Drying Herbs

Drying herbs is a simple way to preserve your favorite fresh herbs all winter long. I recently dried copious amounts of rosemary, sage, mint, oregano, and thyme. Once completely dry, these herbs will last for a few years. I mostly use these herbs for cooking, but mint can be use to make your own tea too. Drying your own herbs is an easy way to preserve your herbs at the end of the season, and aid in your cooking all winter (year) long. 

The oldest technique to drying herbs is taking a small bunch, tying it with a string, and hanging it upside down for 1-3 weeks until the herbs have lost all moisture. I hung mine under the stairs/on a shelf and they were all dry about 2 weeks later. 

How to dry your own herbs:

  1. Pick herbs.
  2. Once you are home, wash the herbs and dry them throughly with towels.
  3. Take twine, and a nickel sized bunch of the herb and tie them together at the top.
  4. Leave extra string so you can then tie the herb bundle on a shelf or any spot where it can hang freely.
  5. Allow the herbs to dry for 1-3 weeks until fully dry.
  6. Remove the herbs from the stems and store whole or crushed in a jar with a lid or a bag.
Rosemary after drying for 2.5 weeks.
Rosemary removed from the stem and ready to be stored in a jar.

Vegetable Scrap Broth

Save those scraps! Even if you are composting, finding a second use for your vegetable scraps is a great way to get the most out of all the food you buy.

Any vegetable scraps can be used for this broth except for large amounts of cruciferous vegetables scraps because they may impart a bitter flavors. I tend to use a majority of onion, carrot, celery, leeks, and kale scraps in my broths. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage are great additions as well. Now that I have so much stock from my vegetables scraps, I have been making amazing soups during these colder months.

When I buy a chicken, I try to fabricate the bird and save the carcass in the freezer until I have enough vegetables for a big pot of stock as well. Then, I will add all the scraps and carcass to the pot and make a chicken scrap broth!

This scrap broth is not an exact recipe, but one that can be easily bent to your preference and ingredients on hand. I fill a pot with about 4-6 quarts of water when I can fill a gallon size bag with vegetable scraps.

Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce to the lowest setting and cook overnight on low, or for about 5-8 hours.

Strain out the scraps and store the broth in the fridge or freezer for future use in soups, sauces, or anywhere you would usually add water to give your dishes a new depth of flavor.

Vegetable Scrap Broth

  • Servings: 4 quarts
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Ingredients

  • 4-6 quarts of water
  • gallon size bag of vegetable scraps
  • chicken carcass (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 5-8 hours.
  3. Strain the scraps from the broth.
  4. Store in the fridge or freezer.