Spring is 'Finally' Here!

From gift ideas and Spring and Summer classes to herb recipes
Backyard Patch Herbs will help you bring on the Spring!

Recipe Theme and Community Education

On the Backyard Patch Herbal Blog we are continuing  a monthly Recipe Theme where I post a number of recipes on a single theme.  For April we posted Seafood recipes and in May it will be Cajun and Creole recipes we share.  I am working my way through the many recipes I have collected over the decades. We also have the Bath Blend of the Month and other regular features on cleaning with and other uses for herbs.

In January as I prepared for the late winter season lectures which were more numerous than in years past, I took a moment for myself to create a list of things to do in 2019.  I don't do resolutions as they tend to set you up for failure, but a list of experiences is an adventure and in 2019 I created a list of experiences to strive for in 2019.

The first one in the list (on my Blog) was learn to make a great Mocktail.  Here is the recipe I came up with, it is perfect for weather getting warmer:


2 cups sugar

12 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 24 lemons

2 cups vodka



In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup; discard thyme. You should have 2 cups syrup. Cover with plastic; chill.  In a large serving pitcher, stir together lemon juice, vodka, and chilled syrup; garnish with thyme. Divide evenly among eight tumblers filled with ice; serve immediately.

In December 2019 we be focusing on herbal beverages like this one for an entire month.  You can find all the monthly themes by visiting the Backyard Patch Herbal Blog and searching the subject "recipe2018" or "recipe 2019"  For each month there is a search name which you can find at the end of any recipe post.   



This Spring and Summer we are working with two different Community Education departments.  Some classes have already happened, but there are cooking and gifting programs as well as Native American Herb and game programs coming up soon. 

With District 214 (which serves, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Elk Grove Village and Wheeling among others) we have several culinary classes, while at Dist 128 in Libertyville / Vernon Hills there are garden related programming.

The program I did at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show in March Infusion is being reprised at both Dist 128 and Dist 214 on May 7 & 8 respectively.  And if you missed Mocktails in Warrenville, you can catch it in Arlington Heights at Dist 214 on May 14. 

The special programs this time are Organic Urban Gardening on May 15 at Dist 128.  My husband, the agricultural specialist, and I will chat about Organic methods and agriculture in your backyard.   Then June 1 we will be doing a Special Brunch cooking class featuring our special Appalachian Baked French Toast at Dist 214.  By the end you will sample and know how to make a full brunch for your family.

I will be in Warrenville at the Warrenville Public Library with Mocktails on April 30.
Body Botanicals is our special program in Schaumburg at Schaumburg Public Library May 1
Annual and Perennial Herbs for the DuPage Organic Gardeners May 2

To find the whole list, see the Upcoming Events page on the Blog. or you can visit the websites for each of the Community Education districts to register: District 128 website or the Dist 214 website.  To find my classes, just search my name as Instructor Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh.  
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New for Mother's Day
DIY Bath Salt Kit

Perfect for the crafty woman with a need for relaxation, ths kit includes salts, essential oils, and complete instructions and packaging for completed salts.  Fun to do with kids or friends to craft the perfect bath or foot soak. Packaged in a decorative box with a heart zipper pull decoration. Available only on Etsy, but soon on our new website.

New for Father's Day

DIY Grilling Kit

This gift box contains all the ingredients for making numerous grilling rubs and marinades.  A brochure is included with tips and recipes for blending herbs and spices for grilling along with labels, packaging and tins to put completed blends in for use or gifting.

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