Nostalgic Gourmet: Edible herb snipping
by Leba Dawkins
Apr 18, 2012 | 1314 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Holding an elephant ear’s giant seed pod in one hand and a beautifully blossomed fuchsia hanging basket in the other, I recently strolled through a local garden center. Humming to the swinging basket’s sway, I thought of the many hummingbirds that will hover before my eyes between sips of its sweet nectar.

As the smell of fresh potting mix caused my green thumb to pulsate with anticipation, gardening eyes reeled with the vast variety of baby plants to choose from.

My new, sloping flower garden’s skeleton is progressing nicely and the flooding water has been rerouted.

Violets, weeds and wildflowers are still rulers of the walkways but even they will soon disappear under a layer of garden cloth, black mulch and steppingstones.

But first, I need to decide which loaded-with-sunshine location would be best for a small herb garden.

Because of hopping, munching bunnies, I’ll have to forego beauty. Possibly one of those raised contraptions?

Maybe I can hide the ugly supports with white lattice? No, that won’t do … slugs will use the lattice like a ladder.

Anyway, I dearly love fresh herbs at least once a day but, like everything else, their price is skyrocketing. The only way I can enjoy God’s greatest vitamins is to either grow them or resort to a boring, man-made capsule that sits in the stomach like a lead weight.

I would much rather snip a nosegay of mixed herbs and, like any good Southern girl, create a dish that will become a family icon by adding artery-clogging goodness.

Herbed Mashed Potatoes

4 lbs. white potatoes, peeled

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 Tbsp. butter

1 cup water

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup dairy sour cream

Half-and-half, light cream or milk

Salt & pepper to taste

Put cut-up potatoes in Dutch oven with garlic, 4 Tbsp. of butter, water and salt.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in herbs.

Re-cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in mayonnaise and sour cream.

Add enough half-and-half (about 1/2 cup) to form desired consistency.

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp. each). Makes 8-10 servings.

If fancy presentation is desired, pour a little melted butter around the top and sprinkle on extra herbs for color.

Note: Calorie count? Don’t know and don’t care … and neither will your dinner guest.


Leba also writes the “Upon Reflection” column that runs bi-monthly in the Sunday edition of the Banner.