Here’s herb girl doing another book review on an herb book – shocker! Read on for our book review of The Cook’s Herb Garden, by Cox and Moine! It was a small, no-nonsense book that covered it’s topic well and, of course, had lovely graphics (a must for me) and simple information on herbs any cook might use in their kitchen.
For more quality herbal education in the form of online courses for every level of herbal learner, be sure to check out our friends at The Herbal Academy. If you’re just beginning or even interested in making a living with herbs, they have a course for you. The kids and I are working through their beginner level course right now and love it – so much information, recipes, graphics and more! Click below for more information.
Book Review The Cook’s Herb Garden
This is a clear book with quality formatting that makes it both easy to read through, and use as a reference book. The Cook’s Herb Garden is divided into four sections:
The first section of The Cook’s Herb Garden cataloged various herbs and fun facts about them. It also included topical suggestions for herb combinations in containers; ideas like Middle Eastern cuisine herbs, everyday kitchen herbs and herbs for teas. If you don’t have room for an in-ground garden, these herb container suggestions would be of particular interest to you. For more information on growing herbs in containers, check out our e-book, Herbs in the Bathtub below:
The next section was an herb catalog with growing requirements. Pretty basic information found here, but useful if you’re new to growing herbs. Even if you’re grown herbs for awhile, you may pick up some new facts, like I did.
I love and have grown Oregano for years, but I tried Marjoram for the first time this year. I didn’t realize that the two are cousins. Both are perennials, but marjoram is more frost sensitive. Dittany, too, is an Oregano, which I didn’t know. That’s a great family.
The Oregano I originally planted in my herb garden went wild somehow and lost it’s flavor; I think it was Greek Oregano. I would KNOW if I would LABEL things! I’m letting it stay there because it acts like a ground cover, but I’m harvesting my Marjoram for winter cooking instead because of it’s great flavor.
To contemplate the idea of planning and planting an herb garden, especially if you’re thinking of adding medicinal herbs to your culinary herbs, be sure to email me for a sample from our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead. There’s an entire section dedicated to this topic in there, with some good points to consider. Email me at Tessa@homesteadlady.com for a free sample. To pick up your copy of the book, click below:
Next in The Cook’s Herb Garden came descriptions and uses for a nice variety of culinary herbs. This section also included how to collect and store the herbs, and which part of the plant you use culinarily – whether leaf, flower or root.
The bulb, Rocambole (or Shallot) was listed – I’ve never thought of it as anything but a type of hardneck garlic and didn’t realize you could call it a Shallot. Learn something new every day!
Another new and fun fact for me: I had no idea Sumac had culinary uses! The seeds are apparently used in Middle Eastern dishes and taste good on flatbread (anyone tried them – I’m fascinated to know). The book also mentioned that you can calm bees with the smoke from Sumac seed heads. Groovy.
To learn about getting started with bees, just click on this link. You may want some sumac seeds on hand, just in case.
Of course, there were recipes at the end of The Cook’s Herb Garden! The last part was a collection of really innovative recipes for using herbs in sauces, spreads, marinades and teas. A lot of the combinations were new to me and, although I’m no chef, I cook with herbs all the time. It’s always nice to get some new ideas for old favorites.
If you’re new to herbal cooking, you can start with something easy like herbal butters – click here for a basic recipe. If you’re up for a fun challenge, how about violet gelatin? Click here for that recipe.
The Cook’s Herb Garden is Small
All in all, I would certainly advise reading this book if herbs are your thing. You can find it on Amazon, both used and new for a good price – click here. One thing I really liked was the size of this book – its smaller, fits in your hand nicely and will tuck politely onto your kitchen shelves. My cookbooks need to get along with each other because they share close quarters and I’m constantly adding to their numbers. It’s also easier to haul around the garden when a book is smaller.
*Cover graphic gratefully attributed to this Wikimedia Commons user.