A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Herbs are starting to pop up in gardens and show up in markets.  Using fresh herbs is always preferable to dry herbs in dishes for true and fresh flavor.  Of course, you'll want to dry or freeze some for the winter as well.

To Dry:  Get brown paper bags (lunch size); poke holes in sides all around (not bottom), hold bunch of herbs upside down and insert in bag;  tie top of bag with an inch or so of stem sticking out of top; hang in cool, dry place.  As herbs dry, they will collect in the bottom of the bag.  Put in jar and store in cool, dry place.
To Freeze:  Wash herbs and pat dry with towel or dry in salad spinner.  Wrap individual bunches of herbs in papertoweling or cloth rags (I use older cloth napkins for this).  Wrap rubber band around bundle and label.  Store all in a large ziploc freezer bag.  Note:  store mint separately or all your herbs will have a minty flavor.

Now, towards Spring time, if you still have leftover herbs in the freezer; put them all in a pot (except mint), add some water to cover 2-4 inches above herbs and slowly cook down until herbs are exposed.  You have herb broth!  Cool and freeze.  I freeze this in ice cube trays and then transfer to a ziploc freezer bag.  They're great for adding to rice water, soups, marinades, gravies, pan juices...  

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