Saturday, October 6, 2012

Two Easy Things to Do with Fresh Herbs (Before the Frost Sets In)

Aside from a few straggling tomatoes that I'll leave on the vine until we officially get a chance of frost in the forecast, I've harvested just about everything from the garden that I'm going to this year. One exception to that is my herbs, most of which are still growing enthusiastically.

Knowing that I don't have much of a window left before the frost hits, I got myself outside to pick a pile of assorted herbs. Aren't they pretty?

I promptly did two things with them:

1. Packed a couple of clean quart jars with a mix of garlic chives, purple and green basil and oregano. I then poured white vinegar over them and will let them sit for several weeks.

2. Packed a smaller glass jar about half full of lemon thyme to make a honey infusion. I added honey (local, unpasteurized stuff from Dutchman's Gold) to cover the herbs completely, stirring it around a bit to mix. It's now sitting on my kitchen windowsill, where I'll let it brew for a couple of weeks before straining out the herbs. This infused honey will be saved for use as a cough syrup this winter (both honey and thyme are know to help calm a cough).

With only a few minutes of effort on my part, in a few weeks I'll have a Christmas gift (herbal vinegar) and a natural cough remedy all ready to go!

What are your favourite end-of-season uses for fresh herbs?

Local readers: If you're reading this in your email or feed reader, I'd like to make sure that you know about my next upcoming "Cheap Appétit" presentation. OPIRG McMaster has kindly sponsored me to speak on the university campus on Wednesday October 10th from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in MUSC 230. Once again I'll have books for sale for $15 each. Please join me if you can!

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1 comment:

  1. I've been potting some up for the kitchen window and dehydrating some to make poultry seasoning and other seasoning mixes including what I hope will be a knock off of a well known vegetable soup mix used for an awesome dip. I used some of the small onions that won't store well for onion powder and put a lot of garlic through a press for garlic powder.

    I really like the honey infusion idea. We have used plain honey with lemon in hot water for a drink everyone likes when they are feeling sniffly, and it really works well for coughs too. We started getting local honey this year to help with my husband's allergies, and that seems to be making a rather dramatic difference. No allergy meds this year! The frost has held off, so far, so I think I might be able to use a bit of my thyme that's left to try this. Might have to get some lemon thyme next spring. Aw, shucks! It's nice to pare down the commercial remedies in favour of something without weird ingredients that make you dopey. Thanks!



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