Bay Laurus Nobilis AGM

What are your thoughts about bay leaves?  My memory is of ancient packets of dull, desiccated leaves lurking at the back of the larder.  Not that I’m adverse to dried herbs, their characteristics often being different rather that inferior to fresh. This is, however, an instance where the ‘best before’ date of recent years is probably a good thing.

Bay Leaves

Grown as a tree, bay is ‘show off’ grand, often found in containers adorning the window boxes and doorsteps of the poshest addresses. Used as a fresh herb, though the glossy green leaves make a great garnish, it is a bit more low key adding warmth and spicy, aromatic notes to the dishes it is used in.  A couple of leaves left to steep in warm milk for half and hour with an onion and black peppercorns as the basis for a bread or béchamel sauce or tied together with parsley and thyme a part of a bouquet garni to flavour casseroles or a soup.  Of late, it has become popular in desserts, flavouring compotes or milk based puddings and is also often used in preserving particularly when bottling fruit and vegetables.

If you’re planning to plant a new herb this year, think about this, in a container it literally could be flavour on your doorstep.

I made a Pinterest board about bay trees and leaves if you’d like to take a look the link is here.

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14 Responses to “Bay Laurus Nobilis AGM”

  1. Jardin February 12, 2014 @ 1:08 pm (#)

    Yes, the dusty packets of bay leaves made me smile in recognition!
    Love this plant – so easy, yet smart as well as useful.

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — February 14th, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

      I think my mothers only got thrown away when the kitchen was refitted. Can’t imagine how old they must have been.

  2. Jardin February 12, 2014 @ 1:08 pm (#)

    Yes, the dusty packets of bay leaves made me smile in recognition!
    Love this plant – so easy, yet smart as well as useful.

  3. Joanne February 12, 2014 @ 1:30 pm (#)

    I do like a bay tree, I have a lovely one coming along nicely in my garden. A lovely useful herb which you can always decorate with fairy lights at Christmas.

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — February 14th, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

      I found some really lovely ideas on Pinterest for using them as decoration.

  4. battenburgbelle February 12, 2014 @ 2:15 pm (#)

    One of my favourite recipes is bay custard tarts!

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — February 14th, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

      I can imagine this would work really well.

  5. Sue@GLAllotments February 12, 2014 @ 5:46 pm (#)

    We’ve had a couple of bays in the past but they both got scale insect so it’s what I think of when someone mentions bay trees.

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — February 14th, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

      We lost the one we had at the plot Sue, think it was probably too exposed.

  6. Sue@GLAllotments February 12, 2014 @ 5:46 pm (#)

    We’ve had a couple of bays in the past but they both got scale insect so it’s what I think of when someone mentions bay trees.

  7. The Frustrated Gardener February 12, 2014 @ 9:16 pm (#)

    I love my narrow-leaved bay, Laurus nobilis ‘Angustifolia’. It’s prettier than the bog standard bay but has the same culinary properties. Sadly it has not enjoyed the high winds this winter has been defined by. It’s now leaning at the sort of angle that makes me feel like I might have a stigmatism!

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — February 14th, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

      Laughing at this. We had the same problems with growing it at the plot but the ones at home are fortunately a bit more sheltered. Yes, the Augustifolia is very pretty.

  8. Southbourne Gardens February 14, 2014 @ 3:06 pm (#)

    Laughing at this. We had the same problems with growing it at the plot but the ones at home are fortunately a bit more sheltered. Yes, the Augustifolia is very pretty.

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