Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ll be using manicules (those pointing finger symbols) to direct your attention to something I’m pondering that delights or interests me. Each entry is somehow related to an unusual, obscure, or simply charming to me word.
O is for…
olitory – pot herbs; kitchen garden
Etymology: From Latin: olitorius (“belonging to a kitchen gardener, or to vegetables”), from olitor (“a kitchen gardener”), from olus, oleris (“vegetables”).
Although I have a number of mints growing in my small garden, I have a windowsill garden of herbs I use in cooking. I consider myself delightfully lucky that the CSA (community supported agriculture) from which I buy seasonal food from local farms, every year offers pots of various herbs. It gives me great pleasure to admire them in the window as I wash dishes daily, and to snip a bit here and there as a recipe calls for it.
While I enjoy all of them, I confess Rosemary is always my favorite. Not necessarily for its taste, although I am a fan, but more for what it represents.
Rosemary is commonly associated with the idea of remembrance; both in the sense of a love charm and perhaps more widely understood as a reminder to remember our beloved who have crossed.
But there’s also another aspect of remembrance – Greek and Roman students wore garlands of rosemary as they studied, believing it would help preserve memory.
The usefulness of this delightfully fragrant herb isn’t limited to just these things though. It was thought to be effective in all brain matters; used in hospitals and sick rooms to purify the air; in wedding bouquets and other arrangements to encourage loyalty; in sachets to repel moths and other insects; and then there are all the culinary uses as well.
I often think of Rosemary in conjunction with Pansies, thanks to Shakespeare’s Ophelia speaking in the language of flowers…
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”
Burning Rosemary is something I do at Samhain in ancestor remembrance ceremonies, but I enjoy using it both in the culinary sense and more spiritually much frequently than just that.
And there are certainly days when I think I should get myself a crown of rosemary to wear as the Greeks did. If only I would remember.
What about you? Have a garden? Grow herbs? Have a favorite? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
I love herbs! I have a little herb corner in the garden – dill, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, sage, and chives – a big rosemary bush, and a couple of tubs of mint. Once I sketched out a plan for a herb labyrinth, which maybe I’ll plant if we ever move to somewhere witha big garden.
Your garden sounds lovely Kathleen. And what a fun idea – a herb labyrinth! I hope you get to create it some day.
I don’t have a kitchen window in that spot but my guy friend has an area just like that where he grows flowers and herbs. My house isn’t conducive to indoor plants although I love growing things outside.
I love seeing posts of what you grow Margaret.
Deborah – Just saying “Rosemary” I can almost inhale it. Every time I walk by rosemary, I bruise a little with my fingers; its aroma is calming and familiar.
Thanks soo much for stopping by and commenting on Writer of Wrong. I am moderating for
This is today’s – sorry running behind.
I totally get that – rosemary almost begs to be touched doesn’t it? I feel that way about mint as well. I have the path to my back gate lined with it, so I can brush it as I walk and be ushered out in a lovely scent.
Thanks for visiting Mainely Write today. How noticeable would it be to wear a bit of rosemary… I don’t have gardens of anything really. I’m a not a good plant parent. I neglect them. So it is better for them if I just let others do it. I’d love to be a plant person though.
I love the idea of wearing a little herb sprig, and a little bit of rosemary tucked by one’s ear might turn out to be just the right solution for when one is standing in a room and wondering exactly why they came in there. 🙂
I’m certain we don’t have “green thumb” genes, but that makes it all the more delightful spotting little gardens and patches of flowers and plants when out walking. All the beauty and none of the work.
I created a rosemary apple bread recipe a couple years ago, just to experiment with something different. It was delicious.
The name Rosemary (for remembrance), though, always calls to mind Agatha Christie’s Sparkling Cyanide.
As to herbs… I like sage in small doses, along with a sprinkling of rosemary, in stuffing. I like culinary lavender with lemon-flavored sweets and quickbreads. Basil used to feature in my cooking when I ate meat.
I am admittedly less versed in herbs (and how to use them) than in spices. That is probably directly related to my food-creation preferences: I enjoy baking much more than cooking.
Rosemary apple bread sounds fabulous. I certainly don’t remember ever reading Sparkling Cyanide, so that will be going on my list of TBR’s that always grows exponentially during April’s challenge.
I had the most delicious blueberry lavender jam once, and since then I like putting a bit of lavender on blueberries I’ve smashed a bit. I imagine a bit of lemon zest or the tiniest splash of juice would make it even better, so I’ll have to try that.
I grow herbs. I have a couple friends who share my passion for gardening and like me, they’ll be delighted with today’s word.
Your window sill looks delightful and fragrant Deborah:)
A note: I hope this comment finds you as the the one I posted on N didn’t show up on your blog.
The word olitory really delights me. It feels like it should somehow be more in wider usage given that so many people have kitchen gardens and/or potted herbs. But once I discovered it, I checked with everyone I know, and no one knew it. Makes it seem like an extra special treasure to me.
Your N comment did come through Arti. It may just have decided to take a scenic route before arriving.
I like growing basil but it keeps dying on me. I love the idea of an herb garden, but I don’t have a green thumb… Rosemary is lovely too!
The Multicolored Diary
While I totally understand not having a green thumb, if it’s any consolation studies have proven basil is one of the hardest herbs to keep alive. No idea why that’s true, but…
Rosemary is my favorite, too, and I grew accustomed to adding it to my eggs and anything else. Unfortunately, my plant died over the winter, so I’ll need to see what I can do to replace it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever had rosemary eggs, but you can bet I’ll be giving it a try.