Herbs, cooking and reading blogs. Keeping cheerful through lockdown.

One of the ways I’m keeping upbeat at the moment is reading blogs. Barbara Segall writes about the Japanese rice recipe Seven Herbs of Spring in her ‘Garden Post’ blog. I was immediately inspired to go out into the garden and find seven herbs to make my own revitalising rice dish.

Barbara explains that the severn herb dish is a kind of porridge eaten during the first weeks of January as a way of detoxing and giving the digestive system a boost. Simple food after all the excesses of Christmas. I didn’t quite have the herbs Barbara mentions, but rather than just giving up, I searched out and used what I could find. I was delighted to discover small amounts of mint, fennel, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, Welsh onion, and chervil. Most were in self-watering containers placed in the greenhouse for winter protection. Rosemary grows by the back door, and perennial Welsh onions are in the polytunnel. They are a good source of fresh onion-flavouring when chives have died back for the season.

Just searching about the plot and discovering small amounts of herbs was a joy. The scents released as I snipped the herbs into a colander made me think of summer when I planted these containers. I perhaps use fresh herbs more in summer than I do in winter. It requires more of an effort to go out in the cold, ice crunching underfoot and wrapped up against the chill wind. Much easier to reach for the dried herbs (dare I admit to using such a thing). But the taste was worth it. Every mouthful was a burst of flavour – transporting me back to sunshine and summer heat.

I boiled some organic long grain brown rice to go with my herbs. A nice easy meal, in contrast to all the complicated, lengthy cooking of the festive season. The rice was ready in 25 minutes. I roughly chopped the herbs and sprinkled them over the steaming rice. I found some tiny emerging spring broccoli and nasturtium leaves to add to the dish and yellow broccoli flowers, which are edible and should not be wasted.

Delicious! Using what I have about the place and keeping things simple. It made me feel as if I was looking after myself. Which is no bad thing just at the moment when we are all rather stressed and in lockdown.

Do read Barbara’s blog and learn more about Japanese cooking traditions. Barbara’s writing is like silk. It’s a joy to read. And you never know, it might inspire you to grow more herbs and cook something delicious and good for you. Let me know if you do!

Thank you for reading. Take care.

Barbara’s blog is here : https://thegardenpost.com/a-new-dawn-and-it-is-2021/

21 thoughts on “Herbs, cooking and reading blogs. Keeping cheerful through lockdown.

  1. Karen Barbara Segall’s Seven Herbs of Spring Japanese rice recipe to take care of yourself, you have changed it with your own aromatic herbs, which has to be delicious and the herbs must smell and taste like glory. Mint, fennel, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, Welsh onion, chervil, yellow broccoli flowers and nasturtium; collected by your hands in your garden and added to the recipe: I love it, delicious. May the rice with your herbs take advantage of you and make you very happy. Those little things are what give us strength and courage to move forward with hope for the future and positive thinking. Karen enjoys your wonderful garden even if it is cold and so you do not go outside for only the essentials. Much health, strength, encouragement, hope and much love for your whole family, Mr B and for you. Loving caresses for the Three Musketeers. Take care. Hugs with affection. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ’ŸπŸ™πŸ§€πŸ§£πŸŒΌπŸŒΌ

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      • Karen thank you very much for remembering me. We are still trapped in snow-ice with -10ΒΊC last night and today we have finally reached 1ΒΊC positive. My dear Mother and I are at home, very warm and safe. We send hugs and love to everyone, including the Three Musketeers. Take good care of yourselves and keep yourself safe. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx πŸ˜˜πŸ™πŸ’ŸπŸ€—πŸŒΌπŸ§£

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      • Dear Karen, Wednesday and Thursday are going to rain. What happens is that the sewers are covered by many inches of snow-ice, and I think there will be flooding. The bad thing is that I have a doctor on Thursday, but if I can’t go, I won’t go, it’s nothing to be in a hurry. I also have to go by taxi because my car is buried by snow-ice and surrounded by a snow-ice barrier that covers the wheels and the whole car around. The water will not reach the height of my house where we are very warm, my dear Mother and I, with food for a week and safe. Many affectionate hugs from my Mother and mine for all of you and a lot of love. Take good care of you all. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

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      • So sorry Margarita. We have had no internet so could no write or reply. A builder dug through our cables and cut us off accidentally. I’m am so glad you are warm and have enough provisions. I pray the good weather will come soon and we will all have our vaccines. What celebrations we shall all have this summer. I am dreaming of that wonderful time. Xx

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      • Karen I’m so sorry that you’ve been without the internet. We no longer have snow and now we have a few days of good weather after it rained. In Spain we are very bad with the Covid, with many infections and the Hospitals and the UCIS on the verge of collapse. They are already vaccinating in Spain since January 1; but Pfizer, modern and Astrazenica, the laboratories that supply the EU, have not served the latest orders for vaccines to the EU, and therefore to Spain, and we are running out of vaccines. The vaccines have not worked because they have been sold much more expensive to other countries such as Israel and the USA: they are some gulls. Hopefully we will have vaccinations very soon and vaccinate all of us as quickly as possible. May God help us so that we are all vaccinated and safe and sound. I am very hopeful about it. Karen I hope you are all in good health and safe. Take good care of each other. I send you positive energy thinking of you with great affection. A hug. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx πŸ’ŸπŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ™

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      • Thank you Margarita. Sending a hug in return. We are heading for more snow at the weekend, but we are prepared. Take care. Keep warm. Have hope. Love and affectionate greetings from us all xx ❀️πŸ₯°πŸŒΈπŸŒΊπŸ™ xx

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      • Thanks Karen. I sincerely hope it doesn’t snow much this weekend and that it doesn’t cause damage. Keep warm at home and be stocked with food and other necessary things, in addition to firewood. Stay safe from the snow and if you have to go outside, wrap up warm. Also shelter the Three Musketeers and give them caresses for me. I send Mr B and you a lot of love and best wishes. Hugs. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx πŸ˜˜πŸ€—πŸ™πŸ’Ÿβ›„β˜•πŸ§€πŸ§£πŸŒ·πŸŒΌ

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