The New Home Economics

Drying herbs

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This weekend I finished processing all of the herbs that I put up to dry in September.  They were definitely dry now, and we had just run out of rosemary, so timing was good.  A quick how-to:

Here’s what my rosemary looked like when I picked it in September.  I washed the herbs, let them air dry for a couple hours, then hung them upside down inside paper bags from the liquor store.  The paper bag is nice because it keeps the dust off in case you don’t, uh, get around to processing the herbs right away.  It also catches any leaves that might fall off.

With most herbs, you just manually pull the leaves off the stalks, but thyme is slightly trickier because the leaves are so tiny.  So here’s what I do:

Roll it around in your hands over the top of a bowl with a mesh strainer in it.

Shake the strainer to get the leaves out.  You may have to still pull some of the tiniest twigs out by hand.

There you have it, my herb harvest for 2010.  Left to right: thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage x2, tarragon, and raspberry leaves (for tea).  Herbs are super easy to grow, and both thyme and oregano are perennials here in Minnesota.  Not sure about tarragon or sage.  Rosemary is most definitely NOT perennial.  I only planted one plant each of tarragon, sage, and rosemary, but the sage got absolutely huge.  And, as if all this wasn’t exciting enough: oregano attracts beneficial predator insects to your garden.

Adam was the most excited to see this entire PINT JAR of thyme, his favorite herb.  Think it will last until next year?  We’ll see.  It really only has to last until spring when the 14 thyme plants in our flower bed get going again.

Rosemary is my personal favorite herb, and my rosemary pint was only slightly more than half full.  To do for 2011: two rosemary plants.

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