June Culinary Herb Workshop a Success

Sarah Mallin, a chef and caterer of very creative ability and inventive and inspired food preparation gave a workshop: Growing Herbs for Flavor, Nutrition, and Health, presented by CCGA’s Education Committee on Saturday June 10th 2017.

Sarah led off the workshop with a fascinating history of herbs related to their uses over time and the monetization of them as a commodity, previously the provenance of indigenous cultures. Sarah traced how the longstanding practice of folk medicine by lay people all over the globe shifted away from and back to where we are today in recognizing the beauty and power of these plants.

With selections from her collection of books, Sarah guided everyone through a few important books to demonstrate how dedicated and inspired naturalists, scientists, and herbalists helped create our understanding of the natural world. A sensory exploration of herbs from six families of flowering plants followed as Sarah let everyone handle and smell fresh herbs picked just the night before. Participants heard what polyphenols, or plant chemistry, makes herbs taste differently to different people as they explored some common and more exotic herbs like tulsi, or holy basil, shiso from the mint family, and dyers camomile.

Sarah prepared an herbal infusion with clover, thyme, rose petals, camomile, and many other herbs and plants as well as making a delectable strawberry lemon thyme syrup which she had strained and added to sweet (or sparkling water if you prefer). Everyone enjoyed the samples and delighted in seconds and thirds. For a wonderful finale, Sarah used a food processor as she stuffed it with fresh oregano, garlic, lemon, dill, parmesan cheese and an inventive handful of an assortment of other taste sensations for a “sauce”. Everyone gathered around for a tasting of this mouthwatering, yummy treat.

The workshop ran to 2 hours, but no one noticed nor was eager to leave without more questions and a very grateful and hearty applause for Sarah.

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