Friday, August 10, 2012

import blog herbs sweet woodruff

Blog EntryOct 23, '07 1:31 PM
for everyone

Entry for June 28, 2007-herb study on sweet woodruff
This study is by request of my friend Jo. I know nothing about this one, and have never grown it. So let's find out together.
Research on the net:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_woodruff
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wooswe31.html
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_sweet_woodruff.htm this one includes recipe for May wine. Heidi-have you had this?-these references say Germany makes May Wine
http://www.alive.com/1920a5a2.php includes recipe for headache tea
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/herbalism/81777

Recipes with Sweet Woodruff
from cooks.com:

STRAWBERRY WOODRUFF DELIGHT

1 box strawberry Jello
1 3/4 c. water
6 sprigs dried sweet woodruff
1 sm. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c. fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
1 pkg. Dream Whip
1 c. miniature marshmallows

Simmer woodruff sprigs in boiling water several minutes. Sieve, add Jello. When partially set, use egg beater until fine consistency. Mix Dream Whip according to directions and fold into the Jello. Add pineapple and strawberries. Fold in marshmallows. Refrigerate several hours.



LEMONY WOODRUFF POTPOURRI

2 c. sweet woodruff leave
1 c. lemon verbena leaves
1 c. lemon geranium leaves
1 c. calendula blossoms
1/4 c. orris root powder
6 drops lemon verbena oil

Mix orris root powder over leaves and petals in bowl. Shake drops of oil on top and mix well. Store in glass jars, with tight lids.


from http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/woodruff/detail.aspx

woodruff


Often described as having the smell of freshly cut hay, woodruff is the leaf of a ground cover native to Europe. Its most famous use is as a flavoring in MAY WINE, a white-wine punch popular in Germany. In Germany and Austria, woodruff is also used to season sausages, candies and many cooked dishes. Live plants are available through many nurseries, and the dried herb is available in gourmet stores and through mail order. Also called sweet woodruff.

Gardening SIG: Sweet Woodruff

From the III,2 Issue Sweet Woodruff (which I’ve found listed as both asperula odorata and galium odoratum), is a white-flowered perennial that does well as a woodland cover. It originated in europe and north Africa, along the Rhine and in the Black Forest of Germany. As the name implies, it is very fragrant and was used as a “strewing herb”. By the 13th century it was used to flavor wine and liqueur, and even now is used for May Wine. Sweet Woodruff blooms late spring to early summer, and grows to a height of 4” to 10”. It loves shady spots with moist soil. In a rock garden, some care would need to be taken to prevent it from overtaking everything! The leaves are used for wines, liquers and sachets. They can also be used for herbal teas and other drinks. Small sprigs are pretty as garnishes.

May Wine 1 bottle white table wine (not Chardonnay)
3 sprigs fresh sweet woodruff
bruised fresh strawberries, sliced Add sweet woodruff and berries to wine and allow to chill for flavors to develop. Perfect to serve at a wedding, garden party or on any warm evening. this was from a blog; http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives/2006/05/22/woodruff/
Ever tried sweet woodruff? It just recently found its way into our apartment again, immediately permeating our kitchen and senses with its rich fragrance, a scent somewhere between marzipan, almonds and amaretto. I got a bundle of already wilted woodruff (much more intense) and a cute looking fresh plant (in some weird way reminding me of hemp), just to see how they differ in taste. And the difference in fact is HUGE. In comparison to the dried woodruff, the plant hardly smells at all. However, even only after 2 hours of removing one or two branches to let them dry, they miraculously become super fragrant.
Sweet Woodruff
When O. walked in the door, he directly headed to the kitchen assuming that it would be the source of the intense scent. “WOW, that smells fantastic!!” So when I told him what it was, he was completely baffled - he never liked woodruff. It was probably a 70ies and 80ies thing to flavor jell-o and puddings, even ice cream. I didn’t like it either back then, but the plant’s actual taste is so different from those -presumably- artificial flavors!
Sweet Woodruff
Woodruff is said to have mind-altering properties if consumed in too large quantities. What’s “too large” again?? While that may sound like a fun thing to find out, very high doses can also cause more severe discomfort. I dare to say that the small bunch we used to infuse the panna cotta with is far, very far from even being remotely dangerous. But wait, where do all the colors and the music come from all of a sudden…
Unmolded Panna Cotta
Finally, after months devoid of good strawberries the ones used in this recipe easily qualified for an A+, measured not only by their deep red looks but even more importantly by their pronounced taste, which perfectly complemented the mild woodruff taste of the yogurt-cream. Sooo good. This recipe was an instant favorite for O. and although at some point late last year he felt like he was being drowned in panna cotta (and thus asked me to not make one for a long time) he’s so into this dessert again. Thank god ;)
Unmolded Panna Cotta
1 Heat the cream, add the sugar and a lengthwise sliced vanilla bean (and the scraped out vanilla seeds). Let it simmer for about 10 minutes and stir every now and then. Remove from the heat.

2 Infuse the mix with the woodruff for about 30 minutes (just dip the leaves, don’t let the stalks get in touch with the cream as they might turn it bitter), then remove vanilla pod and woodruff. Pour the cream trough a fine mesh sieve. Add the Greek yogurt and blend well.
3 Meanwhile soak the sheets of gelatin in cold water (for about 10 min). Take the sheets out, don’t squeeze (as you need some water) and put them in a small pot. Heat carefully (maybe add another 1 or 2 tablespoons of water) and stir until completely dissolved. Add it to the cream/yogurt mixture and stir thoroughly until fully combined. (The original magazine recipe suggested the double amount of yoghurt, but I tried to avoid a too tangy result. It further suggested to use artificial coloring to turn the whole thing green - why would I want to do that?)
4 Chill for at least 5 hours, better over night.
5 To unmold the panna cotta, briefly dip the form in hot water and carefully flip it over on a plate. Decorate either with strawberry puree, fresh strawberries - or both.
Tip: Unmolding is not very easy, because I only used little gelatin with this recipe. If you want to be on the safe side, feel free to add another 1/2 sheet of gelatin or serve in pretty glasses.
Woodruff Panna Cotta
Woodruff Panna Cotta
Recipe source: inspired by Living at Home 05/2003, p.88
Prep time: about 40min., chilling: at least 5 hours, better over night
.
Ingredients (serves 4):
400 ml heavy cream
50g sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
1 bunch of woodruff, wilted
150g Greek yogurt
2 sheets gelatine
2 tbsp water
150g fresh strawberries
additional strawberries for decoration

Here is an excellent site I ran into listing lots of edible flowers: http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

Sweet Woodruff - The flower flavor is sweet and grassy with a hint of nutty, vanilla flavor.
NOTE: Can have a blood thinning effect if eaten in large amounts
If you enjoy fragrance, you'll probably like sweet woodruff ( Asperula odorata or Galium odoratum ), because its scent has been likened to that of new-mown hay or vanilla. A perennial that thrives in moist woods in temperate climes, sweet woodruff has, for centuries , been gathered and dried for use asa mong other things a strewing herb (the old-fashioned equivalent of today's air fresheners), a perfume and potpourri ingredient, a tonic tea, and a special addition to the May Day wine ("Maibowl") with which Europeans celebrate the return of spring. Furthermore, on St. Barnabas's and St. Peter's days, bouquets of woodruff, sweet box, lavender, and roses were placed in churches.
Sweet woodruff's pleasing scent only becomes apparent after the leaves have been dried . . . but then it lasts for years. The odor is due to coumarin, a chemical also found in tonka beans, sweet clover or meliot, and some other leguminous plants. In potpourris, since it not only adds a fragrance of its own but acts as a fixative for other scents, woodruff's contri bution is twofold. Sachets of the dried herb can be laid among the household linens; in an earlier age, the leaves were even used to stuff mattresses. (In addition to perfuming the bedclothes, the sachets were reputed to repel insects, which must have made the herb a popular commodity in the days when regular bathing was a luxury!)

Teutonic warriors believed that woodruff promoted success in battle, and therefore tucked its green sprigs in their helmets. The origin of this belief isn't clear: Perhaps it stems from the fact that woodruff leaves are mildly anesthetic and healing when applied externally (thus helping a soldier to ignore his wounds) . . . or perhaps it derived from the leaves' ability to "make the heart merry" when taken in wine.

Be that as it may, this charming little herb can substitute for vanilla in various sauces and beverages. Marilyn Hampstead, whose Fox Hill Farm is one source of Asperula plants, reports that sweet woodruff can be steeped in milk overnight or for several days to make a refreshing drink that's especially enjoyed by children . . . or, to impart a vanilla taste, soaked in whatever liquid is required in a given recipe . . . or, to make a delicious glaze for tarts and turnovers, steeped in currant juice and strained out before the juice is thickened by cooking with sugar.
another wine from: http://www.emerils.com/recipes/by_name/may_wine_punch.html/


MAY WINE PUNCH
from Cooking Section, May 2003

Ingredients needed:
  • 15 sweet woodruff sprigs
  • 1 1/2 quarts of Rhine or Moselle wine
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1/2 cup super fine sugar
  • 1 quart soda water
  • Edible flowers (violets or pansies)

Place woodruff sprigs on a non-greased cookie sheet in a 200-degree preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove the sprigs from the oven and place in a pitcher that has a lid. Add the wine to the sprigs, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Wash the strawberries and raspberries, remove all stems, and cut strawberries in half. Place the berries in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar, cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain the wine (removing the woodruff sprigs); add the berries and soda water. Serve in chilled wine glasses.


Well I think this is a neat herb, beautiful in your garden landscape, but to be consumed sparingly. I think I may use it in combination with other herbs for moth control amongst my wools. I also am going to have to try these other recipes also, at least once

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