We planted a ton of herbs in the spring... they are all up now in full force, and after eating salad 10 days in a row now, I have come to accept that I can not eat it all. My family and neighbours all have buckets full, but it just keeps growing! Terry is in Labrador working and I want him to be able to taste these goodies when he returns. I've made it my mission this week to be able to save the herbs along with their delicious taste. Here's what I have done so far:
Dill: I've picked a bunch of the dill before it has flowered. Chopped it into usable portions (enough for a salad or batch of tzatziki), placed it in ziplock bags, sucked the air out with a straw and put them in the freezer. I'll place these in a Tupperware container in the deepfreeze to keep them all together and protect them further.
Cilantro: picked before flowering. Collected the most beautiful bunches and put them in the food processor with a drizzle of olive oil. I then scooped these into a silicone tray and popped it into the freezer until it was hardened. Took out the discs and placed them into bags, sucked the air out and returned them to the freezer. These will also be placed in Tupperware before moving to the deepfreeze.
Parsley: Same method as cilantro and carefully labelled so they don't get mixed up!
Kale: This one was tough because I won't be able to use it in a salad after... but I will still be able to get the nutrients! I plan on using this in smoothies mainly. I picked and chopped the leaves. The shoots were still quite tender so I used them as well. I put them into a pot of boiling water for 2 mins, then transferred them to an ice bath. Used a salad spinner to get the excess water off. With the help of some little hands, pressed the greens into an ice cube tray and placed in the freezer until they were frozen (about an hour). Transferred into a bag and placed back in the freezer to store.
Beet greens: Same process as the kale. My beets are not ready for harvest but I have snipped a green off of each beet so that they are tender for smoothies.
Oregano: This was an easy one. I like oregano dried better than fresh anyway! I snipped this before before flowers appeared. I placed some bunches together and used a twist tie to secure them. Then hung them to dry. Once dry I will place in an airtight container to use all winter long!
Thyme: I have both regular and a lemon thyme growing this year.
I harvested some of the lemon thyme as it has already flowered. The other was started new from seed this year so it's a bit behind. I haven't noticed a drastic change in flavour since the plant has flowered so I am hoping I didn't miss the ball on this one. I'll watch the other plant a little closer as it grows! For these I have laid them flat on a cotton cloth to dry, out of direct sunlight. They look just about dry now (about 4 days) so I will place these in an airtight container to keep them dry and clean.