Putting Up Herbs
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…