Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Herbs from Your Garden in a Bottle

Bottles and bottles of fresh-dried herbs for recipes, gifts, and just because they smell so good!

Here it is approaching late October--and many of my herbs in the garden still look gorgeous. It's hard just to surrender them to the first bite of frost--I always gather the last bouquets, but they won't get me through an herbless winter. Then, I saw a Facebook status from a friend who was drying his basil. Great idea! I dug out my old food dehydrator, and decided to try it.
Most herbs can be dried right on the stem--pretty easy.
I set the dehydrator at 105 degrees, filled the trays with fresh basil and parsley, and let it go!

About five hours later, the parsley was dried, brittle, yet  very green. You want it completely dry so there is no chance for nasty little bacteria to grow in your lovely herb bottle.

I found some tall pretty herb bottles I had bought years ago--embarrassed to say those herbs were still in them! So I emptied them, washed them clean, and dried them well. They were now ready to fill with my own fragrant, fresh-dried herbs.
I actually left the parsley tag on the parsley bottle. Once I crumbled in the dried parsley, using a funnel and skewer--it was bright, green and gorgeous! Exactly the result I wanted. In the meantime, the basil was taking a long time to dry--in the end, it was over eight hours when I finally called it a day for the basil. I didn't feel like it was as successful, but I did get some nice dry basil herbs out of it.
Last basket from the garden
Overall, I'm very happy with this idea, so next on my list is my English Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Garlic Chives, Sundried Tomatoes, and of course, more of that gorgeous flat leaf Parsley!

Eat, Write, Dream (of dried herbs), Stitch!

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