She shared some interesting information about herself I didn't know before: She cooks almost exclusively on weekends and considers it a chore. She does love her kids to distraction, though, and thinks that using fresh herbs will make her traditional dishes a little more appealing to their modern sensibilities.
Her kids are teenagers or older, and part of their upbringing included years of channel surfing the cooking shows on the way to more interesting programming. You know -- those shows that make cooking look so organic and easy the average nine year old could become a cordon bleu chef during summer vacation.
These days, her kids tend to frown on meatloaf but think mini-meatballs made with lamb, seasoned with rosemary and served on a bed of kale are pretty cool. They think pork chops the way grandma used to fry them up in a cast iron skillet are passée, but can really get into 50 garlic clove chicken deglazed with Marsala wine.
Here's the kicker that I really thought you'd appreciate: Grandma -- or her mom -- probably grew rosemary, (and oregano and sage and garlic and thyme) in her garden. She grew and harvested those herbs just the way she harvested water in a rain barrel and dug up potatoes (and picked apples) for the root cellar every fall. Everything old is new again -- in the most amazing ways.
So, start an herb garden this year. You can use herbs to beautify your landscape, enhance your culinary prowess (and save money doing it), dabble in homemade remedies for minor ailments, provide raw materials for your crafting projects -- and prove to your kids (or neighbors, or co-workers or in-laws) that you are pretty cool after all.
If you're just getting your feet wet (or your hands dirty) with herbs, these posts will get you started: