Last appearance

Saged stuffingEarlier this year, I declared my abiding love for sage, and Lydia added a comment about how much she loves to harvest sage on Thanksgiving morning. Lydia, thanks for the tip, because when I cleaned up the rest of the garden, I thought of your advice, and kept the sage plant in its pot, hanging out in the back yard, just in case it survived until Thanksgiving.

It did, in fact, survive, even though we’ve had assorted freezes and thaws already this year. In fact, because we’ve had some oddly beautiful weather lately, I went out the day before Thanksgiving and discovered that we actually had new growth on the sage plant. Baby sage leaves. In November. Who’d have thunk it.

The sage made its final appearance for this year in the stuffing I served on Thanksgiving. I harvested it the day before because I needed to get the stuffing together a day early.

And while this is my (early) post for Weekend Herb Blogging this week, I’m not going to include a recipe. I used a perfectly good stuffing recipe that I’ve used before, and people seemed to enjoy it, but I didn’t deviate at all. It seemed inappropriate to do too many experimentational flourishes while hosting our first Thanksgiving…going with the tried and true seemed the way to go.

However, regardless of what the exact stuffing recipe was, it was lovely to include our very own sage in the mix. I don’t know if anyone could tell the difference, and I certainly had some perfectly good backup sage in the refrigerator in case we needed it, but I was so psyched to walk out the back door, as if it were summer, and clip some sage stalks off the plant.

This week, Weekend Herb Blogging’s back home at Kalyn’s Kitchen, where it originated. Please be sure to stop by on Monday for the excellent round-up of recipes and other thoughts on herbs, vegetables and fruits.

11 Responses to “Last appearance”

  1. 1 Alanna November 28, 2006 at 6:52 am

    What a sage, that Lydia, I love this tradition! In the 70-degree leaf-blowing days over the weekend, I checked my own herbs and was surprised to see lots of life, still. In fact it may turn out that moving the herbs to the east side of the house is a happy accident: the purpose was to free up prime sunny spots for flowers but in their new home, the herbs get morning sun and heat reflected and emanating from the brick and are largely protected from wind. Only the basil and dill are gone, everything else is looking decidedly healthy. Ask me in February how it’s going! ; – )

  2. 2 Lydia November 28, 2006 at 7:55 am

    Genie, I harvested my sage on Thanksgiving morning, too! So nice to think of you doing the same. We had a fierce nor’easter, of the rain (not snow) variety, so the garden was saturated. The only things standing were that sage, some thyme and lemon thyme, and rosemary, which will not winter over here in Rhode Island unless I bring it inside (I don’t). If the winter continues fairly mild, I might get a New Year’s harvest out of the garden this year. Here’s hoping….

  3. 3 cole November 28, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    Browned Butter and Sage to saute ….um, chicken, asparagus, zuchinni/squash, gnocci, spatzel, swiss chard, kale….not all in one meal though. but yum. Frozen herbs work really well if they are thawed well and patted dry when you are using them in a flavoring aid for butter, broths or stews. Even yum for eggs.

    Sage is my FAVORITE herb.

    I am doing some reciepes soon…will dedicate them to you and your garden lovin patrons.

  4. 4 Kalyn November 28, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    I just picked the last of my sage too, although not on Thanksgiving day. I’m using it for my WHB post this week too, so how’s that for great minds thinking alike? Love fresh sage.

  5. 5 Annie in Austin November 29, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    Hello Genie,

    I harvested sage for Thanksgiving this year, too, but that isn’t hard to do in Austin!
    It wasn’t always hard in Illinois, either – my sage usually overwintered there in zone 5. What killed both sage and lavender wasn’t cold, but being in ground that froze in a saturated state after a big rain. In a sharply-drained area, or one where the excess water was deflected, the plants made it through winter with leaf kill, not root kill.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener November 30, 2006 at 7:20 am

    Alanna, that’s exciting news! I hope you end up with herbs all winter long.

    Lydia, a New Year’s harvest would be terrific. I’m glad we were both out there together, harvesting away. :-)

    Cole, can’t wait to see the recipes!

    Kalyn, your WHB post is fantastic…I wish I still had gravy left, but since I might cook another turkey, I might make some more just so I can make your recipe.

    Annie, thanks for all that information about overwintering. Perhaps I’ll just see how long the sage hangs on out there and keep my fingers crossed for spring!

  7. 7 katie December 2, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    I love fresh sage (or dried, or frozen). It was one of the few herbs that survived Minnesota winters when I still lived in the U.S. Here, in France, I can pick it almost all year…and do. Pasta with Browned Butter, Sage and garlic….simple and wonderful..
    Stick your plant in the ground, don’t throw it out…

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener December 2, 2006 at 7:50 pm

    Katie, I didn’t realize the sage would survive Minnesota winters…then it would certainly survive an Iowa winter, since we’re south of there. I’ll see how it does in the pot over the winter, and regardless, will make sure I get sage in the ground next year.

  9. 9 sher December 4, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    I love sage too–and I can’t imagine stuffing without it. The picture makes me very hungry for some right now!

  10. 10 Smita December 4, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    Welcome to Iowa City! I graduated this summer and LOVED my stay there. Also love sage. ‘Backup sage’ made me smile. Fascinating what happens when you throw some sage into warm olive oil – makes the flavor bloom somehow… Enjoyed your writing :-D

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener December 4, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Sher, glad you enjoyed the photo!

    Smita, thanks for the welcome. And you’re so right about sage and warm olive oil…if I hadn’t just gotten home from going out to dinner, that would make me hungry. Right now. Thanks for stopping by!

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