The aromas of fall elate this warm, fuzzy feeling that seems to linger within my soul… I want to hunker down somewhat, but the gardener in me refuses to let go of my love. The plants are telling me by their exasperated appearance that they’re ready to call it a season…
“Farewell, our garden matron, it’s been a great year Jean, but now we must depart… see you in the spring!” I wrestle with this and fight it because deep down in my lonely soul of winter days, I can’t bear the thought of the winter world that will all to soon envelope everything I love.
So in efforts to capture and hold on… I ‘put-up’.
All winter long I can go to the freezer, cupboards and can shelves and remember the feeling of the prickly leaves of zucchini as I carefully reached in and took hold of her bountiful beauty.
I can look at the jars of salsa and reminisce of summer days strolling through the hoop house and gazing over the Heirloom tomatoes heavy with their colorful fruits.
Bringing up a jar of vegetable soup and tomato juice… blending their beauties together in a kettle and slowly warming up for all my loved ones. This rich, romantic aroma wafting through our home… but best of all… “Oh mom… that smells sooooo good!” That’s my reward.
Life is good on the farm.
Herbs are such a blessing to any kitchen and as I’ve been showing, extremely easy to preserve. For those of us whose winter months don’t allow for growing, we are able to enjoy the fruits of our labor by preserving.
Here’s a step-by-step super easy way to freeze your garden herbs in olive oil. You can use this technique with any herb or combination of herbs.
STEP 1: Using a 12 compartment cupcake tin, cut 12 squares of plastic wrap to fit into each hole. Be sure they’re large enough
to come up over the rims at least 1 1/2″.
STEP 2: Filling only one hole at a time, place plastic wrap and press in; Take 1 Tbsp. of herb and place in hole.
STEP 3: Carefully pour olive oil into hole, filling until level with tin.
STEP 4: Repeat process until all holes are filled. Place in freezer for 48 hours to allow oil to completely solidify.
STEP 5: Lift each ‘puck’ up; if they stick a bit, carefully use the tip of a knife to help it pop out.
STEP 6: Quickly remove plastic and place them all in a large freezer bag. It is fine that the herbs and oil separated.
STEP 7: Store in freezer and enjoy all winter long! Yum!
How to use you herbed oil pucks:
*Toss them into cooked, drained pasta.
*Let thaw in a bowl and use in a pasta salad… yummy fresh herb flavor with that white stuff on the ground.
*Toss in with a stir fry.
*Use to sauté meat for fajitas in.
*Thaw and brush on a roast before putting in the oven.
*Use when frying potatoes for home fries.
… and of course, like I always say, the uses are only limited by your imagination!
You can also do these in ice cube trays, but for my size family… that’s kinda’ funny 😉