Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bringing in the Herbs – November 17, 2012

We are headed off for a week out of town.  We’ll be away from work and house projects (although I’ve packed a blender to make pumpkin butter and plan to have a great resulting blog) so the raking won’t happen for another week.  The one project did take a few minutes to perform though, was bringing in the herbs.

I would love to grow more herbs, especially dill, so that will be a project for the Spring.  For now, we just have Lavender, Rosemary, Chives, Mint, Oregano and Basil.  I don’t do anything for the first three.  I use them as I like during the summer and then let die during the winter and wait for them to come back.  My response to Mint and Oregano is similar, but I want to save some of those herbs to have through the winter.  You can find lots of recipes for blending these herbs (as well as others) into a paste and freezing in ice cube trays.  I find that to be alt to work and to take away a good deal of the flavor of the herbs due to all that crushing.  Instead, I just pick all the healthy leaves I can find before the first big freeze, wash and air dry them and then stack in a zip lock bag with a label in the freezer.  I can just pull out the bag and remove as many leaves as I need for a recipe.

The hardest is the Basil.  Basil is not meant to winter through in Kentucky, but I have started to make it a winter house plant.  I cut the plant back to the first set of leaves and pot it and bring it in.  It doesn’t look great most of the winter, but for the last five years, it has come back better each year in the Spring.  I’m sure you could do this with other woody stemmed herbs as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with lots of lovely fresh herbs.  We are traveling with a 23 pound locally raised turkey that is sure to end as a great story and I am making the Brussels Sprout’s from a previous blog.  Whatever you have, enjoy!

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