Harvesting Basil

101_3235 Live and learn.  After much research about growing, eating, cooking with, harvesting and preserving basil, I now know you really aren't supposed to let them flower.  Oops.  I've cut them way back now, but it may be too late in the season to reap much benefit. 

I found this lady, while doing research:  http://www.susanbelsinger.com/ and really enjoyed a couple of her educational videos about drying, harvesting, preserving herbs.101_3278

So I "went to town", trying to preserve what we have now and still hoping that we might get more this summer.  The experts say, if properly trimmed back all growing season, you should be able to get 20 cups of basil from a single plant!  I didn't get that much from 4 plants this year.  But I'm trying again next year.101_3283

I didn't know if we'd like drying or freezing better.  So I did both.  I think I'm going to prefer freezing, because it's going to be more like fresh and you can use it, when thawed out, in pesto and bruschetta, like fresh basil.101_3285

So, all the information I found said just to chop it up and add some olive oil and freeze.  Easy, huh?

I did what little rosemary we had too.  My kitchen smelled like pure Heaven! 

Basil is my favorite, though.  I don't think I could grow tired of it.

Just worth noting:  when pouring basil leaves into the cuisinart, make sure there's no movement.  While pulling the leaves from the stems, I had to deal with three little spiders.  I hate spiders…  even little ones.  So I must really love basil to deal with spiders!101_3309

This little pack of basil has been hanging by the kitchen window for 4 days and looks completely dried out to me now.  But all the research I found states to let them hang for 2 weeks, to insure no moisture is left.  Then put them in a air-tight jar for storage.  If there's any moisture left in them, mold will grow.  Yuck!101_3293

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get one more batch before the end of summer…  I don't know…

 

101_3296 Now…  what do I want to do with two bowls of these?

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