Each week The Advocate asks a different “quiz taker” for his or her current favorites in pop culture.
QUIZ TAKER: Sarah Liberta, 71, retired English instructor, culinary herbalist, owner of HERBS by Sarah, instructor at LSU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: “My favorites are the classic American standards — Broadway shows and pop song books from the Gershwins, Kern, Rogers and Hammerstein, Sondheim and others.”
WHAT I’M READING: “‘Louisiana Cookin’ and ‘The Essential Herbal Magazine,’ lots of great cookbooks and herbals, Susan Albert’s China Bayles herb mysteries. I started reading The Advocate when I was about 4 and still enjoy it daily.”
WHAT I’M WATCHING: “The Food Network and the Cooking Channel, ‘Masterpiece Mystery’ and classics on PBS (waiting impatiently for the return of ‘Downton Abbey’), old musicals, mysteries, and romantic comedies on Turner Classic Movies, any film with Meryl Streep.”
WHERE I’M SURFING (ON THE INTERNET): “Baton Rouge Business Report’s Daily Report and 225 Dine, The Essential Herbal blog, http://www.longcreekherbs.com, and http://www.herbcompanion.com.”
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? “I love really tart, make-your-mouth-pucker lemon curd with cake or scones. I learned to make it in the microwave a few years ago, and it’s now a staple in my fridge.”
What is your favorite herb plant? Why?
e_SDLq Lemon verbena, which is native to Peru. It grows well here. It has an interesting leaf pattern and texture as well as the most divine sweet, clean, exhilarating lemon scent. I often wear a sprig of it in a tiny glass vase on my shoulder. Best of all, the fragrance lasts and lasts, as in the 200-year-old potpourri I read about.”
EVENT INFORMATION: Liberta will teach Mediterranean Herbs for Use and for Delight, a six-week course for LSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Sept. 27 to Nov. 1. Register by Sept. 21. For information, go to http://www.outreach.lsu.edu/OLLI.
Advocate staff writer