Our First Crop of Herbs Is In (Or Should I Say, “Inn”)

 

When I walked into work today, I was greeted by the sight of Sam teetering on a step-ladder, stringing fishing line across the ceiling in the kitchen. Sharon supervised from the floor below, offering constructive criticism and ostensibly ready to catch him if a strong wind rendered it necessary.

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I’ve worked at Holladay House for four years now and seen lots of projects underway, so I knew if I waited long enough an answer would come to me. When the answer arrived it came with a bag of goodies to take home with me–one of the best perks of working at the b&b.

 

To clarify: the first crop of fresh herbs came in from the garden today! The garden has been an ongoing labor of love here at the inn, so we’re very excited about it.

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So far we have fennel, thyme, lemon balm, and winter savory drying across the ceiling, coloring the air sweet and pungent. We’re looking forward around here to seeing where the dried flavorings turn up. If you’re lucky, you should be able to catch their appearance at the breakfast table: maybe sprinkled across the ham-and-cheese quiches, or adding savor to Sharon’s already delicious Holladay-family-recipe biscuits. I’ve just heard from Sam that they’re definitely billed to make an appearance at our annual July 4th “Hops & Chops” event as well. (I’ll have info on that, and recipes to share, coming up soon!)

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I, for one, am already eagerly awaiting leftovers to take home with me.

2 Responses to “Our First Crop of Herbs Is In (Or Should I Say, “Inn”)”


  • Cool! We sometimes grow herbs, but I never use them in time. I don’t really know what to do with them if I were to dry them (when to pick them, how long to dry them, do I chop/dice/pick?, etc.). Someday I’ll take the time to learn and save myself a lot of heartache, throwing away dead herb plants.

    • Actually, it doesn’t seem to be too complicated. We cut them, bundled them, and hung them. Once they were dry and crumbly we put them in containers (jars seem to work fine, but you can also buy spice/herb containers). When harvesting make sure to cut them mid-morning when the oils are most “active” in the plant.

      One lesson we did learn, though — herbs that have a lot of moisture in them (in our case, I’m referring specifically to the lemon balm mint) might be better dried in the oven, or even frozen. We tried air-drying it, but the leaves still had too much moisture in them when we put them in the jar– the result was mold. Herbs that don’t seem to have a high moisture content – thyme, sage, savory, rosemary, etc. – seem to be best suited to air drying.

      Oven-drying is easy. A baking sheet, some wax paper, and the lowest temperature setting get the job done. Just monitor closely so they don’t dry too much.

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