How to Oven Dry Herbs

photoIf your herb garden is giving you the gift of too many fresh herbs at once, drying them is such a wonderful option because you can enjoy them for months as you cook with them or use them in your spellwork.

Directions:

* Cut herbs from the garden and bring them inside right away. The best time to cut herbs is in the morning before the plants have been stressed by hot sun.

* Rinse them, carefully shake as much water off into the sink as possible, very gently pat them dry with clean towels, then lay them flat on the towels until they were completely dry. Note: it’s important to not bruise the leaves while rinsing and drying, because bruising releases the oils (flavors) of the plant.

* Removed the leaves from the stems. This is such a perfect job for little hands! My girls loved helping, and their hands are the perfect size for removing tiny leaves.

* Place the leaves in single layers on baking sheets. (I use silicone mats on my baking sheets.)

* Each tray of herbs went into the oven (middle rack,) heated to 175 degrees F. 2 trays in the oven at a time.

* The key is to vent the oven door (I placed a dish towel in the door to prop it open slightly.) If the herbs bake, their essential oils are destroyed and the flavor deteriorates.

* The parsley and oregano trays were in the oven for 1 hour until they were dried. Basil took a bit longer, at 1 hour and 20 minutes. You’ll want to keep a very close eye on the herbs while they’re drying.

* You’ll know your herbs are completely dry when you can crumble them between your fingers.

To store dried herbs, put them in air-tight jars (Ball jars) and keep them in a cool, dark place. They’ll last for up to a year, however, I’ve noticed that flavor starts to deteriorate after around 6 months.

Another other herb drying method I would recommend is hanging. Carefully wash and pat dry the stems of herbs, then tie them into small bundles with a maximum of 10 stems per bundle. They need to be hung in a dark, dry and warm area with good air circulation for around 3 weeks.

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Mint Bath Salts

Mint Bath SaltThis fun mint variation is especially helpful at relieving sore, tired muscles.

To make:
Pick several fresh mint leaves. Spread out on a paper towel and let air dry for about two or three days, until crumbly. Mix 1 cup Epsom salt with several crushed, dried leaves. I rub them through a fine mesh sieve to ensure that the pieces are small enough not to be a nuisance in the tub drain. Usually the scent of the dried herb/flower is enough to scent bath salts.

Source:  Wicca Annie’s BOS on Facebook

List of 42 Flowers You Can Eat

Edible flowers are ordinarily associated with haute cuisine and wedding cakes, but you may have several tasty varieties right in your own backyard.

Adding flowers to your meals will not only make an ordinary dish look gourmet, they can be quite flavorful and nutritious.

Historically speaking, many different cultures valued fresh flowers in their culinary endeavors; rose petals were popular among Asian Indians, daylily buds often appear in oriental dishes, Romans used violets, and stuffed squash blossoms were popular in Italian and Hispanic cultures.

If you’re used to adding fresh herbs to your food, adding in a sprinkling of fresh flowers is not much different, but there are some unique guidelines to be aware of.

Read more:  http://realfoodoutlaws.com/flower-power-42-flowers-can-eat/

UPDATED: FDA to Crack Down on Home-based Soap Makers?

If you’ve heard this rather suspicious article (I say suspicious with good reason), please take note of the following screenshots…

FDA 1

FDA 2

Ok… Everything appears to be legit until you click on the encircled in red “full article here” link and guess what?…

FDA 3

Ta da!!! This is where it leads you.

Please further note, that I’d performed a SEARCH on this topic and outside of the Health Impact News and Simple Unhooked Living sites noted via screenshots, this issue is literally NOWHERE to be found.  So, uhm…

UPDATE:  A Twitter friend found this link today:  http://t.co/T41wTeW4Cr

Now, IF Feinstein and her corporate fools want to kick up dust over this issue, imagine how those same soap-making corporate fools will be made to eat their kicked up dust because of all the synthetics they use in their products!  Worse, I wonder how Monsanto will react since it would also be likely that their GMO’s would be dragged through the mud as well.  After all, ORGANIC means organic.  NOT synthetic.  NOT genetically modified.  Hmm…  I foresee a big fall for Feinstein and pals.

DIY Strawberry Citrus Soaps

Here’s an easy recipe for a sweet, citrusy soap that smells so delicious you’ll swear it’s edible. It’s bright, it’s colorful and it’s perfect for spring!

Pouring two different MP soap bases, one right after the other, creates a natural swirled division between the two colors for a visual result that’s fun and fancy- without any skill at all!

Recipe:  http://www.bulkapothecary.com/blog/soap-recipes/strawberry-citrus-soaps-recipe/