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tea

Dry it before you buy it

glass screw top jar c/o infinity jars

The rain has saturated California so much that the water restrictions in my county have been lifted! With all the recent rain, and the saving grace of a few days of warm sunshine in between, the wild weeds in my garden and by the river have EXPLODED!

Right now, all the green herbs are plump and luscious. I am drying them bit by bit, and keeping them for the gray days of fall & winter. I know, it is weird to think of that when we have barely crawled out of the cold. But the abundance now calls for harvesting, and as the days get longer and hotter, the herbs begin to draw in to keep cool.

So, my house is filled with hanging bundles! You can’t escape them, and if you are taller than me, it is very likely that you will run into some! Even though I am very aware of drying my herbs away from too much light and any moisture, you will see that they turn brown. Especially the leafy green herbs. That is ok, as long as you store them AS SOON as they are completely dry.  Just a few days longer than necessary in the air can take away from their scent and freshness.

As for storage, I put my dry leaves in plastic bags that I suck the air out of, label them, then put them in boxes in my pantry (which are also labeled). This way they are airtight, space convenient, and in the dark for storage. I have the herbs I use on a daily basis in glass jars on  a kitchen shelf. Unfortunately, my  1950’s kitchen has very little cupboard space, so there is a lot of open storage. Though my vintage mason jars and flip tops are cute, they are not the greatest for storing herbs, since the light gets to them. So, when Infinity Jars asked me to review their jars,  I was happy to.

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Infinity jars have an airtight seal, ultra-violet filtering, and are scent proof. The jars are a deep violet glass, almost black. This pigmented glass blocks light, which deteriorates herbs.  This makes them perfect for kitchen storage of your daily herbs! You can read more about them here, make sure to check out their specials.

The 1-liter screw top jar I have featured here is perfect for my needs. I like the wide mouth, since I do not have a dishwasher and being able to clean jars well is important. It is also much easier to fill! Space is a premium in my little kitchen, this jar is light weight, slender, and tall, so it is easy to fit a few next to each other on the shelf. They even come with labels!

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Here are the herbs drying now, and some uses. Send me your suggestions!

Mugwort: dream pillows, smudge sticks

Peppermint/Spearmint: tea, sprinkle for dog bed, herb for salads & fruits.

Lemonbalm: tea, infusions

Oregano: spice for almost everything I cook! I have so much oregano, I give it away :). Also great for putting in your husbands shoe closet….

Thyme: tea, cooking herb

Marjoran: cooking herb

Happy foraging!

Too Funny!

Thank you to my friend Sharon for passing this on to me. I am always open for a good laugh!

~~~~~~~~~~
Subject: John Cleese
Subject: To the citizens of the United States of America

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for
President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give
notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical
duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except
Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for
America without the need for further elections. Congress and the
Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next
year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the
following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminum, and check the pronunciation guide. You
will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’,
‘colour’, behaviour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to
spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix
-ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise.

Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to
acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler
noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and
inefficient form of communication.

There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on
your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take
account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize.
You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns,
lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and
therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent.

Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough
to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist
then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry
anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be
required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is
for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will
understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you
will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same
time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the
benefit of conversion tables.

Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the
British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French
fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling
potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut,
fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not
actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be
referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted
provenance will be referred to as Lager.

South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the
greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the
beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth – see what it did
for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors
as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English
actors to play English characters.

Watching Andie McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings
and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed
with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one
kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave
enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some
similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping
for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour
like a bunch of nancies). Don’t try Rugby – the South Africans and
Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable
to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not
played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that
there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.
You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans
first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s
Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of
all monies due (backdated to 1776).

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never
mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries
in season.

God save the Queen.

Only He can.

John Cleese