Wanted: Rosemary, dead or alive.

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Every summer we plant an herb garden outside our kitchen door. Before we can even finish washing the dirt off our hands, the rabbits, voles, squirrels, moles and other assorted wildlife in our backyard have munched off the tops of the cilantro, basil and Italian parsley plants! For some reason, they shun the rosemary.

rosemary plants

By fall, our rosemary plants are tall, healthy and quite lovely. We pot them and bring them inside to live on the kitchen windowsill for the winter. My husband has a wonderful green thumb and takes care of all the living things in our home. Each week, as he goes about his watering ritual he asks me the same question, “Are these rosemary plants still alive?’

I have to explain here that he is colour blind and has a great deal of trouble telling the difference between greens, browns and grays. So while I see a vibrant silvery green rosemary plant, he does not. Each week I smile and patiently answer, “Yes, dear, they are alive and well.” Okay, maybe I am not being completely honest here. Perhaps every other week I smile and give a patient answer. On alternate weeks, I am quite likely to give a snarky sarcastic retort, muttered under my breath, which I will not print here.

I must admit that this weekly discourse has given me some pause for thought. If my husband has trouble seeing shades of grey, I worry that I should die in my sleep, he may not notice the grey pallor of my skin in the morning. It may be days before he notices that I am not alive.

I have been making a conscious effort to use up some of the rosemary on the windowsill. It has been sneaking its way into all sorts of dishes in our kitchen. Rosemary plays well with chicken, lamb, goat cheese and potatoes. I have started chopping it up and roasting it with other vegetables as well.

Last week, while shopping at Loblaws I spotted the most adorable baby purple carrots from Babé Farms in Santa Maria California. I picked up 2 bunches, each containing twelve perfect little purple gems, with their stems still intact. I had a bit of sticker shock when I got to the checkout. Each mini bunch was $2.99. I felt a slight amount of guilt as I imagined the huge carbon footprint these carrots left, travelling all the way across the continent to get to me. However, they were too cute to resist.

baby purple carrots with tops attached

On my way home I was envisioning them already crispy and roasted, coated in olive oil, salt and rosemary.  Mixed with some orange carrots and white parsnips, the resulting dish was as stunning as it was delicious.

ready for roasting

Click here to print recipe for  Roasted Carrots and Parsnips.

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12 thoughts on “Wanted: Rosemary, dead or alive.

  1. Sandra Jonas

    Next spring plunge the entire pot into the ground and cut it back by about half. It should bush out nicely.
    I grow these carrots in my potager. They are so sweet right out of the ground!

  2. themondaybox

    I don’t know why it has taken me so long, but I just started roasting veggies in the oven with a bit of olive oil and whatever herb is on hand. Delicious! Your purple carrots are beautiful. We are going to try growing some veggies in pots next spring to try to out smart the voles and rabbits. The squirrels are another story. They don’t like to share.

  3. Amanda Campbell

    This is great! Roasted veggies are my favourite, and heirloom carrots are just so much fun. I’m a new indoor herb grower myself – however the only thing that survives in my windowsill is good ol’ resilient parsley. I haven’t tried rosemary though – I might have to now, you give me hope! 🙂

  4. Bob Vivant

    For an indoor rosemary plant, yours looks outstanding! Each year, I dig mine up (okay, Greg digs it up), bring it inside, and promise that this will be the year that I figure it out–that “Rosie” will make it through the winter under my loving care. Each year there’s a new threat: powdery mildew, tiny white bugs, giant new house next door blocking what little sunlight we have, miscommunications with G regarding watering schedules, etc. I’m 1 for 4 so far. This winter my Rosie is hanging on by a thin though fragrant thread, but hanging on is hanging on. I’m going to prune her up a bit tonight and make some roasted carrots. Cheers!

    1. saltandserenity Post author

      Can’t take credit for the health of these beautiful rosemary plants. I do not touch anything green in our house. It only ends in death when I try. Plants are my husband’s responsibility, and he can make anything thrive.


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