Saturday, July 11, 2009

Drying and Preserving

Herbs drying in the store room

Lemon Verbena (Herbe Luisa)

Summer at La Pasera is a busy time. Suddenly there is a glut of everything. Mange Tout, Lettuce, Onions, Pots, herbs and so on. Daily collection of fresh produce usually means at least a few hours cooking, freezing or preserving. We have been busy collecting and air-drying various herbs ready for later in the year when fresh are not always readily available. Oregano (loads of it) is grown in abundance and we collect enough for Luis' sister to add to the chorizo she makes at the end of the year. Sage, thyme, rosemary and bay are also collected but in much smaller amounts as they survive most of the year. Lemon Verbena and mint (three types) are collected and dried to make herbal infusions to drink instead of tea. Rosemary also makes a refreshing cuppa as well as it's many uses in the kitchen. We are soon to experiment making various creams and tonics with herbs and hedgerow plants.
2 Kilos of pickled walnuts have been processed and put away to mature for a couple of months - really easy and can be done in any amounts. If you want the recipe - get in touch. Happy to share. Similarly, we have made about 2-3 kilos of Onion marmalade - perfect with goat's cheese and salad or bean burgers.
Making pickling syrup for the walnuts

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