I’ve been getting better about making my own herbs and spices. Last year I grew spicy hungarian paprika, dried the peppers and then ground them. We used up all the paprika in winter goulash dishes, and it was delicious. This year I have half a bed dedicated to spicy paprika (I’m thinking of giving away some jars of paprika this Christmas) and have also planted some sweet paprika.
I also use the coriander seeds (picture above) in indian cooking, and save them to plant the next crop. I love fresh cilantro, and can never have enough.
I’ve successfully dried thyme, dill, and oregano. It can get humid here in the summer, so it isn’t always possible to air dry my herbs. What works for me is to turn the oven to warm for just a couple of minutes and then turn it off. I put the herbs in until dry. As long as it isn’t too warm, they seem to do very well (oregano is most sensitive to the heat, and will turn too brownish if you start off too warm). Dill turns out wonderfully, retaining a bright green color that I don’t find in the dried dill in the supermarket.
Technorati Tags: kitchen garden