Monday 29 December 2014
Harvest Monday: December 29, 2014 ... And On Preserving Herbs
It's been about 6 weeks since I've had anything to harvest and it's only the luck of the recent warm weather we've had that I have something to talk about this week. ALL of the snow shown in the main picture on my previous post has disappeared. A completely green Christmas which is quite rare in Eastern Ontario (and I'm more than a little happy about it).
That being said, there wasn't much in the garden to harvest other than the hardiest of herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage) - but I'll take what I can get (I also had enough kale to nibble on while I snipped the herbs). And so I finally took the opportunity to preserve some herbs. Although I'm not sure why I bothered with the little bit of rosemary I had since I had previously dug up one of my plants and brought it in for the winter - seems to be keeping healthy enough (alongside geraniums).
I've dried herbs in the past but have generally found it to be messy. And then, with the most common herbs I would use in winter (thyme and rosemary), I seem to end up buying them fresh from the store anyway.
I have jars (and jars and jars!) of basil preserved in the form of pesto - sometimes just the basil and olive oil without any nuts (and I never use cheese when I store pesto - best when added during cooking). So it seems the combination of herbs and oil works for my needs.
I chopped some herbs and put a teaspoon or so of each into ice cube trays (OK, this isn't actually an ice cube tray but it's what I had on hand). For the thyme and rosemary, I followed with olive oil; for the sage, I used melted butter because that's how I usually use sage ... like in this Chard and Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce.
And into the freezer it went. I had a bit of hard time getting it out of this container - but just like ice cubes, you can either let it melt a teeny bit to loosen them or run a bit of warm water on the other side (have a bowl underneath to catch them as they'll slide right out!).
And voila ... some little gems to toss into a soup, stew, or hmm ... maybe some mashed potatoes?!
Check out Daphne's Dandelions Harvest Monday to see what other gardeners are keeping themselves busy with at this time of the year.