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Thread: Bay leaves

  1. #1
    Gary Guest

    Default Bay leaves

    I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.

    I read that they "are somewhat similar to oregano and thyme," (tastewise) so
    I guess you could substitute a little of one or both of those in a pinch.
    (?)

    Interesting other uses for bay leaves too. 2 examples:

    "Bay leaves can also be scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths,
    flies, roaches, and silverfish."

    "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."

    All of the above quotes came from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_leaf

    You might want to read that. It's a short but interesting rundown of the bay
    leaf.

    Gary

    PS - the bushes grow wild like weeds on the Outer Banks of NC. Every time I
    went on a surfing trip to Cape Hatteras, I would always stop along the road
    and pick a big bag of leaves. It was a nice bonus to a fun surfing trip.

  2. #2
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:03:25 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    >Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    >call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    >think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.
    >
    >I read that they "are somewhat similar to oregano and thyme," (tastewise) so
    >I guess you could substitute a little of one or both of those in a pinch.
    >(?)
    >
    >Interesting other uses for bay leaves too. 2 examples:
    >
    >"Bay leaves can also be scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths,
    > flies, roaches, and silverfish."
    >
    >"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."
    >
    >All of the above quotes came from:
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_leaf
    >
    >You might want to read that. It's a short but interesting rundown of the bay
    >leaf.
    >
    >Gary
    >
    >PS - the bushes grow wild like weeds on the Outer Banks of NC. Every time I
    >went on a surfing trip to Cape Hatteras, I would always stop along the road
    >and pick a big bag of leaves. It was a nice bonus to a fun surfing trip.



    They grow readily as a house plant - I keep mine trimmed into a puff
    ball shape by nipping out any shoots, newly picked have far more
    flavour than dried.

  3. #3
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:03:25 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    >Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    >call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    >think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.


    If I went to make nearly any soup and didn't have bay leaves, I'd wait
    until I did. To me, they are the umami that makes soup, soup.

    >
    >I read that they "are somewhat similar to oregano and thyme," (tastewise) so
    >I guess you could substitute a little of one or both of those in a pinch.
    >(?)


    good pun, but the substitution wouldn't work for me.

    >
    >Interesting other uses for bay leaves too. 2 examples:
    >
    >"Bay leaves can also be scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths,
    > flies, roaches, and silverfish."


    That didn't work for me when I had those damn moths one time.
    >
    >"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."


    That one did-- I'm apparently not far enough in the future to marry
    her yet, though. [Is Angie Dickenson still alive?]

    Jim

  4. #4
    Janet Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    > Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    > call for them.


    Vital in some, like the milk infusion used in the bread sauce Brits
    serve with roast turkey.


    Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    > think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.


    It does. If one isn;t enough use more :-) I always put some in whem
    making stock, casseroles etc.
    >
    > I read that they "are somewhat similar to oregano and thyme," (tastewise)


    Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic; men
    used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.


    so
    > I guess you could substitute a little of one or both of those in a pinch.
    > (?)


    Nope.

    I grow it (laurus nobilis) in the garden and pick leaves to dry and
    store for kitchen use. The dry ones have a more intense flavour than
    fresh, imho.

    Janet

  5. #5
    Janet Bostwick Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:03:25 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    >Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    >call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    >think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.
    >

    snip
    They are very important. They round out the flavor, especially in
    soups. If the bay leaf isn't there I am wondering what I did wrong.
    Janet US

  6. #6
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > They grow readily as a house plant - I keep mine trimmed into a puff
    > ball shape by nipping out any shoots, newly picked have far more
    > flavour than dried.


    Actually, maybe not more flavor than dried?

    "The fresh leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavor
    until several weeks after picking and drying."

    Again, that quote comes from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_leaf

    G.

    Back then, I used my fresh picked but also dried most of them.

  7. #7
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    Janet Bostwick wrote:
    >
    > On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:03:25 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    > >Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    > >call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    > >think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.
    > >

    > snip
    > They are very important. They round out the flavor, especially in
    > soups. If the bay leaf isn't there I am wondering what I did wrong.
    > Janet US


    Thanks Janet. I'll make sure to buy some today. I've always used them and
    never have substituted. I was just wondering if I could without serious
    consequence. Better to be safe than sorry, eh?

    Gary

  8. #8
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves


    "Gary" wrote in message news:[email protected]..

    I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.

    I read that they "are somewhat similar to oregano and thyme," (tastewise) so
    I guess you could substitute a little of one or both of those in a pinch.
    (?)

    Interesting other uses for bay leaves too. 2 examples:

    "Bay leaves can also be scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths,
    flies, roaches, and silverfish."

    "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."

    All of the above quotes came from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_leaf

    You might want to read that. It's a short but interesting rundown of the bay
    leaf.

    Gary

    PS - the bushes grow wild like weeds on the Outer Banks of NC. Every time I
    went on a surfing trip to Cape Hatteras, I would always stop along the road
    and pick a big bag of leaves. It was a nice bonus to a fun surfing trip.
    *******************

    You'd be surprised! Bay leaves can pack quite a punch. I add them to soups
    and stews all the time. Also to beef chuck roast. As with any [dried]
    herb, the older the leaves, the less pungent they are. I store dried herbs
    in the freezer. They really do keep bugs out of flour, etc.

    Jill


  9. #9
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:14:27 -0400, Jim Elbrecht <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:03:25 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    > >Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    > >call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    > >think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.

    >
    > If I went to make nearly any soup and didn't have bay leaves, I'd wait
    > until I did. To me, they are the umami that makes soup, soup.


    I think bay is one of those flavors that when you're used to it in a
    certain dish, it's an essential ingredient... but if you've never had
    it there, it's no big deal. I never use it in soup and wasn't brought
    up eating bay in anything so I don't use it very much.

    There was one dish in my husband's family that I liked to much I
    wanted to learn how to make it. My SIL told me how she did it, I made
    it and it tasted fine but something was missing. I got the
    instructions again and followed them to a T, but it was still not
    right. The third time I spoke to her about "something is missing" she
    told me about the bay, which turned out to be it... but that's the
    only dish where I think bay is an important component.

    --
    Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

  10. #10
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:14:25 -0600, Janet Bostwick
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:03:25 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    > >Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes that
    > >call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one? Wouldn't
    > >think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a gallon of soup.
    > >

    > snip
    > They are very important. They round out the flavor, especially in
    > soups. If the bay leaf isn't there I am wondering what I did wrong.


    It's a subtle flavor... my SIL tells me if you use too much, your dish
    will taste like medicine - so I try not to do that.

    --
    Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

  11. #11
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    Janet <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic;
    > men used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.


    My father used to always keep St. John's Bay Rum. It was a cologne, not a
    hair dressing, and it was not oily at all.



  12. #12
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves and dried herbs vs fresh

    jmcquown <[email protected]> wrote:
    > "Gary" wrote in message news:[email protected]..
    >
    > I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    > Then I got to wondering just how important are they in many recipes
    > that call for them. Just how much flavor actually comes out of one?
    > Wouldn't think that a bay leaf or two would do all that much to a
    > gallon of soup.
    > I read that they "are somewhat similar to oregano and thyme,"
    > (tastewise) so I guess you could substitute a little of one or both
    > of those in a pinch. (?)
    >
    > Interesting other uses for bay leaves too. 2 examples:
    >
    > "Bay leaves can also be scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths,
    > flies, roaches, and silverfish."
    >
    > "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."
    >
    > All of the above quotes came from:
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_leaf
    >
    > You might want to read that. It's a short but interesting rundown of
    > the bay leaf.
    >
    > Gary
    >
    > PS - the bushes grow wild like weeds on the Outer Banks of NC. Every
    > time I went on a surfing trip to Cape Hatteras, I would always stop
    > along the road and pick a big bag of leaves. It was a nice bonus to a
    > fun surfing trip. *******************
    >
    > You'd be surprised! Bay leaves can pack quite a punch. I add them
    > to soups and stews all the time. Also to beef chuck roast. As with
    > any [dried] herb, the older the leaves, the less pungent they are. I
    > store dried herbs in the freezer. They really do keep bugs out of
    > flour, etc.
    > Jill


    I've seen a couple comments in this thread about the difference in dried
    herbs from fresh. Several things affect the dynamics being observed IMO:

    1. Fresh herbs will always have the broadest range of flavors with subleties
    that are lost in the drying process.

    2. The intensity or pungency of recently dried herbs is often greater than
    fresh because the tastes have been concentrated by the drying process, but
    at that point the flavor is less nuanced, more linear with the main flavor
    of the herb.

    3. Older dried herbs lose their intensity, so they still have the core
    flavor of the given herb but it will seem more muted and more is needed to
    get the same effect in a dish.

    MartyB



  13. #13
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Mon, 30 Jul 2012 15:44:14 -0500, "Nunya Bidnits"
    <nunyabidnits@eternal-septembe[email protected]> wrote:

    >Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic;
    >> men used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.

    >
    >My father used to always keep St. John's Bay Rum. It was a cologne, not a
    >hair dressing, and it was not oily at all.
    >


    Yer both right--
    https://www.stjohnsbayrum.com/History.asp

    And probably saved me from getting a mouth full of cologne someday. I
    never hear of it before-- and if I'd seen the bottle I would have had
    to taste some.<g>

    Jim

  14. #14
    Janet Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    In article <jv6rn6$dtg$[email protected]>, nunyabidnits@eternal-
    september.invalid says...
    >
    > Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic;
    > > men used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.

    >
    > My father used to always keep St. John's Bay Rum. It was a cologne, not a
    > hair dressing, and it was not oily at all.


    Don't tell me he missed out on the co-ordinating hair oil!


    http://www.traditionalshaving.co.uk/...raditionalshav
    ing/_DRH-HAI-BAY-O/382318/Bay-Rum-Hair-Lotion-With-Oil

    Janet

  15. #15
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Mon, 30 Jul 2012 22:22:16 +0100, Janet <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In article <jv6rn6$dtg$[email protected]>, nunyabidnits@eternal-
    >september.invalid says...
    >>
    >> Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> > Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic;
    >> > men used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.

    >>
    >> My father used to always keep St. John's Bay Rum. It was a cologne, not a
    >> hair dressing, and it was not oily at all.

    >
    > Don't tell me he missed out on the co-ordinating hair oil!
    >
    >
    >http://www.traditionalshaving.co.uk/...raditionalshav
    >ing/_DRH-HAI-BAY-O/382318/Bay-Rum-Hair-Lotion-With-Oil
    >
    > Janet


    Bay rum is an after shave lotion, but it smells nice too.
    I've used these products all my life:
    http://www.clubmanonline.com/afshloco.html

  16. #16
    Bryan Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Jul 29, 6:03*am, Gary <g.maj...@att.net> wrote:
    > I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    >

    I prefer powdered bay leaf.
    >
    > Gary


    --Bryan

  17. #17
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    Bryan wrote:
    >Gary wrote:
    >> I'm out of them and need to buy some this week.
    >>

    >I prefer powdered bay leaf.


    Whole bay leaf is more potent, remains potent far, far longer in
    storage, and releases flavor throughout the cooking process rather
    than shoot its load all in one wussy dribble.

  18. #18
    Doug Freyburger Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    Bryan wrote:
    >
    > I prefer powdered bay leaf.


    I tend to crush them immediately before adding to the cooking pot. No
    need to remove the crunchy leaf later that way.

  19. #19
    Nunya Bidnits Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    > In article <jv6rn6$dtg$[email protected]>, nunyabidnits@eternal-
    > september.invalid says...
    >>
    >> Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic;
    >>> men used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.

    >>
    >> My father used to always keep St. John's Bay Rum. It was a cologne,
    >> not a hair dressing, and it was not oily at all.

    >
    > Don't tell me he missed out on the co-ordinating hair oil!
    >
    >
    > http://www.traditionalshaving.co.uk/...raditionalshav
    > ing/_DRH-HAI-BAY-O/382318/Bay-Rum-Hair-Lotion-With-Oil
    >
    > Janet


    I guess he did! He always used Brylcreem .



  20. #20
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Bay leaves

    On Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:56:16 -0500, "Nunya Bidnits"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> In article <jv6rn6$dtg$[email protected]>, nunyabidnits@eternal-
    >> september.invalid says...
    >>>
    >>> Janet <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Nothing like them. Bay smells slightly sweet and spicily aromatic;
    >>>> men used to use a hair oil called Bay Rum.
    >>>
    >>> My father used to always keep St. John's Bay Rum. It was a cologne,
    >>> not a hair dressing, and it was not oily at all.

    >>
    >> Don't tell me he missed out on the co-ordinating hair oil!
    >>
    >>
    >> http://www.traditionalshaving.co.uk/...raditionalshav
    >> ing/_DRH-HAI-BAY-O/382318/Bay-Rum-Hair-Lotion-With-Oil
    >>
    >> Janet

    >
    >I guess he did! He always used Brylcreem .


    Much better:
    http://insideflipside.com/images/hop...ir%20tonic.jpg

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