It has been a while since we posted. What can I say? We have been busy.
It is the height of the plant sales season. We have been delighted to find so many interested and knowledgeable herb growers wherever we have been. Plenty of people have been interested in the less-common species we are growing, which is encouraging.
We have started drawing up a few basic serving suggestions and recipe ideas - you can find them on our website http://cookslaneherbs.co.uk - and there will be one for gravadlax below - but it would be fascinating to know what others out there are cooking up with their herbs. Please let us know and we will post them here or, if people want, set up a forum for you to swap ideas.
Sales are coming thick and fast at the moment. We are at Kibworth farmers' market on Saturday (June 12).
June 27 sees us at the University of Leicester Botanic Gardens plant fair. That is going to be an opportunity to see how we fare alongside better-established and bigger sellers.
Then it is back to Leicester farmers' market on July 1. The farmers' markets give us a chance to offer our soaps, lavender bags, bath melts and our latest bestseller, moth-repellent bags.
As soon as Sian can sew these they are selling. Our only problem is whether our supply of dried wormwood will last until we can produce another crop.
Research has continued - by which I mean day trips. The latest was to Chelsea Physic Garden, which has an excellent collection that provided much food for thought and many photo opportunities for Sian.
Now for that recipe.
Dill Gravadlax with mustard and dill sauce:
3-4lb/1.4-1.8kg salmon; 2tb salt; 2tbsp sugar; 2tsp crushed black peppercorns; 2tbsp brandy; 2tbsp chopped fresh dill
Spread mix of all other ingredients over salmon and rub in. Cover, with foil. Place heavy weight on top. Cure in fridge for up to 5 days. Slice thin to serve with:
1 egg yolk; 2tbsp french mustard; 1tbsp sugar; 2tbsp white wine vinegar; 6tbsp olive oil; 1tbsp chopped dill; seasoning.
Beat egg yolk,mustard and sugar until smooth. Add vinegar, then oil bit by bit, beating. Fold in dill and seasoning.
(Jane Newdick, the Magic of Herbs)