Harvest in the morning of a hot and dry day--wait until the dew
Snip off the top growth--about 6 inches of stem below the flower
If the leaves are clean, don't wash them--oils are lost in the
process. If they are dusty, wash briefly under cold
Shake off excess water and hang the herbs, tied in small bunches,
sun until the water evaporates.
Hang the bunches (upside down) in a warm, dry place that is well
and free from strong light. To prevent dust from
them in a brown paper bag that you've punched some holes in to
If you don't hang them up, remove the stems and dry them on
window screens covered with clear sheeting or cheesecloth, or
even on a
You can also dry herbs in a food dryer. For the best
temperature in the dryer should stay under 105 degrees F.
Leaves may be crushed before they are stored away, but they
oils better if they are kept whole and crushed right before they
Herbs should be stored in a cool place, out of strong light,
dark glass jars, in tins, or behind cabinet e-mail box every Fridays. It's
out after a year and restock with new ones.
Blanch herbs before freezing them. Hold them by their stems
tongs and dip them in boiling water briefly, swishing them around
When their color brightens, remove them from the water.
with towels. Remove the stems, chop if you wish, or leave
whole. Lay the dried herbs out in a single layer on wax
roll or fold the paper so there is a layer of paper separating
of herbs. Then pack, paper and all, in freezer bags or wrap
plastic wrap. To use, break off as much as you need and use
You can also thaw them out in the refrigerator--they will keep
You can freeze individual portions of herbs by making ice cubes
them. Prepare your herbs by removing the stems and
then pack them into ice cube trays. Cover with boiling
blanch them) and freeze. When frozen, remove the cubes from
and store in freezer bags.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home
decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative
Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com
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