Zesty Winter Marinade
One very cold night each year I harvest most of the leaves from the herbs growing in a combo bowl outside my back door, just in case they might freeze and I'd miss their flavor. They go into this marinade to perk up chicken breasts before roasting, baking, or broiling. This recipe makes enough to marinate four chicken breasts, with some leftover for basting the chicken.
Whisk the following ingredients together:
Juice of two lemons
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
Several grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon honey
Then add 1/4 cup light olive oil. Whisk again, then add:
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon parsley leaves
Rinse and dry chicken and pierce the pieces in several places with a fork. Pour most of the marinade over chicken breasts, reserving some marinade for basting during cooking.
Perennial Best Bets
If the world of perennial plants has you the least bit confused, and you'd like some straight talk about what will grow in our region, Garden Perennials for the Coastal South, by Barbara J. Sullivan (University of North Carolina Press, 2003; $35) is a book you'll find very helpful. Barbara Sullivan is a Master Gardener (and attorney) who knows our challenges and our glories. I like her listing of fail-safe plants for sure success, and I know her list of 30 perennials to just forget about will set tongues wagging. Good advice, nicely presented.