May is here with sunshine, tulips, and warm temperatures, and while I'm overjoyed at its arrival, my annual dose of garden anxiety has set in.
Recently I had dinner with a retired friend who was waxing on about her garden, or I should say, her small farm. She was going on and on about what crops she already has in the ground and her joy was so obvious, but all I could say to contribute to the conversation was: "My sage from last year came back."
But then, just as hopelessness was taking hold, the garden fairies conducted a magical intervention.
I was presented with a basket of herb plants as a gift - parsley, dill, rosemary, basil, and oregano. My garden worries melted away and I realized, as I always do, that herbs are perfect for gardeners like me. Since they are essentially weeds, they are hardy and sturdy and thrive despite my neglect.
But there's more to it than that. Plenty of good eating will come from an herb garden.
Tarragon Butter/ Chervil Butter
Makes 8 servings
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or 2 tablespoons minced fresh chervil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1. Blend together the butter, tarragon or chervil, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
2. Form into a log and refrigerate until firm before slicing and serving.
Note: Tarragon has an assertive, anise-like flavor. Chervil will give the butter a more subtle flavor.