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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Putting up Herbs

It's that time of year. The "putting up" time. I don't can or put up veggies since I don't have a garden. But I do plant herbs every year and they produce enough to enjoy now and then later.

Our house is an older home, which was built by an architect for himself. One of the things I love is the outside door in the kitchen. I'm thinking a jardin potager must be built out on this side!

It's been the perfect spot to grow herbs in our HOT, HOT, HOT West Texas sun. The porch off the kitchen is on the north side of the house. It gets early morning sun and that seems to be enough for the herbs as they are flourishing!!

Saturday morning, I harvested 6 cups of sweet basil and made 3 batches of pesto; 2 for the freezer and 1 for dinner. 
And then I began harvesting individual herbs and prepared them for the freezer.
How you will use the herbs later on will dictate in what you freeze them.
The lemon balm was made into pesto in the food processor and blended with olive oil before it was placed into an ice cube tray. This will be wonderful on baked fish!
Thyme and rosemary were  placed in the tray with water.
Chicken stock and baked chicken - oh yumm.
And Sage was bathed in olive oil.
I love to fry my sage a bit for pork tenderloin. The oil is perfect for this.
NOTE My trays have individual wells so that I can mix the herbs and liquid without it contaminating the next well.

Place your tray in the freezer and freeze until solid.
Then pop out the herb cubes and place into labeled plastic bags.
You will love yourself on those gloomy winter days!
Do you spot one of the jars of pesto?

After we removed the glass "screen" door and replaced it with a screen door, our yard cats Billy and Scaredy have taken to talking to Regan through the door. They don't even move when I come from around the side of the house and harvest. If I went out the kitchen door, they would have to move.

How do you store your herbs for the winter?


Jewel Sauls said...

I have to get one of those ice cube trays! I have had a bumper crop of herbs this year too! Thanks for the great idea!

Dianne said...

Hi Marlis,
Yep, it's that time. I make pesto by the case with basil, cilantro and parsley, until I run out of freezer space, then I just layer basil leaves in a ziplock freezer bag. They all freeze together and I just take it out, smack it on the counter to break off a handful and throw it in whatever I am cooking. My Oregeno, Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage is harvested all winter. The only herb that doesn't winter over is the basil. Everything else I cover with a deep layer of pine needles to insulate. When I have excess tomatoes, I will chop, mix with herbs, onions, garlic, etc and freeze it in bags as a marinara sauce starter. I Love summer and herbs! dianne

Pat Cantwell said...

Several of my friends harvest the Hebs similar to your method.
I just enjoy them in The Herb Garden, but don't harvest them for the Winter. Guess that's why I'm always so~o~o anxious for that first salad with Sweet Basil!!!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

I never considered freezing in OIL! Great idea! I hate to see the plants wither away in the late fall!

kitty said...

Great ideas and tips, Marlis. I have that exact iron basket out on my patio table. xo

Sarah said...

What great ideas, Marlis. I'm bookmarking this post. I plan to replant my herb garden this fall. It's a mess right now and needs to be cleaned out.

Carolyn Wilson said...

How do you make pesto with lemon balm? I have quite a bunch of it and use it mostly in cut flower arrangements.


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