Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ah, the joys of seed catalogs

I just got a housewarming gift from a friend back in California. Since we have a decently sized yard, she figured a gift certificate for seeds and plants would be perfect. Correct! I just spent an hour poring over the pages of the Nichols catalog, mulling over all the different herbs and plants and trying to figure out what to order. It's too late for strawberries, sadly (would have tried some of the new Seascape variety), but they carry a lot of herbs I haven't seen.

What did I get? I wanted some medicinal herbs, so arnica, calendula and chamomile went onto the list. Dan and I love all kinds of Asian foods, so Thai basil, cilantro, culantro (similar to cilantro, often used with pho), and papaloquelite (also similar to cilantro, but I've heard the flavor is even better) are represented. Almost ordered some Delfino cilantro since it's slow to bolt and the ferny leaves are easier to cut, but I've seen reports that it only tastes mildly of cilantro, so that was out. A variant of marjoram - Zaatar - sounded really interesting so I ordered some as well. Supposedly it has a flavor that's a cross between thyme, oregano and marjoram. I also ordered some clary sage because I love the scent, and sweet violets because they're just plain pretty. Oh, and some Sweeter Yet cucumber seeds for summer salads.

I was like a kid in a candy store, drooling over all the possibilities. Though this stuff is definitely better for me than candy.