"Good Housekeeping" Herb Book: How to Grow and Cook with Herbs Successfully

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The use of herbs for medicine and cooking has a long and exceptionally vigorous tradition dating back over 60,000 years. This book is a celebration of herbs - the inspiration for so many forms of enjoyment - whether it be cooking, gardening, medicinal cures, folklore or history. Following a brief introduction to the history of the use of herbs throughout history, a gardening section examines all the options available to the novice or experienced gardener - whether you want to grow plants in a traditional knot garden, a small patch at the back of the house, or in pots and kitchen window boxes to be plundered at will. Detailed information is included on propagation, care and maintenance and garden planning. Once you have grown them, a chapter on using herbs looks at the options available to you throughout the home - whether you want to cook with them or use them in cosmetics and home remedies. The largest section of the book is devoted to a stunning herb directory featuring 70 of the most commonly used herbs with detailed descriptions of their history and appearances. The entries range from the most popular culinary herbs and spices such as coriander, cinnamon, sage and rosemary to the less well-known plants like alexanders, linden, cassia and asafoetida. The history of each herb is related in detail with a description of its traditional uses in cooking, medicine or cosmetics, notes on cultivation and medicinal, cosmetic or culinary recipes where appropriate.

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About the Author:

Jane Eastoe has been a journalist for 20 years and a garden designer and horticulturist for ten years. The mother of two young children, she lives in a village in Kent and is a keen practitioner of organic gardening. Her interest, initially in culinary herbs, developed as a practical response to the diverse demands of day to day family life.

Review:

From the Good Housekeeping Institute comes this attractive book on those ever-popular culinary plants - herbs. From its instigation in 1924, Good Housekeeping has been synonymous with tried and tested recipes and housekeeping and it is on these foundations that the book, written by Jane Eastoe, has been produced. Illustrated with the charming photographs of garden photographer Carol Sharp, it is an attractive presentation of culinary herbs: their cultivation, harvest and assets. Starting with a brief history of herbs it swiftly moves on to growing the plants: propagating them, cultivating them and harvesting them. Attractive plans are included to inspire your own herb garden, be it for culinary, medicinal or fragrant purposes. A herb directory of 65 different plants is accompanied by recipes for soups, salads, pizzas and jellies, all tested by the GHI kitchens, enabling the cook to produce perfect results first time. For each plant a detailed description and history is accompanied by tips on cultivation, culinary use, medicinal use and home and beauty uses if applicable. Special notes are made of those herbs suitable for infusions and decoctions accompanied by instructions on how to make them. Herb oils, vinegars, syrups and preserves as well as floral oils, compresses and poultices are detailed clearly and simply. All in all an ideal book for cooks with a penchant for herbs, encouraging them to get out in the garden and grow their own. So stop buying them off the shelf and grow your own - they are so easily pleased you will wonder why you never did it before. - Lucy Watson

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