A Garden of Herbs – Rhode, E [1921]

A Garden of Herbs by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde. This book is primarily intended for those who are going to create an old fashioned herb garden, and who want to know how to use these herbs as our great grandmothers did.

Even if you buy your herbs at the store, this practical handbook will show you how to make hundreds of teas, syrups, conserves, pies, candied flowers and leaves, wines, sweet waters and perfumes from well known wild and garden herbs that are readily available. Most of the recipes are taken from old English herbals (Gerard’s herbal, John Evelyn’s Acetaria, Coles Art of Simpling and many others) and the author one of the two or three most outstanding herbalists of this century adds many more of her own.

Miss Rohde first provides a brief historical description of the herb garden, discussing some of the major books on herbs that have been written in England since the Anglo-Saxon Bald’s leech book. Then in a long chapter entitled “Sundry of herbs” she lists the common herbs in alphabetical order, giving descriptions, recipes, hints on preservation, etc, for each one. There are recipes in this chapter for such dishes as artichoke pie, chervil broth, pickled cow slips, dill pickles, marigold pudding, nettle spinach, sauce eglantine (from roses), tarragon vinegar, violet cakes and wormwood brandy.

There is an entire chapter on salads made with all kinds of herbs, which includes recipes for vinegar and mustard. ther chapters cover herb pottages and puddings, drinks and homemade wines (from mint, currants, lemons, dandelions, blackberries, sage, apples, gooseberries, apricots, turnips, etc) and some additional recipes- almond milk, beet-root biscuits, parsnip cakes, potato pie, and many more unusual herb foods.

A practical chapter on the picking and drying of herbs and a final chapter on the use of herbs for scents (in pomanders, ointments, bath waters, eau de cologne and other perfumes) complete the volume.

Miss Rohde’s charming presentation and the ease with which her herbal lends itself to hours of browsing, will make this book a source of delight for anyone interested in plants or their lore.

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