Dill Seed is that quiet, yet invaluable friend you've got. Who knows what you might have without him; the one who barely seems to talk but has probably have so much to share. Dill probably seems to have his little finger in most pies, but just never mentions it. At least in seedstock shortages you probably already know about dill seed mostly from its usage in pickles.

Dilling seed is a common practice in the southern United States, where young shoots of the plant are rubbed off on breads and other grain products, or dipped into glazed dough to dress them. Although there's no need to use dill weed as a cooking ingredient, many do, simply because of its taste. I don't mind the taste. In fact, I occasionally mix it with spices to make my own "jerk bread." If you're looking for a good way to add a little something unique to a dish, try blending dill weed and flour together to make a great addition to your next sandwich or salad.

But dill seed isn't just for pickles and fish dishes. It can be used liberally in a variety of soups, stews, sauces, and salad dressings. It provides a flavor all its own when mixed in with other ingredients. And it pairs wonderfully with fruit in jams and jellies. Don't limit yourself to using dill seed in savory dishes. You can certainly use it in a number of sweet dishes as well.

To make a good cocktail dress, simply grind two tablespoons of dill seed, a couple of tablespoons of dried thyme, and a couple of tablespoons of cracked black pepper. Then simply shake it over the cocktail glass and gently fill the glass with ice water. If you'd like a thicker drink, substitute the oil for grapefruit seed oil, which has a fuller-tasting nature. I prefer the latter.

Uses of dill seeds

Diced dill seeds are excellent in vegetable dishes. They pair beautifully with cabbages, carrots, celery, and green beans. Sprinkle some salt and pepper flakes into the seeds, and stir until they form a paste. Then add them to soups, or to cooked vegetables. They'll preserve the natural color and flavor of the vegetables.

If you're concerned about the caliber of the Dill you get from the supermarket, don't be. Commonly sold as pickles, Dill seeds are actually a variety of C diversifolia, a vine that prefers dry fields and hillsides. To grow them, the plants need to be kept under the shade of a tall tree. They like the sun but will do well if you relocate your garden to a place with a milder climate. The best places to grow them are in fields or beside a fence, since they can handle the cold weather when they're in the ground.

Keep your Dill Seed fresh by keeping them in your refrigerator. It is much better to store them in a cool, dark, well-drained soil. This will help keep the seeds from becoming moldy. However, you should keep your Dill Seed on the warmer side of your refrigerator; just don't leave them in the seed's basket. The flowers will become moldy in this case.

You can make your own Dill Weed by trimming and removing any tall, old, diseased or damaged flower heads, then discarding the young ones that have not flowered. Place the stems in a large plastic container and add an equal amount of rock salt (or table salt). The newly plucked stems should be covered with a damp cloth before the salt solution dries. For the Dill Root, boil a handful of chopped dill, cleaned and sterilized, in three cups of water for about five minutes. Strain the liquid after five minutes and store it in a sealed container.