Monday, September 29, 2014

Herbal Harvest

 ~ sage ~
 This Autumn weather is simply amazing - rainy in the morning & then glorious sunshine in the afternoon. Allows for quick & small projects out in the garden with time to contemplate & reflect on the past year while enjoying it still.

I realized that my supply of dried sage was almost non-existent! I had also run out of herbal apple cider vinegar - I always have a few bottles of that around to add a bit of zip or zing to a recipe.

Today's recipe (a great bean salad) called for zippy cider vinegar as well as fresh herbs. Perfect timing to run outside & harvest some sage before the frosts arrived & nipped off the new growth that my plant produced for me over the last little while.

When harvesting your perennial herbs, especially at this time of year, don't cut too far down the stalk - not into the wood areas of the stem (unless you are pruning them back hard). They need to be ready for the winter season & you wouldn't want them to suddenly produce a new flush of growth that might remove energy set aside for next spring.

 I harvested a lovely bouquet of sage - plenty to meet my needs for the winter months.

I spread out several cuttings on the tray to dry out over the next week or 2 & the rest I rough chopped, put into my glass jar & covered with apple cider vinegar. I put some plastic over top to not have the metal lid come in contact with the vinegar & gave it a good shake. The vinegar will sit for a few weeks until I feel (by taste & smell) that the vinegar has enough sage flavouring. Bear in mind that apple cider vinegar is slightly sweet, so the flavour is a bit different than you might expect. Sweet, tangy & zippy - with whatever herb flavour you want to throw in the mix!

I like it with potatoes, a splash or 2 in veggie or seafood stir fries & just over the top of a salad.

What are you harvesting from your gardens at this time of year?

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