Monday, August 12, 2013

Drying herbs in the oven

This is but one example of my ultra-fancy labeling. I can always put nicer labels on later, but when I'm drying, I figure I'll remember what stuff is, and when I did it. I swear, I always think I'll remember. But after a couple decades, yeah, I think I get it now.

This is a first for me, but I turned the oven on to WARM. I checked the thermometer inside frequently. After 8 times and about 90 minutes, I figured that 80 degrees was about as hot as it was going to get while open.

As it happens, that's about right. I had five baskets and 8 or 9 herbs.

You are seeing only a few of my favorite baskets here. Flat, loose-weave, these qualities allow for air circulation, which is necessary for herbs to dry. 2011 and 2012? No oven necessary. The humidity rarely got over 45% those summers.

I didn't have a tight-enough weave wicker basket for the juniper berries, so I improvised. Improvisation is king! Well, improvisation will sometimes mess you up, but it's good to have an open mind!

Plantains to the left, yarrow & comfrey in back, and linden blossoms under the sieve ... somewhere.
Juniper berries. For real! The blue color leaves them as they dry. ... Also, someone had told me to pierce them to help them dry. That's a pain in the butt! Hurts my pinchy muscles in my thumb! But I did it, because the last time I dried junipers, they molded up like BIG dogs!

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