Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Basil - An Answer To Flies In The Home

Basil - An Answer To Flies In The Home

The use of herbs as a natural answer to many problems never ceases to amaze me. Already this summer flied have been a major problem, they sneak into the home and cause havoc and I just can't face the thought of using poison based fly spray to eliminate the problem.

Recently I had a Greek friend staying with me and he suggested I grow basil in containers and keep them in the house. This will keep the filed at bay he assured me as this is what he does in Greece where flies are even more of a problem.

So a few basil transplants from the garden and into some yoghurt containers and I have some indoor basil that sit proudly on my kitchen and dining room window sill. Not only that but the smell of basil is a great to have around the house as well. By the way, Don’t for one moment think that I would go to a garden centre and buy herbs when you can do this for nothing!

All the basil in place and the test was on. There were a couple of times when flies entered the rooms, but they darted out as fast as they came in. It worked a treat. Why didn’t I know about this before with all the suffering I had to go through?

It seems there is a herb answer to most things and now you know.

Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Mayonnaise With A Fresh Herb Touch

Mayonnaise With A Fresh Herb Touch

A grandmother in Germany I knew many years ago gave this herb mayonnaise recipe to me. She just happened to have the ingredients at hand at the time and she never forgot it, hence the rough guide in quantities given. She had medium sized hands!

The use of mint, parsley and coriander make an excellent combination for added to a mayonnaise mix. It can make a refreshing change to ordinary mayonnaise and can be used in the same way, i.e. in sandwiches, salads, egg, pototoes (as pictured) and with many types of meat. It also makes mayonnaise feel a bit healthier although it doesn’t ‘t make that much difference to the main oil content in mayonnaise.


  • · 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • · 1 handful fresh coriander
  • · 1 handful fresh parsley leaves
  • · A Pinch of chilli pepper
  • · 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • · 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • · 3 tablespoons mayonnaise


Mix all the ingredients expect the vinegar and mayonnaise in a food processor Process until minced. Then add the vinegar and mayonnaise and mix by hand until mixed in thoroughly. Serve straight away.

It will keep if refrigerated for up to 5 days if in an airtight container.

Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Pimpinella Anisum - Or Bettter Known As Anise

Star [Anise] Burst

Pimpinella anisum or its more common name anise grows in the warmer parts of the world. It probably originates from the Mediterranean area and is a grass-like herb that grows to 60 cm in height and blossoms with a 5 part cluster of white flowers between May and June.

The fruits are harvested in July and August just before full maturity to avoid the fruit dropping. The aniseed-flavoured fruit has distinctive odour and sweet taste. It is normally packaged in a hemp or chetirisloyni paper bags to prevent moisture seeping in. therefore should be stored in dry and ventilated areas.

the herb is used mainly for coughs and associated ailments such as inflammation of the bronchi, laryngitis and angina. Add to this a remedy for pains in the stomach and intestines, gastric mucosal inflammation, colic, flatulence, sand and stones kidneys and bladder problems. Lastly is is known to increase milk in breastfeeding.

In Bulgarian folk medicine is used when thick, insomnia, headache, lack of regulation and painful menstruation, and other hiccups.

You can add 1 teaspoon beaten plodcheta and leave to soak for 1 hour in half a litre hot water, then drink 1 glass of this before meals 4 times a day. Or you can use essential oil with 1-2 drops that can be taken on a sugar lump.

I will be sure to keep an eye out for this in Bulgaria, sounds a pretty useful herb to have n stock although I don’t think it would survive a cold winter here is grown, but maybe as an annual is the raw seeds can be sourced. Being grass like probably would lend itself to being grown in containers to restrict root invasion then perhaps could be sheltered during winter.
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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Sesame and Honey Energy Snack Bar Recipe

Sesame and Honey Energy Snack Bar RecipeQuite often my Bulgarian partner would buy little sesame seeds and honey bars for us to eat in the journey each weekend to the village. They are an excellent little energy snack and have no chemicals in them at all with the texture typically hard and brittle.

I was informed that they are very easy to make. So I go the recipe off my partner’s friend who is a chef for a top hotel in Yambol. He recommended locally produced honey that it will produce herb-based flavours that will further enchance the great combinations of taste.

This recipe is very easy to follow and will also save you lots of money as these snack bars are quite expensive to buy ready made. They are just as good as any commercially produced snack bar and without preservatives.


· 500 gm local honey
· 500 gm white sesame seeds
· The lemon peel of half a lemon


Bring honey and lemon peel to a boil in a saucepan. Add sesame seeds stirring continuously and continue to cook while stirring. Bring to the boil again and continue stirring. Remove from heat. Remove and take out the lemon peel.

Lay some parchment or greaseproof paper on a cool work surface and pour out the hot liquid evenly on the paper.

When it has cooled to room temperature put it in the fridge and leave there for around 4 hours.

Remove from the fridge a kitchen shears, break into pieces and serve.

This can be stored refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.

TIP: You can make more or less as long as you stick to equal quantities of sesame and honey each time.

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