Monday, July 05, 2010

Drying Mints

My kitchen is filled with mimosa blossoms and St. Johnswort, and the mints were all threatening to bolt. I decided to try something new, and it worked out beautifully.
The second floor here is hot, so the guest bedrooms there serve as storage. I spread a sheet over the rug, and spread baskets full of mints in rows.
In a few days, they were perfectly dried.
Here you can see the stems half stripped into mason jars. After getting one side done, I moved to the other side and started from there. It was really nice because all the mess stays on the sheet, so all I need to do is take it outside and shake it before starting over.After all the leaves are taken off the stems, I put them in the food processor for a quick whirl. Normally I leave the leaves whole, but these are being dried specifically for a tea blend that I'm running very low on.It is really amazing how little finished herb there was, considering that each of these mints started out as fresh, overflowing, large gathering baskets.A long time ago when we were operating 2 shops, we decided to attempt to harvest and process our own catnip. It seemed silly to buy something that grew everywhere, and we were selling nearly a pound a week. The labor was intensive, the space it took up was insane, and we never tried that again. But now it is something I truly enjoy. The room smells heavenly.

Wow - I just noticed this is my 601st post. Sort of makes you wonder if I'll ever run out of things to say, doesn't it?


Yart said...

Thanks for the tip about using the blender. I am in the process of drying my mints right now for the first time.

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

Looks great Tina...I am in awe...I am not that organized yet...I need another me! Donna (IA)

Jennifer said...

Chocolate mint and apple mint are two of my favorites! I love drying mint. The smell is so amazing!

Cindy said...

Great idea Tina, I'm running out of room and have an old sheet I can use like this. Oh, and no, I doubt you'll run out of things to talk about and I also hope you don't!

Anonymous said...

Good post. Thanks for the idea. Is there much humidity where you laid out the herbs? I had some hanging in the kitchen last year, they went moldy. :(

Tina Sams said...

There's a good bit of humidity here. I think that laying them out actually provides a lot more circulation than bunching them. They touch, but they aren't banded together. As they shrink, they have more space between them.

Clara said...

I usually buy my herbs. Drying them looks like a lot of work. BTW, you can never run out of things to say about herbs.


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