Drying Herbs

Drying herbs, sage and thyme

The above photo is from my first drying session, late summer. Pick your herbs mid-morning, when their oils are strongest but they aren’t all dew-covered OR wilted from the mid-day sun. This is especially key for sage! I rinsed my herbs to get rid of any bugs, threw them in the salad spinner, and let them dry a little more while I prepared the bags. You don’t want any mold-causing moisture. Actually, for this drying session, the sage was still pretty damp so I gave it a session with my hairdryer in the bathroom (and got side-eye from Nick for it, if I remember correctly).

I used a hole-puncher on folded up paper lunch bags, bundled the thyme and sage into little bouquets, and tied them off with kitchen twine before hanging them inside the bags (held near the folded top with a binder clip).

You want to keep these somewhere dark where air regularly circulates. I chose the bottom shelf of my pantry cabinet, which gets opened often. We’re a bit limited on dark, cool spaces around here.

You can check on their progress periodically, but I didn’t bother, I just processed them into little Mason jars a month or two later, when I had the time.

Thyme, rosemary, and sage, dried and packaged

Thyme on the left, rosemary up top, and crumbled sage on the right.

For my second round of drying, I grabbed more thyme, more sage, and newcomers parsley and rosemary (why, I’m not sure, since rosemary grows everywhere in Seattle…particularly downtown, where I’ve heard they plant it to cover up the smell of urine from the homeless—or possibly the evening revelers).

Parsley was a terrible mistake (it turned brown and didn’t really get crisp), which I’m bummed about because I ran out of dried parsley a few months ago and can’t bring myself to buy more when I KNOW the garden’s going to be overrun with it again this coming year. I also now have a food dehydrator on my wish list, but until then, I’ll be attempting to dry parsley in the oven vs. a bag.

The rosemary dried just as well as the thyme and sage, though. I’ll probably send some to my folks’ back east since no one around here needs it!

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