Recipe: Other herbs also work in this delicate treat
Lemon says "winter" to me as much as cinnamon and ginger do. It must be because Californians' lemon trees -- the Meyers, Eurekas and other varieties -- this time of year are full of beautiful yellow fruit, contrasting so nicely with the shiny green leaves.
Lemon also is a wonderful partner with fresh herbs. When I went looking for a lemon cookie recipe, I found quite a few that incorporated thyme and some that had rosemary, but the one that caught my attention included fresh mint. Alternative herbs mentioned included lemon balm -- which is also part of the mint family -- and lemon verbena. That recipe I had to try. (It's at landolakes.com, if you want to see the original.)
I doubled the amount of lemon zest and fresh mint listed, and reduced the sugar. (I also used tart lemons, not the mellower Meyers.) The resulting cookie is small, delicate and still pretty sweet -- an ideal cookie to accompany a cup of afternoon tea. The mint is subtle. Next time I'm going to try the recipe with fresh lemon verbena. To really up the lemon factor, I might use a bit of lemon extract instead of the vanilla.
Meanwhile, I have half of this first batch already rolled and frozen, reserved for another grey winter day.
Lemon minted sugar cookies
Makes about 50 two-inch cookies
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Taste Winter! E-cookbook
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Dig In: Garden Checklist
For week of Feb. 18:
It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:
* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.
* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.
* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.
* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.
* Dump excess water out of pots.
* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.
* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.
* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.
* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.
* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.
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