Pistachio nut trees          

    Caught Red Handed

     Many folks use the expression that they've been caught "red
handed".  Few folks know the herbal connection of this statement so
here goes.

     In medieval times the peasants that worked in the castles and
homes of the aristocratic land barons would come daily to their jobs.
These peasants often had no refrigeration, heat, and survived,
especially during the winter, on what they had harvested from the
summer or could find.  Their meals were often old meat that had
been salted to preserve, no vegetables, fruits etc.  Basically a bad
diet and a bland diet.

    Those that were lucky enough to work in the service of the
aristocratic class would work during the day preparing lavish meals
and seasoning the ingredients with herbs and spices.  Some of the
servants would sneak into the kitchen area prior to going home each
night and snatch away a small handful of herbs and spices to flavor
their food for their family.  This greatly annoyed the owners so they
implemented a system of spraying a red dye over the herbs and spices.

     Each day before a worker could leave the castle they had to
present themselves at the door and expose their hands to the staff
before they could go home.  The staff was looking for evidence of
the red dye on the servant's hands from snitching a little of the
herbs and spices.

     If they were caught it was because they had red hands and now
you know why we get caught "red handed"!!

   What food is a carryover from those days we consume today?

   See the image below:

image of red pistachio nuts

Better sign up for our Herbfest to find that answer at it is included in one of our
emails to you...(:)


      This article was prompted by the below email Herbanite Bob received:

Hi Herbanite Bob:
     I bought a little plant today at the flea market I go to for fresh veggies...............but I wonder if someone steered me wrong.


      As a result of the last post on using Tea Tree Oil there have been several questions about the different type oils so let's explain the differences...

       Herb vinegars delight both your palate and your eyes.   You can mix and match your herbs into beautiful gourmet blends as well as preserve your summer harvest for the winter season.   One of the best times to harvest your herbs is early a.m. just after the dew has lifted from the leaves but prior to the essential oils descending to the roots.  

That's a common question we hear at HerbFest and we provide Herbanite Bob to help on herb answers as well as Kathryn Spiegel, a Wake County Master Gardener, to help with your perennial questions.

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