The art of flavor: Herb expert to give demonstration
Did you know there are 2,000 named species and hybrids of mints? I think I need a bigger yard.
Susan Belsinger has been living the good life, herbal-style, for almost four decades.
She grows them, cooks with them, photographs them, writes about them. She uses herbs or their essential oils to clean her house, repel insects, moisturize her skin, heal chapped lips, relieve stress, fight infections.
On Wednesday, she's coming to the Fox Chapel Golf Club to talk about them in an "Herbes de Pittsburgh" program called "The Art of Flavor: A Sensory Herb Experience." Ms. Belsinger will demonstrate how to use some of the robust herbs with woody stems -- rosemary, sage, lavender, oregano and marjoram -- in simple, savory holiday dishes.
"We're going to get to know these herbs in depth through our noses," she said. "And then I'm going to cook with them to show how they raise the flavor of food to another level."
The event will include a tasting of herbal hors d'oeuvres, a marketplace featuring vendors and a book signing for Ms. Belsinger's new book, "The Creative Herbal Home," co-written with Tina Marie Wilcox.
In it, they offer a glossary of useful herbs and dozens of ways to put them to work in the home.
Ms. Belsinger's introduction to herbs came in 1971 when she and her husband went to live as caretakers on a farm in Tuscany, where 30-foot-tall bay trees lined the driveway and rosemary grew in great shrubby stands.
"It opened my eyes to a whole different world of flavor and way of eating," she said.
She now lives outside Brookeville, Md., in a passive-solar house she built with her husband, Tomaso, and shares with him and their two daughters. A contributing editor to Herb Companion magazine, Ms. Belsinger also is the author of 19 books about herbs.
She divides her time between writing and giving educational programs around the country.
The event, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Unit of the Herb Society of America, is from 4 to 7 p.m. and benefits its scholarship fund.
Cost is $40. For reservations, contact Pat Leiphart at 724-266-5989 or email@example.com.
First Published October 4, 2007 12:00 am