It is December, and we have less than three weeks until Christmas. We would like to help to prepare your holiday season with herbs and spices ideas to feel the festive season. Herbs and Spices make the holiday season feel more magical!
Rosemary – a popular herb for cooking as well as for decorative uses. Go to your local grocery store or garden center during the holiday season to find small rosemary trees that are often decorated for the holiday season. According to legend, this plant bloomed and bore fruit (out of season) on the night Jesus was born.
Cinnamon– comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. During Biblical times, Moses said that holy anointing oil should be comprised of sweet cinnamon and cassia. Cinnamon was a prized spice and was given as a gift to visiting dignitaries for centuries. Today it is commonly available and is used in a variety of dishes, especially during the holiday season, as well as in decorations for the home.
Frankincense – widely known as a gift given to baby Jesus from the Three Kings. Frankincense is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It is commonly burned during church masses. It is also added to holy oil that is used for anointing individuals during baptisms.
Sage – commonly used in culinary dishes. Legend also holds that Mary and baby Jesus hid in a large blooming sage bush when King Herrod was searching for them. For this reason, sage is known as the herb of immortality.
Lavender – Associated with the Christmas holiday for several reasons. First, it is believed that Mary washed Jesus' swaddling clothes with this fragrant herb. Secondly, it is a favoured scent for women's scented holiday gifts.
Ginger – used in many forms during the holiday season. In powdered form, it is used in many recipes, from cakes to cookies as well as meat dishes. The root may be ground and used in culinary dishes as well. The ginger root may also be candied or used in the production of ginger ale and ginger beer, popular drinks during holiday celebrations.
Bedstraw – also known as the Gallium plant, is an herb that may have been used in baby Jesus' manger. Bedstraw has a sweet honey aroma that is released when warmed. The herb is also used to make red dye.
Peppermint - is the flavour of candy canes, the red and white stripes and the hook shape that hangs perfectly from the branches of a Christmas tree are so festive! It can be used to make a tea and its refreshing cool flavour lends well to being added to many holiday foods. The combination of peppermint and chocolate is divine - try making peppermint fudge or peppermint hot chocolate.
Clove - is one of the world’s most important spices, used in both sweet and savoury contexts. During the holidays, cloves are used in many foods, from the turkey to the pumpkin pie. Using whole cloves to stud the outside of the outside of an orange will impart a sweet aromatic flavour to the substrate (remove them before eating).
Happy Holidays! 🎄🎅🎁