Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Herb Harvest

I keep a little herb garden right outside the back door and I'm always trimming and cutting on it.  I like to dry my own herbs and now that it's MARCH, I'm finally finishing my harvesting from last year.  For me, it's a long, drawn-out affair.  I snip what I want and then tie the bunches with twine and hang them to dry.  (I'm sure my family gets tired of all the ugly, dried weeds hanging in the kitchen window...)  I leave them quite a long time.  Then, when I've almost forgotten what they were to begin with (sometimes I completely forget--you'd be surprised what all looks similar when it's all dried and shriveled...) I place just the leaves in baggies and mark them.  Then they sit.  And sit.  And sit.  So today, it was time to clean out the baggies.  I have a coffee mill I use specifically for herbs and grind them down to the consistency I want for seasoning/cooking.  Today I ground Sweet Basil, Oregano, Mint and Pineapple Sage.  And I have more bay leaves than ten people would ever use in a lifetime.

I had a lot of pineapple sage, because I did away with it at the end of the season last year, so this was everything.  While there aren't many uses for it mentioned online, it's a pretty cool plant.  First of all it's beautiful in the garden, with a striking red bloom.  In it's fresh form, it smells sweet, tastes sweet (really nice to brew in tea) and the bugs don't seem to care about it.  In it's dried form I've used it in pork rub before, and today, I put it in my enchilada meat mixture.  I'm making the enchiladas later this week, so I'll let you know how it is, but I can say, it smelled fantastic going in the with "enchilada" seasonings.

Happy Harvesting!