Saturday, October 9, 2021


With every change of season I experience another surge of energy for a season appropriate project.  Herb drying and herb mixes are on my current list.  Just for fun I counted up the number of seasoning herb recipes I have and the grand total is 22.

Some are duplicates.  Who needs four recipes for Herbs de Provence?  I'll edit the collection by determining which of the ingredients I can use from my homegrown stash  and supplement the remainder from a market that supplies packaged dried herbs that are organically grown.

My method of drying herbs is very simple.  I use a microwave plate lined with a paper towel.  Arrange 1/2 to 1 cup of herb leaves in a single layer and cover with another paper towel.  Dry on full power 1-2 minutes.  Check after l minute.  I pull the tray if there is just a hint of dampness left and let the herbs finish drying at room temperature.  Leaves should be crisp enough to crumble.  Depending on leaf size and thickness the process could be 2-4 minutes.  Store in an air tight container.  

In addition to filling your own spice shelf, containers of your homemade mix makes wonderful Christmas gifts.

My favorite mix is a Sweet Herb mixture which is a versatile mixture to flavor stews, soups, vegetables, pasta sauces, chicken and roasts.


1 Cup dried parsley

3/4 Cup dried marjoram

1/4 Cup dried basil

3 Tablespoons dried thyme

3 Tablespoons dried lemon thyme  ( I am out of my lemon thyme, will use some lemon zest this year)

3 Tablespoons winter savory

2 Tablespoons dried tarragon

I decided to keep the following Herbs de Provence recipe (a little more involved than the others, but more traditional)


2  Tablespoons dry basil

4 Teaspoons dry oregano leaves

2 Teaspoons EACH: dried thyme, dried marjoram, dried tarragon, and dried savory

1-1/2 Teaspoons crushed bay leaves

1 Teaspoon EACH: fennel seed, dried mint leaves, ground sage, dried rosemary leaves and dried  lavender (optional)

Blend into a fine powder and store in an air tight container.  An elegant herb sprinkling for meat, poultry or mixed with steamed or sautéed vegetables.

This is a great convenience when you have all the ingredients for a taco but no packets of seasoning.


2 Teaspoons chili powder

1-1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 Teaspoon paprika

1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 Teaspoon onion powder

1/4 Teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 Teaspoon black pepper

Taste and adjust spices as desired.  Makes the equivalent of 1 standard packet of taco seasoning.

I used the poultry seasoning last holiday season on turkey parts.


1/4 Cup dried ground or crumbled sage

1/4 Cup dried thyme

2 Tablespoons celery seed

2 Tablespoons dried marjoram

1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 Teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional  (I chose not to use it)

Bouquet Garni is the classical traditional French herb mix for preparing stocks, soups, casseroles, meats and vegetables.  A container filled with these cheesecloth filled bags would make an excellent gift.  Include direction on how to use the blends in soups and stews.


1/3 Cup dried Italian parsley

3 Tablespoons dried thyme

3 Tablespoons dried lovage leaves (lovage leaves taste like celery, you could probably use dried celery leaves)

2 Bay leaves, crumbled  

Mix together.  Place 1 tablespoon of the mix in the center of a 4-inch square of cheesecloth, doubled or in a small muslin bag. Gather up the corners and tie with kitchen string, leaving a long end that can be tied to the handle of the pot so it is easily removed from the dish before serving.  Makes enough for about 14 bags.

Have fun and fill your spice shelf with homemade mixes.  There are blends for seafood, Oriental dishes, meat blends, and blends for vegetables.

Be sure to listen to the Gardening: Get Good at It "Sustainability in Your Garden" segment on Tues. Oct. 19 on KPOV 88.9 FM between 9-9:30 am

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