“Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to the one who lives there,
For once she was a true love of mine”
They say that variety can be the spice of life, but I reckon it’s the other way round. Spice (and herbs) are the variety of life, and food is bland without it. As I wrote in an earlier post, I’d be lost without my sweet chilli sauce, but try and imagine your favourite foods without the herbs and spices that make it special. What’s a bolognese without garlic or oregano, a laksa without lemongrass or chilli, a taco without cumin, a stroganoff without paprika, or a good old fashioned roast lamb without mint sauce?They’d be pretty average, and not as good as they are.
In an effort to pinch a few pennies, I’ve started making my own condiments and seasonings. The Sweet Chilli Sauce worked out so well that I’ve decided to never buy it from a shop again, I love it that much. The other wonderful thing about making some of these things yourself is that you can control what goes into the mix. Most commercial herb and spice mixes contain extra flours, thickeners and salts that we don’t actually need. Taco seasoning is a good example, only half of the sachet is seasoning and the rest is salt and additives. Plus, we already have most of the ingredients for most commercial seasonings in our pantries already. For another example, I was given a sample of NameBrand Roast Lamb herb mix. It contains garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, onion, sugar, pepper, cinnamon, oil and cloves. I know most people have that in their spice racks already, so there’s really not much need to repurchase it.
This is something I came up with when I was looking to make a nice all-purpose herb mix, and I had ‘Scarborough Fair’ stuck in my head. Not the nice normal versions like Simon & Garfunkel’s or Celtic Woman’s, no it had to be Bill Bailey’s tribute to metal sung in German. It is a great version, Youtube it or check it out on iTunes. Anyway, this is what happens when you cook with a song stuck in your head; you come up with a great blend!
This is very simple, it has only 5 ingredients; the four from the song (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme), plus a small amount of garlic for a little something extra. It’s great on all meats and roasted veggies. I even add a couple of pinches to my steamed veggies before I cook them. A little goes a long way, it’s very aromatic!
This is one of my favourite blends, and I hope you’ll let it join you for dinner sometime soon.
Scarborough Fair Herb Mix
Yields: approximately ½ cup
Time: 2 min
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic flakes or granules
Add all ingredients to a jar. Screw on lid, then shake to combine.