Tender leaves

March 17th, 2008, by Francesca

What better way to start my food blog than with one of my favorite things — fresh herbs? fresh herbs
Documenting my year in culinary school will be the main subject of Tanta Robina, at least in the beginning, but I also want to use this space to write down my thoughts on food, ingredients, and anything related to cooking and eating. Because, for me, cooking is all about the eating.
And I am not alone in this; see how Pipie is nibbling my Italian parsley there in the back of the photo? He may not be a connaisseur, but you gotta hand it to him: he is experimental. I want to be more like him from now on.
Pipie likes parsley The herbs I use the most are: Italian parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano. Keeping live plants as opposed to buying cut bunches offers me two advantages:
— I always have the freshest possible herbs, and
— the smallest, most tender leaves.
For some reason, the supermarkets here in Los Angeles carry mostly herbs on hormones, with gigantic, hard leaves that are unpleasant to eat. The local basil and parsley are especially oversized for my taste and the basil that comes in plastic containers often has chewy, leathery leaves that may be good for cooking, but have no place in a plate of insalata caprese.
basil, parsley, sage, oregano, thyme So, I hope you'll keep me company as I go through the Culinary Arts program at the California School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) and discover a new world of foods and cooking techniques. I am particularly looking forward to the International Cuisine module, although that will be towards the end of the program.
Just be patient with the inevitable glitches of the first few weeks, as I am using new blogging software and figuring things out as I go.
Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

15 Responses to “Tender leaves”

  1. Laurence Says:
    Whoohoo! good luck with your enterprise. You picked a great day to start your blog. I'm sure that will bring you luck :)
  2. stephanie s Says:
    yay! (again)....
  3. Cornflower Says:
    I've bookmarked Tanta Robina, so I'll be a regular visitor here and I'm looking forward to it, Francesca!
  4. Priscilla Says:
    I wish you lived closer, you could come raid my herb garden in the summer for your cooking pleasures. I have been obsessed with herbs for a long time. It always amazes me that you can have 30+ thymes in the garden and they all have different unique taste. Our cooking spices are really so limited as to what is acceptable and the norm. Just remember a lot of herbs are poisons to cats... Rosemary for example will cause mild gastrointestinal upset but technically not poisones. Teucrium Maru - Cat thyme is always an alternative if the kitties don't like cat nip and very eatable for humans. Lovely photos, especially lovely greens for St. Patrick's day
  5. Laura Says:
    Congratulations on your newest blog! I look forward to adding to my regular reads. You know that I started growing fresh herbs after the weekend that you, Garen, & I spent in New York. I've never regreted the plantings and I think of both of you whenever I harvest them.
  6. andrea Says:
    yay yay ;)
  7. Bea Says:
    Yay! I'm looking forward to learning about this other aspect of your life! If your knitting is any indication, I think your year of cooking dangerously will be a success :) I totally agree with the fresh herbs thing, I can't wait to have a garden of my own so I can grow my own! Pipie looks so funny staring at those plants!
  8. karen Says:
    Num!! (in all languages!) I'm cooking my 4th Torta di Riso (by request)...so I'm looking forward to other recipes to glean and cookbooks to accidentally mention.
  9. Erin Says:
    Ha, I'm always having to rinse cat spit off my herbs. They have their own pot of catnip, but they still munch the other stuff. Congratulations on your new blog and your entry into culinary school! I'm looking forward to reading about it!
  10. May Says:
    Gosh, I wish I could grow our herbs all year. But for us, we just don't get enough light, and it gets too cold by the windows. I'm looking forward to another great herb season. Last year, I had basil, coriander and thyme. I'm going to add a few more this year. Let's see how long they last.
  11. Agnes Says:
    Yay! Congratulations! I brought beers for "blog warming" party! :D
  12. Maud Says:
    I so look forward to follow your year! As you know we love cooking in our house, and good foodblogs are a joy to read!
  13. orata Says:
    Congratulations on the new life venture. I look forward to reading your food blog!
  14. Ava Says:
    Oh, yea, you're up and running! I'm looking forward to following your year, though I'll miss your knitting.
  15. MaryjoO Says:
    congratulations! This looks fabulous already! We are so nuts about having year-round basil we also grow it inside, and give Burpee Genovese basil seeds to our Italian frineds. MaryjoO from Ravelry

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