How to dry aromatic herbs
Do you have an abundance of beautiful herbs still growing in the garden and would love to continue enjoying them through out winter? Drying Herbs is a great solution. It is great to have dried herbs hanging close at hand that you can quickly trim and use in your cooking during those cold and chilly months, and a huge bonus is walking into a room to smell the lovely aromatics they give off as they dry. There is nothing like smelling Rosemary or Lavender when you walk into a room. You can also make small bundles to tie onto presents during the holiday season, or imagine keeping a basket of bundled Rosemary by the fireplace that you could toss into the fire and enjoy its lovely aroma as it fill your room.
You will need:
Tray or something to carry your cut herbs
I cut Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Lavender, Lovage, Parsley and Basil. I prefer to tie my herbs as I cut. That way all the removed leaves and cuttings are left in the garden, but this is strictly a personal decision. Plus, I like to give any bugs a chance to evacuate before I head into the house.Try to cut in the morning and most importantly when herbs are dry (no dew or rainwater).
Once you have all your bundles tied you need to store them. To keep them from collecting dust a lot of people say you have to cover them as the hang. You can use a paper bag, paper towels, what ever you have on hand will work as long as it keeps the herbs dry and dust free. My one rule is to make sure that the room I hang them in is dry and that no direct sunlight will be hitting them. Direct light destroys the herbs essential oils.
Your herbs should be completely dry in about two weeks. They are now ready to use. Store your dried herbs in air tight containers. You can find some really cute spice jars to use and fill to give as gifts to family and friends over the holidays. Be sure to label and date your containers. Your herbs will retain more flavor if you store the leaves whole and crush them when you are ready to use them.