Friday, July 18, 2014

This week's edibles and other goodies: herbs and pickles

(FYI -- There's a lavender giveaway on yesterday's post, open until Tuesday, July 22.)

Another week of storing away a bit of summer, for enjoyment next winter.


http://thegraphicsfairy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Free-Public-Domain-Mint-Image-GraphicsFairy.jpg
I cut and harvested pineapple mint and peppermint to use in tea this winter. Freezing seems to hold more volatile oils in the leaves of some herbs, than drying. I froze individual leaves on a tray, then bagged for the freezer.

After washing the mint and pulling off leaves, I took the stems and a few of the leaves and made a mint syrup, to use in making non-alcoholic mint juleps (a la Disneyland-style). I made mint juleps sans the club soda, but used filtered water and poured over ice instead. It was refreshing! If you're interested, a Disney version of mint julep can be found here. Basically, it's lemonade concentrate, lime juice, sugar, creme de menthe non-alcoholic syrup and club soda. I made mine with lemon juice, lime juice, filtered water, my homemade mint syrup, and a lot of crushed ice. I didn't add any extra sugar, as the mint syrup was plenty sweet, and I prefer a tart beverage. I suspect the Disney Blog version would be too sweet for my taste, but my kids would enjoy it. Next time we make seltzer water, I think I'll try using some of that for mint juleps. A couple of weeks ago, we made seltzer water and used it to make red currant Italian sodas (using homemade red currant syrup from this year's currant crop).  

I took a second harvest of oregano and dried in the dehydrator. (Oregano is one of the herbs that is recommended for drying, as the flavor actually improves when dried.) I filled a pint-sized jar with loose-packed leaves. I'm hoping for 2 more jars this size to get me through all the pizza and spaghetti of winter, but I'll settle for 1 more, should that be the situation.

I made a half-dozen single cup coffee filters and a half-dozen tea blanks. I filled the tea blanks with loose tea, so I'll be more likely to enjoy this wonderful tea that I have. 

I made another 3 pints of watermelon rind pickles. I love using something that would just go to the compost otherwise. And the jars look beautiful, with the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. When using cinnamon sticks in something like these pickles, where I want to leave the stick in the jar, I cut the cinnamon stick in half, lengthwise, with a heavy-bladed knife. Cinnamon sticks often are rolled up in such a way that you can split the stick right down the middle.


Did you create anything this week? Please, share!

8 comments:

  1. I created an exit survey for our VBS staff--does that count? :) Your creations sound tastier.

    My niece had a baby last night so we have happy family tidings today.

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    1. Hi Kris,
      Yea! VBS week has come to a close! I hope you all had a great time.

      Such wonderful news about the new addition to your extended family. But you didn't say whether it's a boy or girl!

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    2. A little boy--it's their first child, so exciting and life-changing. My brother is flying high today now that he's a grandpa. I see spoiling in this boy's future ... :)

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    3. Exciting all right! Congratulations to your family!

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  2. hi lili,
    i made herb butter,basil oil,vanillin sugar and a herb dip for potatoes.
    your creationen sounds wonderful.
    have a nice day,
    regina

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    Replies
    1. Hi Regina,
      You always make the most intriguing goodies! Basil oil sounds yummy, and would be lovely as a salad oil or for basting chicken.
      Thanks for sharing -- you've given me more ideas, as always!

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  3. Once again, not too many creative things on the food front here, but I did make up a Who Is It? game for a family reunion I'm going to soon. I also made up a game for my coworkers so we could get to know each other better. They are having a lot of fun with it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi live and learn,
      I am getting the picture that your family is a game-loving family! The games and puzzles you make sound very entertaining, and well-received by family and friends.

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.