I had a little self-sufficiency hurrah yesterday.

I had recently put in a spice order from Penzey‘s, but somehow I completely forgot to get oregano. I only discovered it halfway through a two-and-a-half-gallon batch of chili. I don’t use oregano a lot, but sometimes its flavor is crucial, so I started to fret – and then remembered I had planted some in what will some day be the herb garden. It was one of those little happy surprises – like when you jam a bunch of cash in your pocket, forget all about it, and find it a few months later by accident when you’re digging around for chewing gum (in my household the same thing happens more often with used Kleenex, actually, which is not quite as pleasant). Ooh, money! Ooh, yeah, fresh herbs!

It was time to give it a haircut anyway, before first frost ruins it. And while I was out there I trimmed down the peppermint as well. All the herbs got a bath, and then two big oregano branches got dropped in the chili.

The rest, I will preserve. Spun dry and tied in little bunches, they will hang for a few days till dry. When they’re brittle I’ll crumble the leaves into a bowl. Voila dried herbs, same as I would have ordered but without the carbon footprint or shipping charges. Organic, too.

I think I might get a nearly full spice bottle’s worth of the oregano. Possibly. The peppermint won’t last too long – I go through peppermint tea like nobody’s business – but it is still something.

It’s not much, but as this is their first year I hadn’t been expecting to get anything. Not bad for something half-forgotten, huh?

2 Responses to “Herbs”

  1. debbie swickard Says:

    I just love happy surprises!

  2. heidi Says:

    ooh Dianita, I was just looking at the basil and celentro and wondering HOW to do the hangey thing..wash first–wouldnt it get moldy, etc. Will try to find a place to cure-dry some sprigs. Complication, the “pet” skunk visited the area last night so I don’t know if hanging it in the back porch would be such a great idea…extra flavor later.

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