Tips & Tricks

Are you planning on buying
a new kitchen?

Then you schould bear the
following points in mind:

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(aid) – If conditions are right, you don’t need a garden to grow herbs, a balcony or even a window sill will produce a good crop in the summer months. If you don’t use fresh herbs immediately, they can be frozen or dried. But remember that it’s only worth freezing or drying herbs which are perfect quality to start with.

To freeze herbs, first wash them briefly and drain them thoroughly. Discard the stalks, chop the leaves and put the herbs in usable portions into small freezer bags or containers. Another idea is to fill the herbs into ice-cube trays, add a few drops of water and freeze them. This way you’ll be able to thaw just exactly the amount you need. To use the herbs, simply add the cube to the food without thawing. It’s best to add them at the last moment before serving. Frozen herbs will keep at minus 18 degrees Celsius for about a year. You could also use the chopped up herbs to make herb butter and then freeze this in suitable portions.


If you decide to dry your herbs, dry the herbs thoroughly after washing, tie them in small bundles and hang them away from direct sunlight in a warm but well-ventilated place. Instead of tying the herbs in bundles, you could spread them out on a clean sheet of paper. You could speed up the drying process by spreading the herbs on a rack or baking tray and drying them in the oven at a temperature no hotter than 40 degrees Celsius. You’ll know they’re dry enough when the leaves are crisp and rustle when you touch them. Strip the leaves from the stalks, crumple them up and store them in dark, air-tight jars. They’ll keep about a year.


Fresh herbs can also be preserved in vinegar or oil. Again they need to be completely dry before you cover them completely with the oil or the vinegar. Herb vinegar will be ready to use after about two weeks, but it takes about 6 weeks for the flavour of the herbs to permeate oil. Store your herb oil or herb vinegar in a cool, dark place – they’ll keep almost indefinitely.

 

Source: aid, Ira Schneider

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