Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Herbal Preservation.

After a couple months of swaying in the window, bound in twine and filling the house with sweet herbaceous aromas I finally decided it was time to process the dried herbs we harvested as the winter frost approached. Ive been trimming bits and pieces for cooking almost everyday leaving a mess on the windowsill and after searching high and low for a gently used shaker without any luck. I turned to a big box store during the holiday shopping season and picked some up as a gift to ourselves.

I gently unbound the bunches of thyme, oregano, sage, savory and marjoram.

I used a big strainer with a bowl underneath to help sift out the stems as I carefully ran my fingers along the stems and crushed and flaked the pungent flavors from their dormant dried state.

The final consistency turned out to be a bit of powder, flakes and specs. I mixed them all together as I felt like 99% of the time I used bits of all varieties in the dishes.
Consider it an all purpose seasoning blend.

Some of the leftover stems were bound and tossed into the fire to sweeten the chimney and then after chewing on one I had an idea and luckily just enough maine pressed sunflower oil to make it happen.

I stuffed an empty jar with the remaining stems and filled it to the brim with the sunflower oil to let it infuse the oil for future cooking applications.

Im sure this would be delicious as a dipping oil with some fresh bread... Ill keep you posted how it turns out.

Not a bad final spread considering how much use we already got out of the hanging herbs as well as all the tremendous trimmings I got from the garden this past summer. I plan on expanding our herb selection quite a bit over the next few years and hope that all the current ones make a return come spring. We still have a good amount of lemon balm and cat nip hanging for another winter project as well.

Till next project.

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