Friday, March 17, 2006

In Praise of the Ordinary Things

I think it is important to celebrate the ordinary. The simple things that we enjoy without really noticing them. The non-flashy elements in our lives that are felt only by their absence. I therefore declare today's celebration In Praise of Ordinary Dill.

Ah, dill, fragrant and beautiful. Dill - the crowning embellishment for everything from borscht to gravlax. Ethnic and mysterious, graceful and refreshing. Dill. Dill the color of deep forest grasess, tart and crisp, distinctive and alluring.

My Aunt Sophie used to put great clumps of it in her gallon jars of dill pickles. We'd open the lid and the scent of dill would rush out, dazzling our senses.

Auntie Stella put it by the handsful in potato salad.

I add it to poached salmon, gravlax, salads, borscht, roast chicken, boiled potatoes, scrambled eggs, pickled herring and anything else that I can think of. Almost.

I suppose if Poland had a national herb it would be dill.

So here is to that lovely, lilting herb. Here is to a plant that is as graceful in our gardens as it is tasty in our luncheons. To its versatility! Its simple splendor!
Its unrivaled panache!

Dill, your humility obscures your majesty! We salute you!


Blogger Shupac said...

My mother used to bake "dilly bread," bread flecked with dill pieces...yummy.

So many humble yet wonderful parts of culinary tradition lost to mass marketing and the will to convenience.

6:50 PM  
Blogger LutheranChik said...

Dill is one of my very favorite herbs. I like Jewish chicken soup, with lots of dillweed and parsley in it.

I've also, on occasion, made a potato salad with chopped pickled beets, onion and dillweed, dressed with sour cream and garnished, just before serving, with cucumber.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I love Dill. My mother throws it into everything. I didn't realize until now that it is probably a Polish/Jewish thing.

1:05 AM  

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