January Spice Rack Challenge: Rosemary

I LOVE rosemary.  Its pungent, piney fragrance is at once refreshing and relaxing.  Although I’m sure I had rosemary before, the first time I remember seeing rosemary was when I started working at the Grand Traverse Resort (and Spa).   I was young and on my own for the first time.  The Resort was impressive and ritzy and there, garnishing the dinner plates in the Trillium restaurant were fresh sprigs of rosemary. 

My two-year-old rosemary wintering on the porch.

Since then I’ve had rosemary plants of my own but here in the brutal zone 5 winters of Traverse City I’ve never had much luck cultivating it.  I’ve never been foolish enough to think that I could grow it from seed but even when I start with seedlings I haven’t had much luck keeping it alive.  I do fine all summer.  I usually even manage to keep it alive most of the winter.  One year I managed to keep a rosemary plant alive outside until March Then, it died. Last year I managed to winter my rosemary plant on the back porch.  So far, it is still doing well.  I’m hoping now that it is a little more stable and mature I will be able to keep it alive year-round. 

I prune sprigs from it to add to recipes from time to time but it doesn’t get used as often as it should.  I add it to roasts and other meats when I am braising or roasting them or roasted potatoes, and I added it to my strawberry jam last summer, but other than that, my plant doesn’t see much action.  Thanks to Mom, that is all about to change.  This month I need to make something that features rosemary.  My first thoughts were savory, but rosemary is versatile.  This challenge will take a lot of thought and possibly some experimentation.  Right now I’m off to clean my refrigerator.  But when I finish, the hunt for rosemary recipes begins.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “January Spice Rack Challenge: Rosemary

  1. Anita

    how about a rosemary shortbread? I feel like I’ve seen a recipe for it before – maybe at 101cookbooks.com or maybe just while randomly surfing the web. I’m down by Detroit and I amazingly have kept 3 rosemary plants for about 1.5 years now (2 of the plants were supposed to go to other people, but they haven’t made it there yet). I bring them in around October keep them in a bright room and water about once a week and they are still growing a bit. I don’t use mine as much as I should. My mom recently made a beet relish that called for rosemary – unfortunately I forgot to bring some over, but it was still delicious. Can’t wait to hear what you make – I love your blog!

  2. Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

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