Friday, May 22, 2009

Herbal Possibilities

I don't have a lot of herbs, but there are a lot of things I could do with them. To wit:

Lemon Balm, this year's bumper crop, and beloved of bees: I can dry it and store it for winter tea. I can infuse it in vodka for schnapps. I can also, given time and patience, make lemon balm wine. Or I can just add it to herbal sachets and potpourris.

Lavender: ditto for sachets and potpourris, but I also want to make lavender soap, which I've never done before.

Spearmint, apple mint, orange mint: see Lemon Balm, except there's only so much schnapps or herbal wine one household can consume, so I'll mostly use it for tea and potpourri.

Oregano: dry and use for cooking. Also put in little jars with cute labels and give as gifts.

Rosemary: see above. Rosemary is a good fixative for sachets and potpourris. And it's also great in cheese, which I hope to be making in the fall.

Thyme: dry and use for cooking. Put in little jars, etc.

Chamomile: dry and use for tea, or make various cordials and digestifs with it—very calming whatever you do with it.

Roses: sachets, potpourris, and rose beads for necklaces and rosaries.

Rose/lemon scented geraniums: sachets and potpourris.

None of this is difficult, and all of it smells wonderful. I must do it all!

3 comments :

  1. or you can just hang around the yard, sniffing.

    my mint is going nuts this year. i don't know what kind of mint it is--my neighbor gave it to me a year or two ago. if i were to make tea from it, would i have to dry the leaves first? or just pick and steep?

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  2. No need to dry it to make tea right now. But if you want to preserve some for winter, you should hang it up in bunches out of direct light until it dries, then strip the leaves and put them in a jar. The more you cut the mint the more it will grow. It's better if you cut it before it blooms.

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