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Putting Up Herbs

September 13, 2010

Laura’s Blog Entry

Today I cut some herbs because we are frightfully low on the dried varieties. Totally out of oregano, barely any parsley. As we near soup-making season, it’s time to restock the pantry with these necessities.

Drying your own herbs is so simple. They taste better and fresher than the ones that have been sitting in a warehouse for heaven know how long, were sprayed with who know what chemicals and traveled a bazillion miles in a truck spewing nastiness into the atmosphere. [Whew. That was some kinda neo-hippie, tree-hugging, mother-earth rant, huh?]

Truth be told, I do it mostly for the taste and to save money.

Basically I give them a good dunk in a large container of water, let them drain a bit in a colander, then dry them slightly in a clean kitchen towel. Then I spread them in an even layer – still on the stems – and bake in a 200 degree oven until they are nice and dry. The house smells delicious as they are drying.

Then I pull them off the stems and if I am extra industrious I crumple them by hand a bit as I put them into a jar. You can always crush them when you are measuring them out for a recipe. Or chuck them in the food processor and give them a whirl.

I store them in recycled spice jars and in these nifty little Weck canning jars. Aren’t they the cutest? Very French looking. Let’s face it; the only canning I’ve ever done was some strawberry jam when I was a child. My Grandmother had gotten a canning kit as a gift. She wasn’t thrilled about doing it, but I remember begging and begging her to let me help. I was excited about the result and have always wanted to try it again. Hence the purchase of the jars, that have so far only been used for herbs.

Perhaps next year? We shall see…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 3:05 pm

    Great idea with the herbs. I never thought to dry them and store them.

    I grew up in a family that grew and canned their own stuff. It’s a lot of work so I was never interested when I became an adult on my own. I did find out about freezer jam though. No hassle using pectin mixed into the berries and sugar then throw in the freezer in small disposable containers. Done.

    • September 13, 2010 4:21 pm

      Hi Zig! Yeah the amount of work is so daunting. I am drawn to it tho due to my lack of freezer space. I made a frozen applesauce last fall, but I can’t really fit in anything else. I dream of all those pretty jars lined up, but maybe someone else can just do it for me!

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