Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting the most from my herb garden

This year's fine herbage! Now that we are on the edge of winter and have already had our first frost, I am starting to plan my all homemade Christmas gifts. A few years ago, my circle of creative food friends decided we would only exchange gifts we made ourselves. What a relief! No shopping with the cranky hordes of humanity!

This is something anyone can do. It doesn't have to be labor intensive fussy baking, though that is always appreciated if that's your thing. Sometimes it's just a matter of planning and gathering. One of my best projects is my "Fine Herbage" mix. I cut and dry large bunches of herbs from the garden by tying them up with jute and hanging them in the garage to dry (which in this part of the country takes about a week). Then I start the "schmooching" process of rubbing them in my hands to release all the leaves and remove the stems. I do this a few times getting a finer mix each time. Then I put the mixture through a series of strainers to remove the small bits of stem which sneak in. Then into clean jars, print up some labels and you will have a great mixture to use all year!

This year's mix includes Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Tarragon, Mint and Oregano. I saved some Lavender blossoms from earlier in the season which I will mix in.

Do any of you give homemade gifts for the holidays? If so, please share in the comments.

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