Saturday, January 3, 2009

Remembering to use things from freezer, and to put dried herbs in containers

During my week off work, I got my refrigerator and freezer cleaned out.  I was pleased to find the pesto my husband and I made this summer, and froze in about 2 T. mounds on a cookie sheet, then put in a freezer bag. I couldn't find them when I was looking for them other day.  I also took one of the packages of caramelized onions out of the freezer. I had a bumper crop of onions this year.  I also have several bags of chopped onions, and also peppers, that I froze on cookie sheets first, like the pesto. I had some extra pasta from another meal I cooked, that I put the thawed onions and unthawed pesto in, and microwaved it all.  It turned out pretty good.

I was feeling pretty good about remembering to use the food I had preserved. I don't make new year resolutions, but thought to myself that I'd like to remember to use the herbs I've dried this year.  Yesterday, I cleaned out my herb cupboard, and threw out most of the herbs that didn't get used the past couple of years.  There was an assortment of herbs that were extras from meals, that I had put in the silver colander shown in the photo after they dried on a paper plate. I put them in a couple jars I washed from herbs I threw out.  Then, I wished I'd have taken a pic first, so I found another bowl of herbs that I had used part off of and left in a bowl. 

Next, I went around and took down other herbs to put into containers.  I have read you shouldn't put herbs into plastic containers, and they shouldn't be exposed to light.  I don't always do things the correct way.  I am not organized or resourceful enough.  My herbs are dry and in containers now, and I am happy.  The herb below is summer savory.  I use it mostly for green beans. 

The next 3 pics show tarragon:

It's nice to have these put away so they don't get dusty.

Most of the herbs on the left are from my garden, including the bay leaves.  The ones from today are on the lower shelf.

May you all remember to use the herbs and other produce you have preserved in any way.

(I enlarged the pics, and they are not so clear, except for the lid that has something on it, and my watering can looks quite dirty. I guess I need to resolve to keep things cleaner, or at least clean them before taking pics. LOL)


  1. It all looks wonderful to me. I can just imagine how good your food tastes with these herbs, onions & peppers. Bet your pantry smells heavenly too. Thanks for sharing the pics - makes me able to picture you at work.

  2. Yummy yum. My mouth's watering. Didn't they improve the technology to transfer food over Internet yet?

  3. Considering the cost of dried herbs today, you have a fortune in your cabinets! I think you are very resourceful to save and dry them. Great job!

  4. Thank you for reminding me to use my herbs! I harvest and dry and store and so often forget to use.
    I love my lavender and rosemary and think I dip into them the most. They are so pretty in their jars too.
    I too freeze my garden produce. I like to make zucchini muffins so I always make sure I have plenty to last the winter. I did not have enough tomatoes this past year to put any up. I sure miss them now when it is so cold.
    Happy New Year.

  5. So, I grow herbs and don't use them! Maybe I should.

  6. What a busy start to the year! Good for you getting organised. I know the scenario of jars of herbs forgotten at the back of the cupboard...

  7. every year I think about adding bay to what we grow. My students and I bake bread every Monday during winter,

  8. Hi Friends, Thanks for the comments.

    Mildred, Thanks for saying my herbs look wonderful. The bottles had the original paper torn from being washed in the dishwasher. Also, I forgot I was going to mention that I was not organized enough to go out and buy pretty labels, but the tape worked OK. LOL Maybe if I go somewhere and see nicer labels, I'll think to get some.

    Chandramouli, You are funny. Thanks for your sense of humor.

    Beckie, Now that you mention it, the cost of herbs has gone up. The quality of some of the herbs I dry, like dill is better than store bought, but some, I need to use more of than if I was using store bought, but there is satisfaction from knowing they were home grown. Also, I don't dry some, like basil, but that is frozen as pesto. Technically, we made pistou, because we didn't include pine nuts. I Have some freeze dried basil from the store that is not too bad.

    Sherry, I have lavender hanging with some other dried flowers. I never remember which kinds can be used for cooking, plus, once they're dried, I can't remember which kind they are. We buy muffins from a lady at our farmers' market in the summer. I don't know why I don't make some. I used to make all our bread, and muffins are easier to make than bread. I think I should go for it, because I could make them healthier. I found a couple bags of tomatoes I cut up, but I didn't freeze as many this summer. I don't get them canned. Is that how you put yours up?

    You're welcome for the reminder to use your herbs.

    Darla, What kind of herbs do you grow? I love to go out in the summer and pick herbs for meals. If I have extra, I let them dry on a paper plate, or in a colander and use later or save for winter. Rosemary is great on any meat or in potatoes. My other frequently used herbs in summer are parsley, basil, thyme, and chives. I also use sage and tarragon.

    Hi Linda, Welcome back to blogdom! It sounds like you had a good time with books and such since you couldn't be on the computer. I'm glad I got the things organized I did, but didn't get all the cleaning done that I wanted to.

    Wayne, I used to make all of our bread, once upon a time. I have also taught other adults and children how to. What kind of bread do you and your students bake?

  9. I grow parsley and chives and (occasionally) basil. I really should expand my repertoire! You put me to shame...;-)

  10. Dried herds from your own garden.
    What a great way to enjoy your garden all year.
    Nothing bettter than your own !

  11. Yum! Remembering is difficult for me. But sometimes after forgetting, I find a nice surprise.

  12. Hi Kris, Patsi, and Louise,

    I prefer to use fresh herbs whenever I can, and the sage outside was still good at Thanksgiving. Now that we've had single digits, I haven't tried using any. I don't know if it would be crisp or mushy.

    I cleaned out my measuring spoon and misc. things drawer today, and was surprised by some things I forgot were in there. :o)

    Thanks for your comments!

  13. I grow herbs, too-but don't use them either (someone said that I think).I love seeing them in the pots but really need to try cooking with them, I know.
    I grow chives, parsley, lemon sage (I think; something lemony, anyway), dill, and 2 kinds of mint leaves; Each year it just depends what I choose at the garden store.

    You need to come visit me so you can clean out my drawers:)

  14. I've got only basil, oregano and rosemary in my garden but in Hawaii I've been too lazy to dry them. The rosemary grows into a huge bush here which never ceases to amaze me.

  15. Hi Jan and Kay,
    Even though I dry herbs, and freeze a few, I prefer using them fresh. When a dish is almost done is when I usually cut up herbs with kitchen scissors right onto the food.

    Chives and parsley can be put on pretty much anything. Maybe I'll do a post on ways I use fresh herbs this summer. I've never heard of lemon sage, but there are different kinds of sage, so maybe I just haven't come across it.

    Kay, I don't think you have much reason to dry herbs. I bet your rosemary and oregano grow year round, don't they? Do you have to keep cutting back your basils to keep them from blooming?

    Rosemary is good snipped on any kind of meat, and I like it with potatoes, and in soups, too.


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