September 29th, 2010

I should probably tell you to gather your herbs before the nights get too close to frost. Many herbs are native to a mediteranean (temperate) climate. They can’t take much cold and wilt at the first sign of crispness. One way I could stretch my herb harvest is to bring the pots I have herbs planted in inside at night, but I’m (once again) too lazy and my pot is large. I’ll have to harvest what I have.

I’ve already taken a few handfuls of oregano in to dry. I set the pile on a plate in the dark cupboard and left it there for a couple days til it was crispy the pulled off the tough stems from the crumbly leaves, poured what was left on a piece of paper and used that as a funnel to put in a recycled glass spice jar. My favorite spices are the Wild Organic – not just because they are good spices (great ground pepper) but because the glass jars are great to reuse. Unlike plastic spice jars, glass ones don’t absorb odors that can taint new spices.

I’ve also been meaning to get some pesto made – I have all the ingredients, just haven’t gotten it done. My basic is: basil, garlic, salt, walnuts (cheaper than pine nuts), lemon, olive oil. Put in a food processor or good blender til pulpy or finer then place in ice  cube trays to freeze portions. Later, when using it you can add the parmesan, the pesto keeps longer if you don’t have cheese in the mix. This type of process can be used for fresh-tasting herbs. You can even suspend fresh herbs in water and freeze in trays for use in soups and sauces too.

Also good – collect mint, lemon balm for teas (thanks LadyBug!).

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