Monday, 14 January 2013

My Secret Foodie Ingredient

Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art.
It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.
~Marcel Boulestin~

If you've got kids who won't eat their dinner, you've got to try this...

One of my secret ingredients is a herb most people will know, and if you've never heard of it, you're about to learn something interesting. It's dill. About three hours from my home it grows abundant and wild in the closely related form of fennel.

Health, nutrition, and naturopathic research has shown how burning fennel oil in an oil burner for short lengths of time will decrease appetite. Burn it for a long time and it will make you ravenous.

Meals with dill in them, lightly sprinkled over the top, will entice diners to eat and eat well. Few people can resist a dish possessing dill's curious sweetness, and that's why I sprinkle it on the meals I'm not sure whether or not my little Valleys will enjoy. They devour it and even ask for it again.

So how much is too much to put in or on the meal?

If you feel a cloying grossness at the first mouthful, that's too much. If you're curious and want another mouthful, that's probably a good indication of having 'just enough'. Remember, you can always add more if you don't start with a heavy hand.

Dill weed (domestic), c/s

Once it's cooked the flavour also softens, and if you add it at the end (as in a mayo) the taste will be stronger (not cooked out). Fresh or dried, try it and see. Herbs can be used to dietary advantage, so check your nutritional information, and the kids won't even guess :)

Dill - What is it good for?
Related to fennel and chervil
Herbal teas
Relief for intestinal gas and ailments
Contains flavonoids (powerful anti-oxidants to fight aging)
Contains xanthones (believed to reduce cholesterol and fight cancer)
Contains many essential vitamins such as iron, magnesium, calcium and B6
(Only God could fit all that in, and more!)

I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.
~Martha Harrison~

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