This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)
in cooperation with Järvikylä & Asennemedia
One of my ‘big dreams’ in life is to have a my own garden. In my dreams (that might be slightly biased), every morning I’m out at the garden to collect berries for breakfast and later on the day day I’ll pick up salads and veggies for lunch and dinner. There are carrots, potatoes, salads and all kinds of veggies in the garden, and of course a huge collection of herbs. The weather also pretty much always happens to be just perfect (no storms on rainy days there) and I’m wearing linen, I’ve got freckles in my nose and that glow-y, peaceful spirit in me.
To be exact, I’m not there yet. But luckily some improvements have been made towards that dream, as we planted some herbs to the terrace of our summer house in the beginning of July. It was too late to grow anything out of seeds by that time, so we used a range of herb pots we bought from the store. So I’ll probably need to work on my timing as well as some gardening skills regarding my future dream.
I use herbs almost in everything I make, daily. I use them in my morning smoothie, in salads, on top of bread, for flavor and for decoration. It’s easy to always buy the same herbs and use them in the same way, but this time I got to be a bit a creative as I developed two recipes for a Finnish herb and salad company Järvikylä. I got inspired by their wide variety of herbs and ended up creating a recipe for a fresh honey thyme lemonade and made these little diy herb bouquets, that can be used as a table decoration but are naturally edible as well.
It was my first time making homemade lemonade and I was surprised how easy it is to prepare. You only need a few ingredients to make it and it’s definitely the perfect drink on a hot summer day. The taste of thyme comes from a simple honey thyme syrup I made and you can easily try some other herbs as well. I bet rosemary, mint or lavender would be great. Bubbly sparkling water gives the lemonade a nice twist and makes it super fresh, and also kind of fancy so that this would be a great drink to serve at a party for sure.
I got the idea for these little herb bouquets from dried herb bundles that are sometimes sold in small spice shops or in farmer’s markets. First I thought to dry the bouquets but as they came out so pretty, I came up with the idea to use them as table decorations. So at the same time the bouquets make a nice setting but can be eaten too. And if you use different kinds of herbs, everyone can choose the ones they like on top of their food. And if you’re having a theme dinner, you can match the herbs to the menu: basil, oregano and rosemary for Italian, coriander and thai basil for Asian, and so on. Or you can just choose your favorite herbs, as I did with these bouquets.
If you want to make the bouquet real pretty, you can add a small flower to top it off. I used oregano flowers from our small terrace garden, as our oregano has been flourishing and now it resembles more like a flower than a herb. In case you end up with some extra bouquets, you can always dry them and save for later use. It makes a lovely little decoration too, and in the autumn it’s nice to have the scent of summer somewhere in the house and remember these summer days and nights when the gardens were full of goodies.
If you felt that you inner gardener is now coming to life, you should make a trip to the center of Helsinki this week, as Järvikylä is having a pop up event called the Green Bar. A small pop up place in Torikorttelit is going to be filled with art made from herbs and inspiration for your own green dreams. The pop up is open from Tuesday to Saturday and the space is designed by a Finnish designer Laura Väinölä. You’ll find the opening times of the Green Bar from the event on Facebook and also in the end of this post, just below the guide for diy herb bouquets and the recipe for the honey thyme lemonade. So go, enjoy, treat yourself with some fresh herbs and a glass of homemade lemonade!
DIY Herb Bouquets
your favorite fresh herbs or for example:
+ hay, jute twine or other string
Pick a few longer stems and larger leaves from the chosen herbs. Arrange the leaves and stems into a bouquet and tie it together with hay or string. To keep them pretty, store the bouquets in the fridge until served.
Honey Thyme Lemonade
1/4 cup honey thyme syrup
1 cup lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
2 cups still or sparkling water
+ ice cubes
+ thyme stems for decoration
Juice the lemons. Pour all ingredients into a big pitcher and add some ice and thyme springs for decoration. Taste, and add more syrup or other ingredients if needed. Serve and enjoy!
Honey Thyme Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup local honey
6 thyme stems
1. Place water, honey and six thyme stems into a small pan. Heat over medium heat and mix until the honey is totally dissolved. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Turn off the stove, place a lid on the pan and let steep for 15 minutes.
2. After 15 minutes, remove the thyme stems and allow to cool. Store the syrup in an airtight glass bottle or jar in the fridge up to two weeks.
Järvikylä Green Bar
Unioninkatu 25, Helsinki
open tue–sat 18.–22.8.2015