Thursday, October 6, 2011

Herb Drying Made E-Z (Weather, Or Not)

Fresh herbs never go to waste at my house. What doesn't get used right away, usually gets hung to dry so I can use them throughout the year. Sometimes there's too much humidity in the air though (or not enough patience). Other times, I'll just have a handful of herbs to dry, not really enough to tie into a bundle. That's when hang-drying may not be the best or fastest route. And that's when I utilize this nifty trick. I happened upon it purely by accident, but it works so well I wanted to share it with you...

My Super E-Z Herb Drying Instructions:
  1. Lay the herbs in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Place baking sheet in oven before you go to bed.
  3. Turn oven light on.
  4. Go to bed.
  5. In the morning, check herbs. If they're crumbly-dry... you're done! Put them in an air-tight container and store them someplace dark, dry, and cool. 
If the herbs are still a bit bendy, repeat the steps (leave them in for another eight hours or so) until they are completely dry. Any residual moisture can turn into mildew/mold... and we don't want that. Store them in an airtight container away from heat and direct light. Crush them, crumble them, or grind them as needed throughout the year.

Sing A Song Of Herbs
Every time I rattle off the names of my favorite herbs, I think of the song Scarborough Fair. Am I alone? Please tell me someone else does this! "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme"... are you humming it? Last summer I started learning it on my ukulele

It might have had something to do with the fact that I had more than a dozen shrubs-ful of lavender and rosemary hanging to dry in my garage... kind of a scented subliminal suggestion. Well, once I got the basic chords to the song down, I wanted to practice along with the Simon & Garfunkel version. That's how I found this little gem of a video from 1968: Simon & Garfunkel with Andy Williams. What a gorgeous blend of voices.

Would this be a good time to tell you that I have a rather extensive Andy Williams record collection?
No, I'd better not. It might freak you out. Another thyme maybe?
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