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Let's Spice Things Up! (with Bay Leaves)

Posted by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM
  • 26 Replies
1 mom liked this

 

BAY LEAVES come from the bay laurel tree, an aromatic evergree or large shrub with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region.  The bay laurel has been cultiviated since the beginning of recorded history, originating in Asia Minor and spread to other countries with similar warm climates.  Turkey is one of the main exporters, although they are also grown in areas of Albania, France, Italy, Russia, Central American, North America and India.

Many ancient mythologies glorify the laurel as a symbol of honor and were worn as a sign of victory or acheivement upon their heads in wreaths.  In the Elizabethan era, some people believed pinning bay leaves to one's pillow on the eve of Saint Valentine's Day would permit one to see one's future spouse in a dream.

Bay leaves also make beautiful wreaths for the holidays or just as everyday decoration.  See how to make this gorgeous wreath here:

http://www.ehow.com/how_6362935_make-wreath-out-bay-leaves.html

Fresh bay leaves are rarely available and are bitter-tasting.  Dried bay leaves are the preferred way to use them in recipes.  Uses vary from soups to stews to seafood and vegetable dishes.  The leaves are used whole and removed before serving.

Other uses for the bay laurel is as bug and insect repelent.  Scattered bay leaves in a pantry will keep away meal moths, flies, roaches and silverfish.  Crushed, fresh, youg leaves placed in an open jar under a layer of paper will release a vapor that will kill insects (slowly, but effectively).

What are some of your recipes that uses bay leaves?

by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM
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Replies (1-10):
SunflowerMom10
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM
I love throwing a couple in with soups or baked chicken.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
AiW
by Member on Jun. 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM
Chicken soup (chicken, 2-3 bay leaves, 4 cut up carrots, 1/2 an onion,1 parsnip, salt and water); beef stew (cut up stew meat, carrots, 1 bay leaf, potatoes, garlic powder, can of crushed tomatoes, 1-2 cups chicken broth, salt).
DixieL
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I put bay leaves in a lot of things I have made

4kidz916
by Melissa on Jun. 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I use a bay leaf in my spaghetti sauce sometimes and I always use them in my beef stew recipe.  

4kidz916
by Melissa on Jun. 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I really like them in that wreath.

VanBurren
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 6:07 PM

 

Quoting 4kidz916:

I really like them in that wreath.

 I thought the wreath was pretty:)

VanBurren
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 6:17 PM

 

CREOLE BLACK BEANS

2 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 (15oz) cans black beans, drained

1-1/2 cups chopped onions

1-1/2 cups chopped green pepper

1-1/2 cups chopped celery

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp thyme

1-1/2 tsp oregano

1-1/2 tsp white pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 chicken bouillon cube

5 bay leaves

8 oz can tomato sauce

1 cup water

cooked white rice

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat.  Drain fat and transfer to crock pot.  Combine remaining ingredients in crock.  Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.  Remove bay leaves before serving.  Serve over cooked white rice.

4kidz916
by Melissa on Jun. 10, 2012 at 9:22 PM

The black beans recipe sounds great.  Thanks for sharing. 

SweetLuci
by Luci on Jun. 10, 2012 at 9:22 PM

 Interesting. I like to use bay leaves in tomato or beef broth soups or stews, or hearty braises.

jessicasmom1
by on Jun. 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Yum we like these in our soups

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