Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ice, Ice Baby

One of our small gardening projects this spring was putting in an herb garden.  I cleared out the old garden around the house and moved everything around, creating a nice spot for herbs right next to the side door.
I kept it really simple, just putting in the herbs we use most- chives, parsley, 2 kinds of basil, 2 kinds of thyme, mint and sage.  I also planted some lavender and hyssop in the back to add some color and height.  All the herbs were from one of my favorite Decorah spots- Seed Savers Exchange.  We have been using the herbs frequently in meals and vinaigrette but they have grown tremendously and needed some serious trimming.  Instead of letting a lot of good herbs go to waste, I decided to try herb ice cubes.  Extremely simple and took about an afternoon.  I cut down each plant by half and washed them thoroughly.
Make sure you dry the herbs really well or they will become a mess when you cut them.  I chopped each herb into small pieces.
Once they were chopped, I put 1 tablespoon into each ice cube tray compartment and filled with water.
A quick trip to the freezer and MAGIC!  Frozen 1T amounts of herbs ready to go!
I popped the frozen cubes into labeled baggies and threw these into the freezer for use later.
The best part was I was able to use one of my ice cubes a few days later in a recipe.  I was so nice just taking one cube out of the freezer instead of spending the time washing and cutting herbs.  A very successful way to save herbs!  Now, any suggestions on ways to preserve (freeze, can, dry, etc) my lettuce, cabbage and kale plants?  They are getting out of control and we can only eat so much of salad and kale chips!!!

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