November 12, 2010

Rosemary for Remembrance!

The Maine House is making
Rosemary wreaths.....for Remembrance!

We are choosing to begin assembling our kitchen wreaths out of our Rosemary plants, and infuse our wreaths with Lemon Balm, Sage, and Lavender. Isn't the scent heavenly? Whether you make an entire wreath out of this small perennial shrub of the mint family, or simply place sprigs of rosemary throughout your wreath of pine and evergreens, the scent will be carried throughout your home. The symbolism of remembering those loved ones who are no longer with us warms our thoughts and hearts!

Rosemary (literally "dew of the sea") is a woody shrub with narrow, rather stiff evergreen leaves that are dark green on top, grayish green underneath, and deeply scented.

The fragrance of rosemary is warm, deep, and rather strong ...bringing to mind culinary delights, healing elixirs, exquisite perfumes, and the sun-drenched Mediterranean sea cliffs where it grows naturally. In fact, rosemary is a most evocative and useful herb, which has been cherished for centuries. It has been used in religious ceremonies as a symbol of fidelity, friendship, and remembrance.Many legends surround this remarkable plant. One such tale has it that, during the flight into Egypt, the Virgin Mary washed her blue cloak and hung it on a rosemary bush to dry ...whereupon the shrub changed its white flowers to blue in her honor. The aromatic perennial is also supposed to flourish in households where the woman is dominant ...and not to grow at all in the gardens of the wicked!

To raise rosemary in your plot, you'll need full sun or semi-shade ...a well-drained, slightly alkaline sandy loam ...and a regular watering program (the herb greatly appreciates daily misting). And although some varieties can survive temperatures as low as 15° for short periods, rosemary can't tolerate heavy frost, so the plants should be taken indoors during the winter months in most areas of North America.

Go with the glow of candlelight and fragrant greenery for the table. Nothing could be easier—or prettier.

We like the look of elegance and simplicity. The food is the focus of our table, so our table has been accented with smaller wreaths of rosemary and single hurricanes with soft ivory candles (unscented).

We are ready to welcome family to Sunday Brunch..........

This is the ULTIMATE Estelle's! I originally made this for Christmas morning years ago and it is the most requested breakfast casserole by all of the family! We love sharing our "best of the best" with you! Enjoy!!

Estelle's Ham and Hash Brown Brunch Casserole
8 bacon slices
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup butter
1 (30 ounce) package frozen country-style hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
3 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package of diced ham

1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
2 T. coarse-grained Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until very crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 T. drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, set aside. Add onion to reserved drippings, cook over medium heat 6 minutes or until tender and golden. Reduce heat to medium-low and swirl butter until melted, remove pan from heat.
Squeeze excess moisture from potatoes. Stir in potatoes, soup and remaining ingredients. Spoon into a greased 13"x 9" baking dish. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Bake 15 more minutes or until browned on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving!

Estelle's Yogurt Fruit Parfaits
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons good honey
8 to 10 strawberries, small-diced
1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 pineapple, small-diced
2 cups plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, oil, and honey together in a large bowl until they are completely combined. Pour onto a sheet pan and bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring once.
Combine the strawberries, blackberries, and pineapple in a bowl. In 4 ice cream sundae glasses, layer first the fruit, then the yogurt, and the cooled granola alternately until you fill the glasses. Serve with a long spoon.
Rosemary in The Maine House Herb Garden

"As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls,
 not only because my bees love it but
 because it is the herb sacred to
 remembrance and to friendship"...Sir Thomas More

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