Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'm Baaaaack!

Hi everyone, I'm back, and managed to survive the funeral and relatives with just minor physiological damage. But, as far as I can tell, only a few brain cells have died, most of them are still in tact....But probably damaged. I really don't want to start talking about it, unless you want to hear the ranting about my step-father, my step-sister and her family, and my Drama Queen Sister, sooooooo on to more interesting stuff.


For those of you who love raising herbs, but have no idea what to do with them afterwards, here's a few tips.

When growing herbs, make sure you don't grow them near, or use pesticides on them. Keep the growth natural, not even using fertilizer on them.

When they are grown, and BEFORE they flower, cut them close to the ground, bundle them up (please use natural twine to do this, and tie them about half way down the stems) and hang them, stems up, in a dry, cool, shady place.

You can use your back porch, or basement, or even just a inside room away from the windows. You don't need to use sun to dry herbs, it causes the properties to break down. Shade is best. Let them hang for as long as it takes to dry, this could take months, and time won't make a difference, so make sure they are well dry. Then, break them up, and store in jars or tupperwear. I love tupperwear for this!!! Keeps them air tight, and I can stack the containers on shelves till they are ready to use. MAKE SURE YOU LABEL THEM!!!

I've forgotten that before, and have to play a "sniffing" game trying to figure out what is what.

this is when you take the dry or fresh herb, (mostly the leaf part of the herb) and pour boiling water over it, and let it steep. Make sure the pot is covered. You don't want the steam to escape. After it cools, bottle it up and keep in the fridge, or drink it hot.

This is used for woody herbs or stems or roots. They have to be chopped up, you add them to a saucepan, and bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Again, bottle, and refrigerate... And Label the bottle!

They can be tricky. You have to use a mixture or water and alcohol in a 5 to 1 mixture. I find using vodka or brandy is totally dandy. Add the herbs, close the bottle, and let it sit for 2 weeks or more.