How I Preserve The Garden Fresh Taste I Miss The Most

Kids love rituals, right?

Well, my daughter has one every night that when she’s ready to go get her father to read a book before bed, she runs down the hall yelling “WHAT’S THE LOW TONIGHT, DAD?”

And even more humorously she invariably answers her own question with something not-so-seasonal-anymore like “probably sixty-six”.

Monday night Gene answered her question with “29”. And I’m like, “TWENTY-NINE? WHAT?”

I had no idea it was going to be that cold.  They had been going back and forth on the forecast so at 7:30pm it took me by surprise. My first thought is of course hopefully all the things we plan to harvest the following day for that week’s CSA farm share will be okay. And yes, they would be because Gene and the crew got them covered with row cover already.  Phew!

But my next thought was my little garden in the front of my house! When frosts bear down on the farm, things slowly die back into the earth and eventually there’s no fresh stuff left except in our hoophouses and in our walk-in coolers.

I love garden fresh taste so much! To me, nothing beats it!

And when I think about it, the garden fresh taste that I miss the most is fresh herbs. I don’t even have a favorite… I just love them all! In fact this year I’ve used more fresh herbs than I ever have in my salad dressings, dips, soups, sauces and stir-fries. And the colder fall temperatures remind me of the impermanence of the garden. Driving me to do something to preserve it!

My efforts in past years at preserving fresh herbs have been lacking in inspiration so much that I find myself not using them much at all.

Recently I learned an innovative way of freezing herbs to make them both easy to use while preserving the MOST of the garden fresh herb flavor at the same time: Freezing them in oil.

So if you love herbs as much as I do, or if you find yourself with a little more than you can use fresh, try this technique out!

 

Why try freezing your own herbs for winter?

  • Makes cooking easier: Having herbs at the ready is really easy and makes me use them more.
  • Saves money: Fresh herbs from the store are expensive in the wintertime.
  • Saves time: Helps save trips to the store, I can just grab some frozen right in my kitchen.
  • Saves waste: Have you ever bought a bunch of herbs before and not used it all? This way you use just what you need at the time without worrying about some of it going to waste.

 

Here’s my new favorite way to freeze herbs in oil

  1. chop herbs or pulse in a food processor
  2. add oil to coat
  3. freeze flat in a plastic bag
  4. break off just what you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later

 

  

 

What herbs can you freeze in oil?
Here’s a partial list of what I consider important to me, because they’re harder to dry and would work well in applications like sauces, stews, and soups.

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Basil 

Ones that are easy for me to just hang to dry in my house:

  • Thyme
  • Summer savory
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram

 

What is your favorite for garden fresh flavor?

I would love to hear what YOUR favorite garden fresh flavor is that you can’t live without and how you preserve it! 


  

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