Herb recipes from Historic Homes of Powder Springs, Georgia


At the time the Seven Springs Historical Society began the planning of this cookbook, there was an increasing regional interest in herbs. Also, the Historical Society had special interests in herb gardening. Many of the members had planted herb gardens at home and used them in their cooking. Many of these members also belonged to the Mimosa Garden Club. So, in 1998, the Mimosa Garden club planted an Herb Garden at the Seven Springs Historical Society Museum, which was then located at 3901 Brownsville Road. The Garden Club Members and Historical Society Members maintained the garden for many years. Many of the herbs were donated by club members.

Imogene Abernathy gave fourteen herbs and helped with the planting in memory of her dear friend, Katherine Wyatt McDonald.

Herbs in the Garden at the Museum: Oregano thyme, Tarragon, Garden Sage, Lemon thyme, Garlic chives, Golden creeping thyme, Rosemary, Catnip, Sweet fennel, Rue, Lemon balm, Oregano thyme, Lamb’s ears and Chives.

Included in the cookbook, along with recipes, are guidelines on growing an Herb Garden; drying and preserving herbs; Herb Chart and a Life Cycle Information for Herb Chart plus hints on the use of herbs in cooking and everyday life. Many of these were handed down from one generation to another.

Herbs can be harvested, washed, tied in bunches and hung up to dry. Small quantities of small leaves, short pieces of stems and seed heads can be placed in stackable trays to dry and store. Tender herbs can be blanched and stored in the freezer.

Here are some of those recipes and hints that you will find in the Society’s cookbook:
PESTO RECIPE: Several sprigs of parsley, 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, ½ cup olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts. Put Garlic, parsley and basil into blender or mortar. Mix or pound to a paste. Continue mixing and gradually add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, if desired. When paste is smooth, stir in Olive oil. Serves 3-4 and can be used as sauce over a pound of noodles or as a dip.

HINT: Fresh dill is delectable added to soups, stews, salads, sandwich filling and vegetables.

SAGE TEA RECIPE: 1 quart spring water, ½ cup packed fresh sage leaves, juice of 1 lemon or lime and 3 tablespoons honey. Bring the water just to a boil and pour it over the sage leaves. Stir in the honey and juice. Steep the tea for about 20 minutes, then strain it into a warm teapot. Yields 4 cups.

HINT: Fern leaf tansy adds beautiful greenery to summer bouquets.

GREEK CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE: 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (about 3 chicken breasts), 2 medium cucumbers (peeled, seeded and chopped), 1¼ cups crumbled feta cheese. 2/3 cups sliced pitted ripe olives, ¼ cup snipped parsley. 1 cup mayonnaise, ½ cup plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon dried oregano (crushed), 3 cloves garlic (minced) and lettuce leaves. In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, cucumber, feta cheese, olive and parsley; set aside. In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, yogurt, oregano and garlic; add to chicken mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and chill. Serve on lettuce leaves or in lettuce-lined pita bread halves. Makes 6 servings.

HINT: Place sweet bags or sachets between the cushions of your sofa and chairs to freshen up the living room. Also, tying several branches together and placing on dying embers of a fire creates a pleasing aroma.

MIXED HERB BUTTER RECIPE: ¼ pound butter or margarine, 1 tsp grated onion, ½ tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp tarragon, ½ tsp chopped parsley, and freshly ground pepper. Soften butter or margarine. Blend in grated onion, lemon juice, tarragon, parsley and pepper to taste. Especially good for fish.

HINT: Sprinkle springs of rosemary (with beef), thyme (with fish), or sage (with poultry) on barbecue coals near the end of cooking for subtle flavor and aroma.

A CHRISTMAS YULE LOG RECIPE: Blend together 8 oz cream cheese with 8 oz grated cheddar. Add and mix well: 2 tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp each thyme and rosemary, 1 tsp each garlic powder and grated onion, ½ cup chopped nuts, salt and pepper to taste. Form into two rolls and sprinkle with paprika for wooden log effect. Chill. Score with tines of fork for wooden log effect. Slice thin and serve on crackers.

HINT: Enclose rosemary sprigs in your Christmas Cards for “remembrance”. Add fresh or dried herb sprigs to your Christmas Manager display.

BOUQUET GARNI: This is a mixture of herbs used to season foods such as stews, soups, sauces, braised dishes and casseroles. Parsley, thyme, and bay leaf are the ‘must’ herbs (others may be added). They are tied together with string or in a cheesecloth bag so they can be removed from the dish after cooking and removed before serving.

There are over a hundred recipes in the cookbook. These recipes were contributed by the historical society members and come from their personal collections and those of their friends. Many are old family recipes given to the historical society members by the descendants of some of Powder Springs earliest residents.

Note: The original Herb Garden planted in 1998 at the Museum on Brownsville is still there. The garden was not moved when the Museum was moved to the Bodiford House on Marietta Street. However, as part of the landscape at the new museum, Rosemary was planted along the walkway between the parking area and the entrance to the back area of the house.

Cookbook Committee: Imogene Abernathy, Patti Briel, Sarah Frances Miller and Susan House Smith. Cookbooks are on display at the Museum.