Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's That Hanging in the Window?

Our garden is being good to us. Already this week we've eaten greens, tomatoes, carrots and squash pulled right from the ground. Looks like the zucchini will be ready to start eating by the end of the week, and maybe some eggplants the week after.  I can't describe how satisfying it is to eat something that you grew, or to be able to plan your dinners around what's ripening. Our herb garden has also been quite generous. So generous in fact, our cilantro got so big it went to seed and we had to pull it up. We affectionately called it our cilantro tree. Anyway, our parsley seems like it will soon be following suit. After an herb flowers, the leaves can be bitter and woody. I missed my chance with the cilantro but I intend to put up some of the parsley for a rainy day.

And how exactly should I go about doing just that? I've never dried herbs before. I read about oven drying but I don't really want to waste the electricity to dry some parsley. I don't have a dehydrator and again, I don't want to gear up a major appliance for a bit of parsley. So I'm going to do it the old fashioned way, the way Laura Ingalls Wilder described her Ma drying herbs ( I love that series. I've read it multiple times!) I'm going to tie it up with twine and hang it in my window.

Technically, I don't have twine. I have utility cord pilfered from my husband's tool box.  It's yellow and gaudy but it will work. Some websites suggested I tie a paper bag around the herb before hanging it to keep off dust and catch any leaves that may fall prematurely but I don't have any paper bags and neither did Ma Ingalls so I'll take my chances with dust bunnies and the renegade leaves. The process was quite simple really. I cut the herbs, arranged them in small bundles, tied them with cord and hung them from my curtain rod in my kitchen window where they will hang for approximately two weeks, give or take. Hopefully, barring mold or bug related catastrophes, I should have some lovely dried parsley to use at my whim when that parsley bush finally does go to seed. And, depending on how this goes, I'll soon try this method with the other herbs growing in my garden. Except the dill. I don't want my house to smell like a pickle!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! that is so decorative and you'll love having fresh herbs to use!