Stephen is a former dinner theater actor, humilitarian, unemployed mascot and general home cuisine meth lab technician.
You and Your Garden
A coworker gave me a rosemary plant one time and I said, "Nice! A little tiny Christmas tree!"
She was the one who always brought me ziplock baggies of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint and countless other fragrant herbs for my cooking since I always brought my lunch from home and filled the break room with exotic smells. She was often jealous of my pasta, meatloaf, casserole or whatever leftovers I heated up form the night before, so we traded herbs and recipes.
I brought the rosemary home and set it in a corner.
It looked awful a couple weeks later, so I stuck it in a hole in the ground I made with my hand while talking on the phone and a few weeks later it was still there and looking a little better.
You can't kill these things. Rosemary would probably grow on the moon.
I saw an oregano plant at a department store and bought it for $5. I planted it next to the rosemary.
5 years later, the plants are still there. I give them each a flat-top haircut once in a while to keep them from going completely rogue in my yard. My friend calls them Sergeant Rosemary and Sergeant Oregano.
I have some mint in a pot that I keep indoors since mint grows like an actual weed and would invade the world if I allowed it to.
Thyme is hearty. Parsley is agreeable. Basil doesn't like too much heat or cold, so it's a reluctant addition that I let grow in a hydroponic countertop garden setup.
If this sounds like a lot of effort, I have good news for you. I do practically nothing to make these things thrive. I've almost never watered a plant intentionally. I don't fertilize and can't tell you anything about gardening or farming or permaculture.
If you, like so many others, shell out for dried seasonings then today is your day.
The Best Herbs
Rosemary - My favorite as it has stayed in my yard through drought, freezes, week-long rainfall. My neighbor has their front hedge accented with them and they overtake the doorway and the windows unless they trim it religiously.
Oregano - Only slightly less apocalypse-resistant than rosemary, it goes dormant in the winter and flowers the rest of the year so you must remove the white blossoms via trimming once in a while, but after that it's good to go.
Thyme - Evergreen plant with similar heartiness to rosemary, you just trim it back to encourage a thick and bushy plant to emerge which can provide a valuable addition to an Mediterranean flavor profile. It dislikes soggy roots, so avoid excessive watering and plant in soil that drains well.
Parsley - While the curly-leaf variety is used as a garnish, the flat-leaf variety or Italian parsley is full of flavor that can enhance everything from sauces and casseroles to beef, chicken, pork, and fish.
Mint - A garden weed with flavor and applications galore, mint is a favorite flavor of mine and partners well with dill in soups or as an accessory to seasonings used on meats and in sauces.
Dill - There are many varieties, some more suitable for container gardening like Fernleaf or Dukat. Other varieties like Bouquet are more suitable for pickling. My wife's Polish heritage and the home cooking she grew up with lead her to enjoy anything with a bit of dill.