Went down to Garden District this morning to grab some herbs for the garden, or at least for some pots that sit out back. I got rosemary, sage, tarragon, dill, and fennel. They didn't have any basil. Rosemary, tarragon, and dill I already know what to do with. I got the sage and the fennel to force myself to branch out. After all, if you take all spring to nurture these plants to fullness, it'd be a shame not to use them. I put them all in pots that I can keep on the back deck, because one year we planted the back flowerbed with basil and had a great time eating loads and loads of pesto until one night we watched rat after rat after rat using the basil patch for both a hiding spot and a shortcut between the alley and the fence. Sure, they didn't touch the higher leaves, but it was unappetizing nevertheless.
I'm looking forward to a nice late spring and all-summer-long buffet of fresh herbs. Since I'm too cheap to buy the 2 dollar rip off packs they sell in supermarkets of fresh herbs, I have relied on dried ones all winter long (except for a few purchases of fresh basil).
Speaking of rats, recently I tried to trap a few. I had an old rat trap that was just lying out back over the winter, so it had been well-seasoned by the elements to appear as just another part of the wonder that is urban nature. One night after grilling some chicken I tore off a bit and put it on the trap and set the trap along a known rat path. About two hours later I returned to find an empty sprung trap. I figured some rat got lucky. Well a week or two later, I was grilling some salmon and I saved a little nice grilled salmon skin for the trap. Again, I returned after two hours to find the trap sprung and empty. I feel like I'm dealing with Samuel Whiskers or some such Beatrix Potter rodent that can counteract my every move. I have thrown the trap away. This round, at least, goes to the rat.