Monday, July 26, 2010

Dillicious

Boy oh boy, do we ever have a lot of dill!

Usually, we wash, dry, chop and freeze dill in small tupper ware containers.  When we need some in a recipe, we just shake out what we need.  It works pretty well (never as good as fresh, but way better than the store bought dried stuff).

Since we have so much dill this year, we thought we'd also try drying some to see how well that works.  Here are our bundles temporarily hanging in the back yard.
We moved them into the garage where they'll be protected from the rain, sun and bugs.

We've never dried herbs before.  From what I've read, good air circulation (that's why we made several small bundles, rather than one big one) in a warm, dry location is critical.  Hanging from the rafters of our garage (which rarely sees a car) seems like the ideal location.

Other tips I've read include harvesting the herbs early in the morning and before the herbs flower.  Oops, as you can tell, there are flowers on our dill plants and I'm pretty sure we harvested them in the afternoon.  Oh well, close enough!

I've also read that you're suppose to wrap a paper bag around the herbs (with lots of slits for ventilation) to prevent dust and the sun from getting at the herbs.  But, we don't have paper bags big enough for these dill bundles, so we're going without.

Here are some links to places that sound like they know what they're doing when it comes to drying herbs:
http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/drying-herbs.html
http://www.preservingyourharvest.com/DryingDill.html

And finally, according to http://www.preservingyourharvest.com/Dill.html dill is listed in the Gospel of St. Matthew, along with mint and cumin, as suitable payment for taxes. I wonder what the CRA would say about that.

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