I almost don’t want to even write it. As if that will finally make it true. Fall is on its way (sigh), and sadly, the garden is coming to an end. My most beloved corner contains a handful of herbs, and the thought of having to soon buy them at the grocery store makes me want to cry. I’m a firm believer that fresh herbs can elevate anything and everything. They can rejuvenate a boring recipe with just a few chops. Since I’m dreading not having them fresh, I decided the best thing to do is preserve them.
Here are a few delightfully easy ways to preserve some of the fresh tastes and smells of summer:
Olive Oil Herb Ice Cubes
This is a super simple way to preserve your herbs. Just fill ice cube trays with the chopped herbs and olive oil. Once the cubes are completely frozen you can pop them into plastic bags for easy access to the herbs all winter long!
Homemade Rosemary Lemon Bug Repellent
This is an easy way to make chemical free bug spray. It smells great and you don’t have to worry about inhaling harsh chemicals or having them on your skin. Mosquitoes hate rosemary oil, who knew?! Seriously, I really wish I’d known this sooner! Walking around with sprigs of rosemary around your neck is acceptable, right?
If that’s not really your style, all you have to do is chop up some rosemary and lemons and steep them in boiling water until the water is cool, strain and you have all natural bug repellent!
The measurements are:
4 cups of boiling water
1 sliced lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Herb Infused Olive Oil
Flavored olive oil is a tasty way to preserve the flavor of your herbs and makes an awesome hostess gift too. I made one with rosemary and roasted garlic and one with Serrano peppers and basil. You can use them as a simple dip for fresh Italian bread, or to add extra flavor when cooking.
*Keep in mind that infused oils should be refrigerated to inhibit the growth of bacteria and used within’ a short period of time. If infusing with garlic (and not using immediately) you need to roast the garlic first. Raw garlic in olive can promote the growth of botulism, a serious form of food poisoning, and careful precautions should be taken in order to make sure your oil is safe.
*How to make roasted garlic oil
Monday 23rd of September 2013
These homemade rosemary lemon bug repellent is just what I need.
Thursday 19th of September 2013
Oh Jamie! Tears are in my eye. The maple tree across the road has started to turn, right in the view from my computer nook, so, I'm compelled to look at it EVERY day!! It means only ONE thing... at least here, snow is not far off. I loved your post on preserving herbs. One year I bottled homemade her vinegars and oils as gifts for family and friends. I borrowed a "corking rig from a friend who sold wine-making supplies and purchased nice corks and pretty bottle neck seals ( both very inexpensive). After the corking(made easy by the machine. You slip the decorative sleeve over the neck and run it under hot tap water...git gives your bottles a nice, professional look., at very little cost. A great way to show off the remnants of lots of summer gardening work. Thought you might like the "crafty" idea!! Sandra
Monday 16th of September 2013
These tips are great! I was just thinking this yesterday as I was looking at the garden. It's so easy to go in the garden and pick, and soon you have to try and find good herbs at the grocery store :( Not always easy to find!
Thursday 12th of September 2013
These are such great tips! I so want to make infused olive oil! :)
Saturday 7th of September 2013
Question for you - do you think the bug repellant would work with dried rosemary leaves as well? I realize the point of the post is to preserve/use fresh herbs, but the only plant I have at the moment is mint. I'll be freezing some of those leaves in an ice cube tray with water for future tea making, but the bug spray I'd love to have and I have such a good sized jar full of the whole dried rosemary leaves that I'll never get through all of them.
Sunday 8th of September 2013
I think it would probably work. The mosquitos are repelled by the rosemary oil so, the boiling water should help draw it out the dried rosemary. Let me know how it works!