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It's About Thyme

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Ted Richards

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It's About Thyme

by Ted Richards » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:11 pm

Sorry for the title :D

I have a question about destemming thyme. I use fresh thyme a lot and I find that taking the leaves off is very time-consuming and fiddly, and I usually end up with some of the stems in the mix.

Has anyone figured out an easy method for doing it (doing thyme?).
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: It's About Thyme

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:56 pm

When you pick Thyme, snip off long, single stems. Grasp the uncut end, and pull backward toward the cut end. Leaves come right off. Takes no time at all to get what you need. If you have more time, cut a multiple stemmed section and just separate them, then proceed as above. Lately, I have seen recipes that call for putting the entire stem into the dish. I find it more work to pick it out later. Sometimes the leaves fall off during cooking, sometimes not.
When I cut my Thyme I try to cut down near the root. If you cut too far up, that cut stem will branch out multiple stems.
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Re: It's About Thyme

by Ted Richards » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:33 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:When you pick Thyme, snip off long, single stems. Grasp the uncut end, and pull backward toward the cut end. Leaves come right off. Takes no time at all to get what you need. If you have more time, cut a multiple stemmed section and just separate them, then proceed as above. Lately, I have seen recipes that call for putting the entire stem into the dish. I find it more work to pick it out later. Sometimes the leaves fall off during cooking, sometimes not.
When I cut my Thyme I try to cut down near the root. If you cut too far up, that cut stem will branch out multiple stems.


Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately, for the time being I have to rely on purchased thyme, since my home grown has not done well lately. I use the pulling backward technique, but the organic thyme I have been buying has thin stems so that the I'm more likely to break off the stem rather than removing the leaves. I'm really glad to see a recipe that uses whole time sprigs, since I don't have to fiddle with the leaves. Maybe I just need to find someone who sells thyme with more robust stems.
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: It's About Thyme

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:47 pm

If the stems are so fine then just chop them fine; no one will notice. (Did I say that???) :twisted:
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Re: It's About Thyme

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:04 pm

I also chop the stems when they are green and fine...no problem. Sometimes I've even done it with the heavier stem.....once cooked it mixes right in with the food.
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Re: It's About Thyme

by Jenise » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:13 pm

Ted Richards wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:When you pick Thyme, snip off long, single stems. Grasp the uncut end, and pull backward toward the cut end. Leaves come right off. Takes no time at all to get what you need. If you have more time, cut a multiple stemmed section and just separate them, then proceed as above. Lately, I have seen recipes that call for putting the entire stem into the dish. I find it more work to pick it out later. Sometimes the leaves fall off during cooking, sometimes not.
When I cut my Thyme I try to cut down near the root. If you cut too far up, that cut stem will branch out multiple stems.


Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately, for the time being I have to rely on purchased thyme, since my home grown has not done well lately. I use the pulling backward technique, but the organic thyme I have been buying has thin stems so that the I'm more likely to break off the stem rather than removing the leaves. I'm really glad to see a recipe that uses whole time sprigs, since I don't have to fiddle with the leaves. Maybe I just need to find someone who sells thyme with more robust stems.


Right, the leaves don't always come off so clean. I only remove the leaves for fresh applications; in braises I always use whole stems--the thyme I grow sheds the leaves easily during cooking and fishing out a twig later is dead easy.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Frank Deis

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Re: It's About Thyme

by Frank Deis » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:01 am

What Julia Child would say is -- make a bouquet garni, wrap it in cheesecloth with a string around it, and there's no fiddly stuff.

I am in my sixties but we sometimes go biking with friends about our age along the Delaware canal towpath.

Staying at Hotel du Village, we had a leek and potato soup with "too much thyme." That isn't what it was called but it is a fair description. I learned that for me, "too much thyme" is just about right, and I went home and more or less duplicated the soup. It is worth a try if you are a thyme lover. This was not pureed. Lumpy potato chunks, naturally the leeks dissolve, and the thyme flavor is there, brassy and brilliant.

My neighbors went to a famous restaurant in France where EVERYTHING had "too much thyme" including dessert. I'll have to write and ask them the name.

PS Bernard Loiseau -- tragically, he committed suicide. Could not see his own success. Google his name and find many recipes which include "Thym"

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