Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rosemary drying

We grow a fair bit of Rosemary at the farm, mainly because it's one plant that survives the long periods that we are away without water, and it stays green all year round  and then produces lovely blue flowers for us,and gives us a herb that we use  constantly in the kitchen cooking our lamb.
We chose the "Tuscan Blue " variety  an upright ,hardy vigorous grower and it has done just that.We have to prune it regularly to keep it at a good and attractive height.
We have several areas in which we have planted  them.
We pruned this one  back about  two months ago and hung all the chopped off stems in an old curtain  up in the shed which remains  fairly dark and cool when we arn't there.
When we returned to the farm the next time   and checked it , it was all crunchy and dry , so I brought it inside to the kitchen and stripped of all the dried leaves....It made quite a mess as I am  really not a tidy or neat food preparer.

I ended up with  4 quarts of  dried leaves,loosely packed.
My husband reckoned  it was too coarse so he suggested that we blitz them in the processor, but I didn't have that up at the farm , so just gave them a hit with the stick blender to chop them up a bit finer.

I then placed the rosemary into 3 pint and 1 half pint Pre- washed  jars on a tray in the cold  oven and heated the jars and contents until the thermostat reached 200 Degrees Celsius, and then maintained that for about 10-15 minutes.
While the jars were heating in the oven, I simmered the jar lids in some water for a couple of minutes and when the rosemary was done, a jar at a time, dried the lids and sealed the jars with lids and rings to finger tight, and waited for them to ping, which they all did quite quickly.
I only had 2 pints  and a half pint left when I took the photos as I passed on one to my next door neighbour. We tend to swap and share a bit of everything we do.
This rosemary will keep us going for ages, as well as having the fresh.We often use the long rosemary  sprigs to skewer fish and chicken for BBQ's and just put sprigs on the BBQ when we are grilling our multitude of lamb chops.(We really do eat a lot of lamb!)
We also grow a fair bit of lavender as it is easy and hardy.
Next year once we relocate I hope to grow many more herbs and dry and store them, they are just so handy to have in the cupboard. One in particular is mint as I want to make mint sauce and jelly, and I also will grow,coriander, Italian parsley and basil,as they are the main  staple herbs that I use in cooking and salads.
We are having extreme heat here at the moment, for this time of year, we reached 38 Deg C (about 100 deg F) yesterday and we are told will be about the same today.(not bad for the middle of Spring) I hate to imagine what summer will bring this year.
So think I will hibernate this week until the cool change they are predicting hits us later in the week.
So cheers to everyone until we meet again,
Stay cool,


  1. PLEASE stay safe with all the bush fires in NSW. I pray you are far away from them

    1. Thank you for the safe wishes kerry. Fortunately are not near the blue mountains where the worst of the fires are . There are no fires near our farm at this point, but where we still live on the coast until next year had two quite serious fires spring up yesterday, each was about 8klms away,one to the west and the other to the south of our house. The temperatures soured to 37 degrees C here yesterday and we were inundated with smoke and could hear sirens a lot but apart from that we are safe and sound. My heart goes out to all the people who have lost homes(there has been about 200) ,and pets, and.the loss of wildlife.I have only heard of one life lost, thank goodness that toll isn't higher. Hope to see you again soom time,Cheers,