Thursday, 29 April 2010

Brandy and Lovage, tis 'ansome, my luvver*

These are the first few shoots of my Lovage coming through in the vegetable garden. Although it's a herb, I wouldn't recommend planting it in a little herb patch, as I did when I first had it, next to parsley and thyme. Little did I know, but like Topsy, it just growed and growed and was soon taller than me, and quite overwhelmed its neighbours. So I moved it to the veg garden where it comes up bigger and stronger every year, a bit like a rhubarb patch.

The young shoots have a strong celery-like flavour and can be used to advantage in a vegetable soup. Or you could try making the famous Lovage cordial with it. I've no idea how you make it, but when I was a pub landlady in Devon some years ago we always had a bottle of  Lovage behind the bar, and it was quite a popular drink for specific occasions. I think it must be a Devon thing, as I'd never heard of it before. But it was especially popular as a remedy for the morning after the night before. Rarely drunk on its own, people would come in lunchtimes and ask for a Brandy and Lovage "to settle my stomach", and then proceed to down another half a dozen in short order,  which did, I think, rather defeat the object. But it seemed like fun. 

*translates as "Brandy and lovage is quite delicious my friend" 


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