|Dill blossoms bursting to life in the garden.|
Dill is nearly impossible to find in Japan. It is available at some supermarkets and occasionally at farmers markets, but the price is tends to be high and quantities small. I love adding it to salads as the taste and aroma immediately transport me back to Kazakhstan where it was the primary ingredient in nearly everything. It also makes me think of my mother's kitchen and garden, and the summer days where she would bend the long stalks and seed heads into jars of brined cucumbers that would eventually transform into the dill pickles that graced our table the rest of the year. Growing my own, then, is a pleasure of taste as well as memory. It is also a favorite treat of the swallowtail caterpillars, which I gladly share with them along with my parsley.
The plant pictured here that at this moment resembles the fireworks that fill the skies on these hot summer evenings, is one found at our local nursery. I've noticed over the years that more and more shops carry a nice assortment of herbs such as sage, basil, fennel, coriander, Thai basil, and oregano to name just a few. Even if a balcony is the only growing space available, it is more than possible to create a tidy stock of fresh and dried herbs.