As the summer growing season is winding down, our minds are turning to the winter. We had canning and winter eating in mind when we planted our garden. Unfortunately, not everything worked out for us this summer. So we don’t have a lot to put up. We ate most of what actually grew. And it was goooood so no regrets. But we’re trying to preserve what we can. Right now I’m focusing on my herbs.
I’m sure you know of the many ways to preserve herbs. You can hang them to dry, or put them in a paper bag. You can grind them from fresh, mix with a bit of oil, and then freeze them in cubes. Or you can do what I’ve decided to do, and that is to dry them in the fridge. This method simply requires that you snip the herbs from the plant and layer them in a dish with a wet paper towel between each layer. Allow them to stay in the fridge until they are completely dry – about 3 weeks. I have loved this no-nonsense/no-supervision required approach.
That’s oregano, basil, and rosemary drying. Can’t wait to use the rosemary with my Thanksgiving turkey!!
The fun part is that I discovered a large supply of herb jars at my local thrift store that I purchased for just such a time as this. All I had to do was pull the leaves from the stems once the herbs were dry and put it in my jars.
Aren’t they cute? One more item in my pantry that came straight from my homestead. It’s a good day!
I also made myself some pesto out of the abundance of basil we had. Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts. I love pine nuts! I do not love their price. They blow my budget. So I found this recipe for Basil Walnut Pesto (click on the picture below to go to my Pinterest pin) and, after a test round a couple of weeks ago, decided to make as much of this as I could.
I’m making large batches and then freezing it in ice-cube trays to pre-portion it.
If you have eaten pesto then you know that a little goes a long way, so these small cubes will last me most of the winter, I would suspect! Just in time to start growing my new batch of herbs next year!
In all, I would consider my herb garden to be the most successful part of this year’s growing season. Can’t wait to enjoy the dry herbs through the winter months, and I’m looking forward to planting even more next year.
We’re happy homesteading!