the scent of the holidays…

holiday wreath

Scent, it has the power to transport us to faraway lands or travel into the past and make us smile with happy memories. The unforgettable scent of fresh-picked herbs, rubbed between your fingers, then brought to the kitchen for the meal. The smells of the holidays, pine, cinnamon, sage, rosemary, bay, thyme. These are the scents of memories, of life lived with love and fullness. These are the scents of gratitude and abundance.

Capture those moments with herbs grown on a pastoral California farm, everything is organic, natural, sustainable. At the right time, they’re hand-harvested, then woven with love and care into stunning wreaths, swags and garlands to dress your home for the holidays, and beyond. But these special pieces are oh-so-much more than just holiday décor. They’re also a perfect addition to any cook’s kitchen, full of organic herbs ready to season a year’s worth of dishes.

So here you are, looking at a lovely piece of fresh, green, and edible décor. What do you do with it? Aside from hang it, that is.

First, read our care tips for keeping your fresh herb décor looking (and tasting) it’s best throughout the holidays and beyond. You’ll also find a few of our favorite recipes there. What else is there? Oh, lots more!

First, a little about fresh vs. dry herbs. While your wreath is still fresh and green, treat your herbs as you would fresh and use two to three times the amount you would of dried herb. Once your herbs have dried, you can harvest them right off your wreath, or to keep the flavors even longer, let the wreath completely dry, then bottle or bag your herbs for longer storage.

(click on the herbs to find stunning, organic wreaths and garlands made from that herb)

Bay – bay leaves are often misunderstood. Their flavor is subtle, and they are at their best in long-cooking dishes like soups and roasts. Contrary to popular belief, the leaves can be ingested, just chop or crush them first. Try adding bay leaves to the water when you boil potatoes, rice or pasta. Or split your potato open, insert a bay leaf, wrap and roast.

Rosemary – perfect for long-cooking items like roasts, soups, stews and sauces, rosemary adds an intense flavor. Tuck whole sprigs of rosemary and some lemon slices into the cavity of a whole fish, or chicken, then roast for amazing flavor.

Thyme – a versatile herb, thyme is at home with everything from fish to red meat, and even veggies. The flavor is delicate and very herbal. Slide thyme springs under your chicken’s skin before roasting, or lay fish on a bed of thyme and onions, then broil.

Chile Pepper – yes, they’re hot! Sure, you can put them in a pot of chili, but you could also jazz up just about any soup by adding a pepper or two, or make your own version of General Tso’s. Use them anywhere you’d use dry red pepper flakes, or soak them and dice or puree them into a sauce. You could also just drop them into some good olive oil and let them steep for a while for an amazingly flavored oil.

Garlic – dice it, grate it, roast it, puree it… whatever you do with it, garlic has a distinctive flavor that people either love or hate. If you’re a garlic lover, try 40 Clove Chicken (far more mild than it sounds), or roast an entire bulb of garlic then spread the resulting goodness onto bruschetta for a delicious appetizer.

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