Autumn has arrived, winter approaches, I have been purchasing potted herbs to grow on my windowsill through the colder months. I will still take cuttings for rooting from my outdoor herbs, but they will not reach harvest size until Spring of 2015. In the meantime, when I need fresh herbs through the winter, I will “pinch” them from my lovely windowsill garden. Another plus in growing herbs indoors is the scent they “whisper” into the air when you run your hands over them…heavenly!
Our area of the country experienced a very cool summer, but my herbs didn’t seem to mind and have thrived. I don’t want to waste the bounty of my gardens so over the next few days I will be harvesting everything I have room to store. I will hang aromatic herbs such as lavender, catnip, and a portion of my mints, in dark closets to dry. Those I use in cooking I will freeze in ice cube trays.
Soak herbs in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Remove the herbs from the water, check for debris, refill and repeat process at least three times. There is no need for scrubbing or agitation, the water floats the dirt away leaving the essential oils intact. (Organic potted herbs grown inside do not need to be washed.)
There is no need to dry sprigs when they are finished soaking. Break leaves away from the stem, place inside empty ice cube trays, add water and freeze.
Remove frozen cubes from tray.
Place inside a labeled zip-lock freezer bag and store in the freezer. Your “fresh” herbs are now available anytime you are ready to cook a good meal. The cubes are terrific for making soups and stocks. I also freeze onion, scallions, peppers and other produce for quick stocks.