It’s two of my grandchildren and their friend, Baxter. You’ll see Emerson leading, Baxter behind and little Ellery last. Their destination was supposed to be the green onion row where they were to pick onions for the Cinco de Mayo spread recipe that I’m sharing today.
Well, they spied the mulch pile and decided that was more fun than picking onions. I caught them walking through the tilled garden.
I’ve also been to Emerson’s school, along with Eva’s and Jack’s to celebrate Earth Day and love that they are so interested in what Mother Nature has to offer. I told the teachers I would share tips for herbs gardens, so along with the recipes for celebrating Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day, here’s good information on herb gardening.
Tips on starting an herb garden:
Herbs don’t require a lot of tending. Good soil, watering until they’re established and good drainage is essential. If you grow in containers, know that you’ll have to water and fertilize a bit more. Don’t over water or over fertilize, as you’ll wind up with lush growth but the volatile oils that flavor the herbs won’t develop.
What herbs to grow?
Think about the foods you like to eat.
Cook’s garden could include parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano.
Pizza garden. Try a grape or cherry tomato plant surrounded by oregano or marjoram, basil, rosemary and thyme.
Tea garden could have mint, rosemary, stevia, chamomile, lemon verbena, thyme and sage. There are endless variations, and I have more information on my website: abouteating.com.
Get the details: my video on container gardening: It’s on my website
Derby Day mini hot browns
I’ve shared the Brown Hotel’s authentic hot brown sandwich before for Derby Day. Here’s an appetizer version.
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup half & half
1 cup cheddar or Swiss or combo of both
18 slices snack rye bread or baguette slices
8 oz sliced deli turkey
Thinly sliced sweet onion, separated into rings
6 strips cooked and crumbled bacon
Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter over medium heat and stir in flour until smooth. Stir in cream and broth. Bring to boil and cook for a couple minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Put bread on baking sheets. Layer each piece with turkey, onion and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake 10 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley.
Cinco de Mayo spread
16 oz refried beans (I like Mexican style)
1/4 cup Picante sauce
1-1/2 cups guacamole
1/2 cup each sour cream and mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 heaping cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar
2-1/4 oz can ripe olives, sliced and drained
Garnish: Chopped green onions, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro
Combine beans and Picante sauce. Spread onto shallow platter. Spread with guacamole. Combine sour cream, mayo and taco seasoning and spread over guacamole. Sprinkle with garnishes including cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.
Don’t like cilantro? You’re probably using too much. There’s a natural component of cilantro that has the taste of soap. That’s why folks think cilantro tastes like soap when you use too much.