Monday, December 10, 2012

Rosemary: Symbol of Love and Remembrance

This weekend the wedding I have been designing for several months took place on a cool night in Southern California. There are not too many places where you can have a wedding - at night - in December - outdoors. We lucked out and even though it was chilly, we were not freezing. I will be bringing you all the details in stages, but today I am starting with our use of rosemary.

A small potted rosemary tree was placed on a table near the entrance to the wedding. It was in the shape of a Christmas tree and sat next to a hand-lettered (by the bride) and framed sign. Brides have forever been using rosemary as a symbol of love and it is a perfect symbol for remembering loved ones as well.

We use a round table to hold the rosemary tree, the sign, hot cider (naughty and nice) and a basket of rosemary cashews for guests to nibble on as they arrived.

Pouring a cup of hot spiced cider

Naughty or Nice tags for hot cider

I saw tags in the Ballard catalog for naughty and nice beverages and decided to make a version for our hot cider urns. The naughty cider had apple jack brandy added. It was the most popular of the two!

One of my favorite herbs for cooking is rosemary. I have a large bush in my yard and that means I always have rosemary on hand when a recipe calls for it, or if I just feel like adding it to roasted potatoes or carrots.

The first time I made Roasted Rosemary Cashews was on Thanksgiving a few years ago. They were so popular I made them again for my daughter's wedding. And, I did it again for another wedding over the weekend.
Little bags of nuts to nibble on before the wedding

The recipe from is from Ina Garten. They are so good and everyone loves these any time I make them.

I revised the recipe to make a big batch. I actually made them in two batches, cutting this in half for each batch, so I could stir them in a large bowl (a really big bowl.) If you do not have a really, really big bowl, you may want to make them in 4 batches. The nuts took two large baking pans to roast per batch.

Here is the recipe that I revised to make 100 or more little servings (depends on what you use to serve):


10 pounds whole cashew nuts
14 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
3 teaspoons cayenne
14 teaspoons dark brown sugar
14 teaspoons kosher salt
7 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Bag in a zipper bag to store when cool. Serve at room temperature. 

Makes enough for 100+ little bags/cones of nuts.

Another version of our nut holder for my daughter's wedding

We made these cone holders using card stock. First I printed love songs on the full size sheets. You only need the first page of the love song. I found them on a free sheet music site online. Then, we cut the paper into a fan shape and folded it to form a cone (takes a few tries to get the shape you like) and secure with good double-stick tape. Since the nuts were just for a snack, my goal was to create a cone that would hold a nice little serving . . . not a huge amount.

Rosemary - so easy to grow, so yummy, so fragrant, so plant some in your yard soon!!

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