garden, gardening, grateful, Uncategorized

winter’s coming

Years ago, our youngest was listening to a librarian read a story during children’s time.  I was wondering around, just enjoying my “alone” time.  I came across this half cut view of an ant hill.  Like a doll house only it was an ant hill?  It was amazingly detailed work and while hilarious, funny thing, I remember much about it 28 years later.

There were little ants gathering wood, packing in food, making miniature beds with micro mini pillows, the tiniest washer and dryer with stacks of clean laundry    (haha, still makes me giggle)   and the smallest jars I ever did see…..filled with all sorts of food storage for the winter.  There was a string, strung across a keeping room with all sorts of herbs drying.

The hanging sign was a warning:  Winter’s Coming!  Be prepared.  Only the foolish folks and apparently ants, would not prepare for the cold, dark months ahead.

My herb garden is overflowing and full and ripe for the pickin’.  I am mighty grateful for the bountiful harvest.  I want to capture it and savor it all winter long.  I want to feed my family and offer rich, deep flavors all through the dark months ahead.

Today, is day 3 of drying herbs. 20160913_102501-1_resized

Two days ago, I filled the dehydrator with parsley.  I mean filled to overflowing.  I ended up with one 6 inch spice jar.

20160912_112906-1_resizedYesterday, I filled to overflowing the dehydrator with Sage.  Once dry, its yield was one 6 inch spice jar. 20160912_143409_resized

I am guessing today’s Rosemary yield will be similar.

I plan on keeping this process up for another couple weeks.  Pick, wash, dehydrate, store, repeat.

Oh, the aroma in our home is out of this world amazing.  So rich, earthy, deep it makes me want to bake, cook, roast …….I think this is what kitchens are supposed to smell like.

Here’s how I go about it:

I pick the herbs in the early morning.  I wash well and remove stems.  Load up the dehydrator and turn it on.  3 -6 hours later, I remove, crush or rub onto a piece of wax paper and then scoop up and place in a jar.  I share or store.

Something tells me, on a dreary, cold, uninspired late day in January, I will be thrilled to 20160913_103602_resizedadd some of my own herbs to a warm pot of soup.  Or will be tickled to smell these wonderful herbs releasing their aroma in some of my home-made tomato sauce.

In this together, friends.

Here’s to our health and wellness this winter!20160912_143139-1_resized

Chat soon.

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “winter’s coming”

  1. And this is why I grow as many as I can in smaller pots on my windowsill; winter food is so much better when you can add your own herbs to it!
    Also the rosemary stems make brilliant kebab/skewer sticks for lamb, especially on the BBQ. Nom nom.

    1. Yes.
      I cut it when just fully bloomed. I wrap a large hand full with a rubber band. Then I unfold a paper clip. I hook the paper clip to the rubber band and hand upside down to dry. In a shed, in the house, storage room, I usually dry it outside for a day or two.
      Once completely dry, then I can use right side up again.
      At the end of a year or so, I gather up all the dried bouquets put them them into a large zip loc bag. then I crush them off the stems. I use that for filling sachets and little pillows.
      D

      1. My stems have been clipped and are pretty dry. Do you snip the flowers off the top? Last year I just kept a dried lavender bouquet in a mason jar for a nice aromatic. This year I’m thinking about what I can do with the flowers. I’d love to try and make a sachet.

      2. Gentle suggestion: Rubber band the entire big bouquets and hang upside down. All the moisture goes to the flowers. Then they can dry completely, not mold or mildew. The rubber band tightens as they dry and the flower stems won’t slip out. Then after 3 months or so, you can either turn back up right and use in a bouquet, hot glue stems into a wreath or take the flowers off for a sachet. Remember, you don’t have to sew a sachet. You can gather an antique handkerchief and tie with a ribbon.
        Hope this helps.

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