Yesterday I cut up homegrown carrots and broccoli for a snack tray for our Cheap Candy Day (aka Bring Your Own Excuse) party. Carol bit into a broccoli floret and said, “It tastes like Ohio!” then amended, “Maybe not Ohio. But definitely local.”

“I cut them off the stalks about twenty minutes ago,” I said, and smiled. I also made a tomato-pesto pie, which was tasty, and a big hit with the other vegetarian at the party. Unless someone else decided to try it (and there was a meat-filled lasagna available, so I doubt it), he had three pieces. He sent his girlfriend over to smell it, which seemed kind of mean to me since she can’t tolerate gluten or lactose so she couldn’t have any.

Today, I put away dried herbs. I’ve been cutting oregano and rosemary, and a little basil, and hanging it to dry in the foyer of our house all summer. I meant to put it away before the guests came, but I ran out of time. Today I took them down and got out my empty herb cans from Trader Joe’s, plus a jelly jar for the rosemary, and stood in the kitchen methodically stripping leaves. I keep the leaves as whole as I can, so that they’ll be more pungent when I crush them immediately before use. I have two cans full of oregano, which pleases me-we use it in pizza crust, so we go through it pretty quickly. I’ll have to start chopping up some parsley soon, too. And harvest the shiso seeds as soon as the lows drop into the 30s again, and bring in some hyssop and lemon balm for tea; and I think that will be that for the herb harvest, but decidedly not for its use. I’ll be tasting Ohio all winter.

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