Hot on the heels of the Edible Tree Trail, Plumstead Library was the venue for a light-hearted interactive workshop about herbs. Participants were introduced to a range of herbs, familiar and less well-known. First on the menu was a tisane made from Herb Robert, followed by one made with Moroccan Mint.
After the tisanes, a selection of herbs was passed round for everyone to inspect, smell and taste. Several leaves had a similar smell, but the aromas were subtly different. For instance, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena and Thyme (Doone Valley). Others looked similar, like Angelica and Lovage but the smell and taste were quite different from one another.
The next part of the workshop involved adding herbs to inexpensive foods to appreciate how they can transform a meal. Lovage was added to a simple ‘soup’ made from nothing more than tomato puree dissolved in hot water. Tinned potatoes were served with a yoghurt and cream cheese mixture flavoured with fresh marjoram. Then it was time for ‘afters’ – fruit buns with a subtle hint of lavender and rice pudding laced with Angelica and Bay. After an hour, everyone had tried things they had never tasted before and had been encouraged to be a bit more adventurous with their food. As an incentive, if this workshop is repeated as part of Plumstravaganza, we have been promised a cake flavoured with herbs to be made by one of the participants! The only way to find out what it – and all the other things mentioned here – tastes like, is to book a place when the workshop is advertised.