off season to prevent rust; or spray with inexpensive spray paint to prevent rust.

Minutes from the March meeting were approved without change.

Treasurer Dixie Kelly gave the report on money collected and expenses. The report may be viewed on the CHG Google Docs website.

Committee Reports:

Farmers Market—Matthews Farmers Market will be held on May 22nd. Lynn Lytle will lead the program and Karen Sullivan will help with cookbook sales. Plans also call for sale of tussie mussies and lavender sugar. Volunteers are needed.

Garden Council Liaison— Garden Club National Convention: April 25-27 in Raleigh, NC. The April 28th meeting begins at 9:30am. The program is: When Smaller is Better, working with miniature and small plants. The May 26 meeting includes a silent auction, please bring herbal items to the May CHG meeting to add to a donated gift basket for this event.

Hezekiah Alexander Herb Garden—Mary Ann Nagel, Ann Baldwin. Next work date TBA.

Hospitality Chair- Netta Turnbull---Volunteers are needed for May and June. Please contact Netta if you can help, and plan to pick up the key for the house.


The Dove's Nest has a new director. The Guild will plan a different service project for June due to program changes at Dove's Nest.

New business:

Ann Baldwin made a motion to contribute $50 to buy herbs for the culinary garden located behind the Friendship Trays offices. After discussion, a motion was made and carried without opposition to provide up to $100.

April Program: Patti Harlan introduced our speaker, Ernie McLaney, Executive Director of Central Piedmont Community College's Center for Sustainability.

Ernie shared tips for creating and maintaining a wildlife habitat at home. His handout, Season Your Yard With Native Herbs features author Melanie Radzicki McManus whose list includes several plants that are attractive and good for attracting wildlife to the garden. These include milkweed (the sole source of food for the larvae of the monarch butterfly, Joe-pye weed (attracts butterflies and bees), purple coneflower (provides nectar for butterflies and bees), and bee balms (attracts hummingbirds and butterflies).

The meeting adjourned around 9 p.m.

April Recipes

Lemon-Mint Spritzer
Sandie Fenton
Yield:  4 1/2 cups

1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade
1/4 cup sugar
4 fresh mint sprigs
1 bottle lemon-flavored sparkling mineral water (e.g. Perrier)

Bring lemonade concentrate, sugar and mint sprigs to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves; boil one minute. Remove from heat and cool. When cooled, remove and discard the mint leaves. Add the mineral water to the mixture. Serve over crushed ice.
Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Great Grandmother’s Potato Salad
Joan Smith

Cooked Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Scant 1/4 cup white vinegar
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups milk

Beat egg into milk in a sauce pan.  Add remaining ingredients. Stir over medium heat until thickened. Keeps one week if refrigerated.

Potato Salad:
10 pounds new potatoes, boiled in jackets, removed from heat, drained, cut into pieces
10 boiled eggs, peeled, cut into wedges
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced sweet onions (e.g., Vidalia)
Sweet pickle relish to taste
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Mayonnaise to taste

Combine all salad ingredients except mayonnaise.  Add enough boiled dressing to coat all the ingredients.  Before serving, toss salad with mayonnaise, to taste.

Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies with Orange Marmalade
Sandie Fenton
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" (for baking and cooking)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
A few drops pure almond flavoring
Mackays Orange Marmalade
Confectioners’ sugar

In a small bowl combine dry ingredients and rosemary, stir with a whisk. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat butters on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar and almond extract.  Beat until combined.  Add flour mixture and beat until combined.  Wrap and chill dough for 1 hour or more until easy to handle.

Preheat over to 325 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Shape dough into 24 1¼-inch balls.  Place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Using your thumb, make indentations in each cookie.  Spoon about 1 teaspoon marmalade into the center indentation of each cookie.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Just before serving, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar lightly over the tops of the cookies.

Lemony Shrimp Tarts
Julie Courtney

1 cup chopped cooked shrimp
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
15 mini phyllo pastry shells
Chopped chives for garnish

Mix together first 7 ingredients.  Spoon into pastry shells, sprinkle with chives.

Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches
Julie Courtney

8 ounces whipped cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 cup fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
1 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup alfalfa sprouts

Combine cream cheese, salt and pepper.  Spread about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on a bread slice, then layer with spinach, cucumber, avocado and alfalfa sprouts.  Top with a second slice of bread.  Cut into triangles or rectangles.

Spicy White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
Sandie Fenton
Adapted from Tea Time Magazine

8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup diced marinated roasted red peppers
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
12 slices multigrain bread, cut into 2-inch flower shapes or other shapes
Fresh chives or toasted pecan half, for garnish

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted the blade attachment, pulse the cheeses, mayonnaise and cayenne until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add mayonnaise slowly until a spreading consistency is achieved. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Fold in the diced red peppers, pecans and chives until well combined. Spread a small amount in the center of a bread shape. Top with another bread shape, matching the shapes. Chill until ready to serve.

Blue Cheese-Walnut Finger Sandwiches
Joan Smith
Yield:  7 dozen

3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
5 ounces creamy blue cheese, rind removed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 whole grain bread loaves (about 22 slices)
1/4 cup fig, cherry or apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake walnuts in a single layer in a shallow pan for 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 5 minutes.  Cool completely.  Chop.

Stir together walnuts, cream cheese, blue cheese and parsley. Spread this mixture on half the bread slices. Spread preserves on the other half of the slices. Make sandwiches using the cheese slices on the bottom and the preserve slices on top.  Chill sandwiches in airtight plastic for up to 24 hours. Cut each sandwich into 8 pieces.

Minty Passion Tea Lemonade

Steep passion fruit tea bags in half the amount of water recommended on the package. Mix with tea equal amount of lemonade.  Add mint leaves.  Serve with ice.

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