Oh to barbecue!!
Whether you prefer charcoal or gas…it’s the age-old question. Who amongst us, whether it be male or female (especially the male) doesn’t love the flavor, aroma and all the ‘prestige’ of barbecue dining? It’s a chance to get outdoors with family and friends and to enjoy a nice cocktail or two on a lazy afternoon. It gives the women folk a break from cooking, to turn it over to the male gender…and boy do they enjoy it, and so does she!
There is something about barbecuing outdoors. I personally prefer charcoal; the flavor is unbeatable especially if you add a bit of hickory wood to the barrel of coals. No matter what type of meat or vegetables you’re grilling, hickory seasoning can turn a plain old burger into something scrumptious!
However, barbecue dining is just as much about seasoning as it is to the fire and meat. Many herb enthusiast’s who grow their own herbs, flowers and produce, do so with the intent to enhance their barbecuing experience as well. Many have found that the herbs stem of a rosemary, basil or sage bush are extremely rich in oils, perfect to use as a rub, baste or to even skewer meat. What once was just a backyard pleasure has now kicked it up a notch turning a barbecue experience into a backyard culinary delight!
If you have ever tried your hand at grilled kabob’s, you may just want to take a fresh look at shish kabobs skewers produced straight from your very own herb garden plants.
Certain herb bushes have an unusually, long straight stem. The best herbs to grow are rosemary, bay, sage, oregano and tarragon. First of all, they are basically free and second; the wood of the herbs stem contains oils of the herb, which makes it perfect to season your meat on a flavored skewer from the inside out.
When your grilled kabobs are basted with an herb brush, the leaves of the herb sprig become “bruised” when heated. This lets out the natural oils of the plant, therefore it makes it delectably charming to your meats! Essentially you are making herb oil.
You will want to be on the look out for the strong, stiff stems that have hardened enough to hold up under the weight of your BBQ kabobs. To make it easier to puncture your meat or produce, whittle the stiffer end of the herbs stem into a point. A rosemary skewer is particularly great for portabella mushrooms and fast-cooking barbecue vegetables.
If you are an avid BBQ griller or you have a special occasion in the near future, you will need to collect plenty of big sprigs to make your herb brush and shish kabob skewers. They tend to be quite rare at your local nursery or produce store, but then again, why bother searching when you can gather them up right from your very own home herb garden.
A traditional barbecue brush can be costly to replace, it you are constantly barbecuing. Why not use an herb brush you have created from your very own home herb garden instead. However, a word of warning, once you taste the difference of this method of grilling kabobs with an herb brush, your grilling experience will never taste quite the same. You will want to make a new herb brush each time you barbecue, so be sure to leave enough material in your herb garden for future pickings.
To create an herb brush, you will first need to look for stems to make 6 inch skewers or longer from a variety of herbs in order to create a handle. Attach a wire or twine to the bundled herbs stem for the handle. Make sure you have plenty of clean fresh leaves on the upper branches in order for the basting to create its full effect. After that, tie in some of the more fragile herbs like basil. A solo basil brush tends to be a bit floppy, so you will want to add a strong framework with other herbs…Besides….what better way to enhance the flavor of your meat kabobs? Along with the basil you may want to tie in a bit of chives, dill, mint, thyme or cilantro/coriander. Remember, you are going to be applying some amount of pressure to the surface of your grilled barbecue fixings, so you will want a strong herb brush.
In the turn of the growing season when BBQ grilling, why not toss some of your “turned up bushes” from your yard onto the grill to “squeeze out” the last remaining resources of your garden. What better way to get the last drop out of your hard earned labor so to enhance your barbecue dining experience and to enjoy the last bit of flavoring of your grill towards the end of the season!
If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course. Better yet, grab your copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening Here!
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Kali S. Winters
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