Herbs spice up holiday meals; special gifts add to season

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If turkey was on your Thanksgiving menu, stuffing with sage may have been served.

Herbs add flavor and color to any food, Fresh herbs are wonderful when you can go outside and select them from your garden. Grocery stores often have a selection of fresh herbs available when you don’t have fresh ones growing in your garden.  

Try sprinkling some lightly sautéed or fresh parsley on top of mashed potatoes. Tarragon adds a fresh flavor to a green bean casserole. Savory, either dried summer or the winter variety, adds a light, peppery appeal to many foods, including eggs and beef. Tossing dried or freshly chopped herbs in a green salad adds flavor without adding calories or fat. 

Before adding an herb to a holiday dish, try it with the vegetable, casserole, salad or other side dish to see what you like. Knowing which herbs you like will keep meals interesting all year long. Stop by the Extension office for a good chart listing suggestions of different herbs to partner with different dishes.

Special holiday gifts

Holiday gift giving can be a drain on your finances. Consider giving gifts that are more meaningful than store bought. Consider your talents and skills. What might a friend or family member really need? Do you have something to give?

A friend once said, “If you share your talents, you expand yourself.”  Are you handy with home repairs? Are you a wonderful baker? Might you provide babysitting so a young couple can have an evening out alone and save the cost of a baby sitter?  Design your own gift certificate with a message of your gift. For example, “good for one evening of babysitting once a month for the next three months.” Loaves of quick bread, homemade jams and jellies, a beautiful pie, a cookie mix layered in a canning jar each with a pretty holiday ribbon are nice gifts. There are many gifts with more meaning and appreciation than expensive items that they may not need.

When the holidays are over, you will be happier as you didn’t spend too much money. Your family and friends will know how much you appreciate them.

Homemakers’ Holiday

Carroll County Extension Homemakers and friends are invited to a special holiday get-together Monday, Dec. 10 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Extension office.

A delicious meal of chili, soup, sandwiches, dessert and beverages will be served by your Extension Homemakers Council. This is their holiday gift to you. If you wish, please bring an ornament for the Ornament Exchange. You will also have the chance to make a nice holiday craft to take home. If you wish, bring a friend as a guest.

Reservations not required, but please call the Extension office if you plan to attend so there is enough food and craft supplies. Hope you can join your Homemaker friends for this holiday friendship and cheer.

Basket of the month

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, Kathy Watts will teach a class on making a beautiful Xs and Os basket. The class begins at 6 p.m. at the Carroll County Extension office. A photo of the basket and registration information is available at the Extension office, 500 Floyd Drive. Cost of the class is $25. Anyone interested in learning to weave or seasoned weavers are invited to register for the class.  This would make a nice Christmas gift or just to keep yourself.

Dates of interest

Dec. 3: Kentucky Dulcimer Gatherin’ Holiday Program, 6 p.m., Extension office.

Dec. 6: All Councils’ Holiday Party, 6 p.m., Extension office.

Dec. 10: Homemakers’ Holiday Get-Together, 6 p.m., County Extension Office

Dec. 11: Annual Legislative Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., reservations required, Extension Office.

Dec. 11: Basket of the Month, 6 p.m, Extension Office.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.