Apr 24, 2012

Baking :: Rosemary Damper :: the meaning of herbs & flowers

I love the ancient tradition of flower meanings.
You know, red roses for love, violets for faithfulness and so on.
But did you know that rosemary signifies remembrance?
So, with Anzac Day tomorrow,
I thought I would experiment with a little baking last night,
using this deliciously pungent herb,
to see how it would turn out in a simple damper recipe.
And the result was sensational!
To make it, 
just combine 2 cups self raising flour, 
a pinch of good salt
+ the leaves
from 4 sprigs of rosemary 
in a food processor.
Whiz until the leaves are tiny flecks.
Then, with the motor running,
add 125 gm cubed butter,
and whiz until it forms small breadcrumbs.
Add one free range egg,
whiz again briefly,
then just enough milk to make a scone-like consistency.
(A couple of tablespoons, give or take.)
Form into a blob on a greased baking tray
and bake in a very hot (200 c) oven for approx 30 minutes.
Like bread, if it sounds hollow when tapped 
underneath, it's ready.
Serve warm, slathered in good (ie not that awful homebrand stuff) butter.
Using a good salt makes a big difference too. 
(I love the pink murray river salt, but any good sea salt will do.)
At dawn tomorrow, 
across Australia and New Zealand,
thousands of people will wear little sprigs of rosemary
tucked into their lapels,
as the symbol of remembrance for our soldiers who have fallen,
and for those who serve.
It just happens to be in flower at this time of year in the
southern hemisphere,
so perhaps that is partly why it is such a beautifully poignant symbol.
The entry hall has been decked out with bunches
of another meaningful herb: artemisia
or the common name of "wormwood
because it was used to keep insects at bay in the middle ages.
Signifying "dignity" it is one of the most fabulous little plants 
to grow in the garden. 
Tough as nails,
it is a striking addition to any arrangement 
with it's silvery, lacy leaves.

Oh, and as the forecast for tomorrow is cold with heavy rain
in Melbourne, I think we'll be needing some of that warm
rosemary damper after our foray into the chill air at the Dawn Service!

all images :: blue fruit


  1. A lovely and meaningful post! I can just smell the scent of the Rosemary bread coming out of your oven!

    Art by Karena

    1. Oh it did smell delicious last night Karena! I think it will smell even better tomorrow morning, too.

  2. We have rosemary growing right now. Perfect time for your lovely recipe and beautiful photograph.

    1. Hello Marsha. Ah, then I hope you will try it out. I love rosemary all year round, with roasted potatoes especially.

  3. The house will smell wonderful with that bread and rosemary smell. Stay warm tomorrow...

    1. Thank you Liene! We will be very well-wrapped against the cold, and it is quite beautiful to watch the sun rise standing with thousands of other people, all just quiet except for the Last Post.

  4. Thank you for this lovely post and I hope that all will find warmth in the cold. What a beautiful gesture. And I actually did know about rosemary's signification from having played Ophelia. "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you love, remember."

    1. Indeed, and who can ever say it better than the bard himself? Thank you for the warm wishes. I shall think of your sunny lavender wall tomorrow morning, in an effort to keep warm!

  5. who knew????
    i am sending this post to my mom.
    she will adore it.

    thank you so much for 'being there'

  6. This looks amazing Virginia; your home must be smelling incredible with the rosemary! I also wanted to thank you so much for your beautiful comment yesterday; I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive group + your words really meant a lot to me, thank you xx

  7. Hard to keep track of the days here, but I will be remembering tomorrow along with the rest on Australia and NZ, just a few hours later.
    The weather sounds miserable, but the damper sound divine x

  8. Oh I love it when you do these foodie posts Virginia - YUMMY is about all I can say. ( and I had no idea about the rosemary :)
    And can I come next time please :)

  9. What a wonderful bouquet - Rosemary and Artemesia - to remember them with dignity. so lovely.

  10. Greta post. That recipe sounds great, one to note down and try...


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