The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Preparing Garden Herbs for Freezer Storage

Gardening is a very special hobby.  You get to experience the entire process of life, from planting a seed and watching it sprout, to harvesting the crop and putting it up for the winter.  This is a very special thing, and I love doing it.

Today I'm sharing about what I do with some of my herbs--namely, parsley and basil.  These two herbs really, really liked my garden this year.  I don't know if it was the soil, the water, the organic fertilizer, or the bright sunny days, but they loved being out in my back yard and just grew like weeds.  But they're not weeds!  Here's one very small harvest of parsley, from part of just one parsley plant (I planted three):


I figured with the busy-ness of my summer, I should work in small batches so I wouldn't have to spend hours picking leaves and chopping them.  As it was, my chopping hand got pretty tired after a while with all this parsley.

Feel free to harvest your herbs, then place them in a vase or Mason jar of water until you're ready to use it or freeze it.  I rinse mine really well in cool water, then place in a Mason jar for a day or two until they're dried off.  They're much easier to work with when they're dry.

Once I'm ready to process the herbs--parsley, in this case--I pick the leaves off and put them in a bowl from which I can grab handfuls and chop.  Joseph is such a dear son and helps me with this, especially when it comes to my basil.


Then, working in small batches, I hand-chop the parsley.  Chop it as fine as you like.  I've also used my stick blender with the chopper cup attachment, and that works fine (except I don't like to do that with basil since it oxidizes and turns dark).  You could also use a food processor.


Then I put the parsley in a freezer container.  Below, I had already frozen some parsley (in the front of the box), and added the fresh stuff to it.  I don't have a frost-free freezer, so you can see the ice crystals that have formed on the parsley in the front.  That's okay, and I've always been able to use it.  This isn't freezer burn!


You can also place a tablespoon of herbs into each cube of an ice cube tray, and pour olive oil to cover.  You would freeze this, then pop out the cubes and store in a bag until you're ready to use them.  I'd rather freeze it straight, since I add parsley to hamburger meat, soups, and stews, and would rather not have the added oil.  But it's a great way to store if that works for you!


Back to life,
Christine

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