Herby ideas

My mint harvest was plentiful. Last week, I used about 8 cups of it, stems and all, to infuse vodka.

I poured my new bottle of Russian vodka over some fresh mint in my garden. I let it sit for four days.
I poured my new bottle of Russian vodka over some fresh mint in my garden. I let it sit for four days in a window that is out of the sun.

Today, I poured the infused vodka through a coffee filter expecting to store it in the freezer and enjoy a minty fresh cocktail tonight. I think I used too much mint for my infusion. Not all of the leaves were covered by the vodka, they might have gone bad, and the after result had a not-so-fresh, rotten herb odor. Since this is my first try, I’m attempting to not be too hard on myself. Twenty dollars went down for the vodka, but Trev said it’s not so bad when you plug your nose. I think I’ll let him enjoy it while I make plans for my next liquor infusing attempt. I guess we can’t all be absolut geniuses on the first try.

I tied up half of the rest of my mint to dry. I will have it throughout the winter maybe for some tea or an ambitious, hoity-toity French or Mediterranean dinner recipe. I also am drying some dill.

My elation about the sunny front yard is dissipating. The dill was looking wilty and I blame the harsh D.C. sun. I snipped it all to preserve it through drying.
My springtime elation about the sunny front yard is dissipating. Even though we water often, the dill was looking sun-dried and I blame the harsh D.C. summer. I snipped it all to preserve it through drying.

I have very small yields because all of my herbs and vegetables are in containers, but I’ve found that my herbs (cilantro and parsley in particular) go bad after too much time in Ziploc in the fridge. I can’t use them very fast when I don’t eat many meals at home. It’s sad for me because I know once it gets too hot and sunny this summer, my herbs and lettuce will dry up. I am thinking about taking them inside, but I only have a couple windows that might get enough sun for this.

In order to use my basil, cilantro and parsley in bulk, I have made two batches each of basil pesto and hummus. I thank my mom for these recipes. In the spring, summer and fall, there is an abundance of pesto and hummus for our lunches and snacks. In the winter, she brings up plastic containers full from the deep freezer.

Fresh basil pesto with chopped walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and about four cups of basil. It amazes me how bright green and fresh it looks.
Basil pesto with chopped walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and about four cups of basil. It amazes me how bright green and fresh it looks. I use pesto as a dip for carrots and Triscuits. I considered freezing some to use on a pizza or with pasta later, but we ate it all.
I used my purple hand blender to make hummus dip. I blended one can of garbanzo beans, garlic, olive oil, Tahini sesame paste, lemon juice, cilantro and parsley.
I used my purple hand blender from Kohl’s to make hummus dip. I blended one can of garbanzo beans, garlic, olive oil, Tahini sesame paste, lemon juice, cilantro and parsley.
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