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Old 07-15-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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Preserving fresh herbs

I had an irritating experience the other day. I bought fresh rosemary and fresh Bay leaves you know those kind that come in plastic rectangular things. I was thinking that like the Bay leave I get in the little jars these herbs would keep w/o further ado. Like the rosemary in jars seems to be pretty much like the fresh rosemary only drier.

Anyhow, about a week later or maybe 2 both of these had gone bad. Turned black and unusable. So what was I supposed to do (other than use immediately). Can these be preserved? in vinegar or some other? thanks.

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Old 07-15-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
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Your best bet with rosemary and bay is to dry them. They both dry well and will keep for a long time.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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I have successfully kept rosemary on the counter in a small glass of water. Pull of some of the bottom leaves before you put it in the water.

Depending on where you are in maryland you can grow it as year round plant out doors.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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what about the drying process? I guess I can look this up but if anyone knows off the top of their head, how would Igo about drying the rosemary and the bay?
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
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AB has a good way. Check it out on you-tube. He takes house ac filters and a big box fan to dry them out. I would think a food dehydrator would work fine, if ya got one. while your at it, make some beef jerky.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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I put the herbs in paper bags and set on the counter for a week. They dry out just fine. Then you can put in jars, etc. I do this alot since it's hard for me to use all of an herb bunch when it's just the two of us. Or like I posted on another thread, I chop, fill each part of an ice cube tray with 1-2 tablespoons of herb, cover with water and freeze. Wouldn't work with the bay leaves...
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:14 PM   #7
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To be honest with you all, I don't find fresh bay leaves to be that much better than dried. Especially since you tend to use them in long-cooking dishes (where dried herbs shine). I've had a few bay trees in my life (actually I just killed my latest), which was nice and very earth-mother-ish, but practically speaking, I buy the dried and don't worry about it.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
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I am surprised that you don't find a difference between fresh and dried.
I tend to use them as if they are different herbs altogether with the fresh leaves
in quick stir fry dishes for example.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:07 PM   #9
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I put mine in a paper bag and cut slits in the corners of the bag for air. Make sure the herbs are dry when you put them in the bag. Then let them sit for approximately 2 weeks and strip them off the stems and store in a glass container - preferably out of the light to keep them the freshest.
It takes 2 times as many fresh herbs in cooking compared to the dried. This is across the board except for the bay leaves - they take less fresh than dried.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:04 PM   #10
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I'm not the one in my family who dries herbs, but have seen them drying out on newspaper on top to one side of our range. They are then crunched down and poured into small jam jars with screw top lids and placed in a rack away from direct sunlight. We have an Excaliber drier, but though I don't use, others do.

I tend to use fresh, but bay leaves we triple wrap and put in the freezer for use during winter. For when the snows come, nobody wants to traipse down to the far end of the garden to pick them off the tree.

Bay leaves when dried are probably best broken into small pieces and put into jars, likewise. But they quickly lose their aroma.
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