Friday, July 27, 2012

Herb Harvest

It's the tomato time of the year, friends! It's amazing how you put something in the ground, water it and make sure the sun kisses it, and you get food! I'll never get over it, and I wish more people knew how great it is to eat what you grow.

Anyways, we've already picked about 25 pounds of tomatoes this season, even with only a few rainstorms (my goodness, it's been dry here!). I've already been cracking on tomato sauce. Tonight's dinner will use the first of two batches. The other batch I froze in a plastic baggie. It's amazing how much less space I have in the freezer now that there's no meat to be frozen.

In preparing the sauce for dinner, I ran out of oregano. I remembered I had some out in the garden that I planted last year, and it came back. I decided to go grab as much of it as I could and dry it out to use tonight.

It's amazing how much oregano you can pick and how little you actually have once you dry it out and crumple it up!

All I did was preheat the oven to around 300°F and grabbed a baking sheet. I also laid out some parchment paper. I admit, I'm addicted to parchment paper. I use it almost every time I use my baking sheet. You don't actually have to use parchment paper, unless you want to be a kooky weirdo like me. :)

Spread out your herbs on the sheet so they're fairly uniform across the sheet and not all piled up on themselves. Stick them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until they're crispy and crumbly when you check on them. Be careful, it shouldn't take more than a few minutes at 300°F!

Once they're dry and crumbly, I just crunch them down and put them in a pill bottle to place back on my fridge. It should last me a couple of months, but I plan to do more cutting and drying soon enough.

I also have a predatory sweet mint plant next to the oregano out there that I plan to dry for teas. (Why didn't anyone tell me sweet mint is so aggressive, sigh, I'm a fool). I'm thinking about looking into some plants that I can make tea with, but I'm not sure where to even look for something native. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments, will you? :)

I hope you're all having a wonderful season and that you're enjoying the over-abundance of sunshine. We were up in Maine a few days ago and we noticed some of the leaves on the trees think it's early fall already.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Mint is crazy, but lemon balm is even more invasive - don't let it anywhere near your garden or it will spring up everywhere within a year (even on the opposite side of the garden!).