Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Savory, Medicinal Thyme

Known as the herb of Venus, thyme was a good representation of the goddess of love for it's broad use as an aphrodisiac. Early Romans believed thyme attracted death while Assyrian priests of 700 B.C. used thyme for its great medicinal values.

 All of the many varieties of thyme contain the same medicinal properties, which makes choosing the proper plants for the garden a bit easier. Creeping thyme makes a good ground cover. It's attractive and releases a lovely scent when crushed. It's said that the more you walk on creeping thyme, the better it grows, so keep it in mind as a border, especially in a raised herb garden.

Whether you grow or purchase thyme for cooking, medicinal use, decorating or homemade crafts for holiday gifts, make sure you have enough to dry and have on hand for that last minute inspiration or bracing cup of tea.

 Give a gourmet flavor boost to rice, or perk up chicken or fish with homemade thyme butter. Stores easily in the refrigerator or freezer.

Thyme Butter

  • 1 cup soft butter

  • 1/2 cup crushed parsley

  • 1/2 cup celery leaves (chopped)

  • 1/2 tsp. each of garlic powder, marjoram and sage

  • dash of pepper

  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
Whip it all in the blender and enjoy.

When purchasing fresh herbs for the Thanksgiving turkey, get a few extra sprigs of thyme to use as holiday decorations or as herbal homemade gifts. Tuck them into your kitchen wreath, or even the Christmas wreath on your front door to treat your guests to a welcoming aroma to trigger memories of holiday meals past.

Rub thyme butter into the turkey.
photo by David Lat

Thanksgiving Trivia for Kids

Once the herbs are working to fill the house with the anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner, and it's time to grab a minute for yourself. Keep the kids occupied while the feast is cooking and the football games are being played. Print out the following turkey trivia questions, or appoint one of the older ones to ask the questions and keep score.

photo by Leeanne Rook


Turkey Trivia

1.  A wild turkey can fly
  1. 150 miles per hour
  2. 50 - 55 miles per hour
  3. Wild turkeys can't fly
2.  What did Benjamin Franklin want to be the national bird of the United States?
  1. The bald eagle
  2. A bird shaped kite
  3. A wild turkey
3. A wild turkey spends the night
  1. In a tree
  2. At the Turkey Inn
  3. Huddled under a bush
4. A 16 week old turkey is called
  1. Lunch
  2. Fryer
  3. Turklet
5.  How long have turkeys existed on earth?
  1. Since last Thanksgiving
  2. Almost 10 million years
  3. Since the first Thanksgiving
6. What are baby turkeys called?
  1. poultry
  2. poults
  3. hens
7. What kind of turkeys gobble?
  1. male turkeys
  2. female turkeys
  3. all turkeys
8. A male turkey is called
  1. Tom
  2. Turk
  3. Henry
9. A large group of turkeys is called
  1. A herd
  2. A flock
  3. A gaggle
10.  If a turkey looks up while it's raining, it can
  1. see a rainbow
  2. drown
  3. do the turkey trot
Now add up the scores.
Award the wishbone to the winner.

  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 1
  4. 2
  5. 2
  6. 2
  7. 1
  8. 1
  9. 2
  10. 2