Sunday, September 29, 2013

Harvesting Garden Herbs For The Winter

Fall Harvest
I've been busy getting my house ready for Fall. 
A few weekends ago I cut down the potted herbs on my deck and began the process of prepping them for freezing. 
I had a beautiful assortment of herbs this summer along with my tomato, jalapeno pepper and lavender plants.  Instead of flowers on my deck I grew tarragon, sage, lemon sage, rosemary, mint, apple mint, oregano, basil, dill, chives,  cilantro, parsley and hot and spicy oregano. The only good thing about the rain this summer was I rarely had to water. 
After the herbs were cut and the best leaves were selected, I soaked them in separate bowls.  Then I washed and washed until not a particle of dirt was left.  I individually washed some of the larger leaves like the sage. 
I always keep some large towels in my laundry room.  They come in handy for lots of kitchen chores.  I spread out all the herbs to dry.  Every now and then throughout the day I moved and turned them so they dried evenly.
When the herbs were completely dry I put them in bundles on the counter.  I mixed a few together like the mint, oregano, sage, etc. because I combined them in recipes all summer.  The flavors compliment each other. 

Lastly the herbs were packaged in freezer bags and labeled making sure to let the air out of the bags before sealing. The jalapeno peppers were washed, dried and placed in the bags whole. 


Last week I picked some of the last tomatoes from my pots.  We used the frozen cilantro and jalapeno peppers for salsa and it was really good.  Over the winter when it gets too cold to grill, I'll use the rosemary, sage and tarragon to season pork tenderloin which is stuffed with apples and onions. The recipe is coming soon!  Instead of butter, I use chives with sour cream for sweet potatoes .  Parsley goes so fast I can never keep enough of it in my freezer.  These herbs won't last through the winter but I love having them in my house when I need them instead of forgetting to buy them!

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