Thursday, September 30, 2010

Putting the Best of Summer By

I took the summer off from blogging. My camera is old, and the Memory Stick I was using went bad. Sony no longer manufactures the cards, and I struggled to find some. I finally found two -- in my desk drawer!! While I was fretting over my camera and its memory, this lovely pile of basil grew in my teeny-tiny garden.

Last night, a dry evening between bouts of rain and wind brought on by a tropical storm, I cut the plants off at the base, brought them inside, and stripped off their leaves. It took about 90 minutes to complete this part of the project. Those bowls you see up there? They're very big! And full of fragrant, lovely basil leaves.

I stuffed as many as would fit into the food processor, poured in a little olive oil, and churned away.

The mixture filled these three zip-lock bags, which I carefully flattened, spreading the basil mush in an even layer, and filling each bag to the corners to keep air out. Also, the thinner the layer, the easier it is to use later.

After a night of laying flat in the freezer, they're ready for use. Any time I need basil, I'll just break off a piece and reseal the bag. In cooked dishes, it's a thousand times better than dried leaves!


pRiyA said...

That's a great idea. I have small Basil plants growing in my garden once more, now I know what to do with them once they grow bigger.

Green Key said...

Hi Priya! So nice to hear from you again. I've done this same thing with parsley, and tried freezing rosemary, putting whole leaves in a plastic bag without oil. It works pretty well. I used to bring my rosemary plants in for the winter, but they always brought aphids in with them, which ruin my houseplants. So it's into the freezer with them now.

David said...

It works with cilantro and dill - especially good with those strong herbs that come in quantities too large to use up before it might go bad.

Green Key said...

Hi Dave! Oooh, cilantro and dill. I'm going to buy some and freeze it up. It's so nice to have these herbs on hand. And cilantro is one that spoils so quickly. Cool. Thanks!

pRiyA said...

I wanted to ask you about other herbs as well but you and David have answered the question already - especially regarding dill. Looks like I won't have to discard excess herbs anymore :)

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back! :)