Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday's Project: Drying Fig Leaves and Herbs


I'm really excited about today's project, as it's one I've dabbled with in the past, but haven't committed to doing the right way. I've been saying for the last few years, "this year, this is the year we'll really do it." So this year, we are. 

Today we will be hanging a few hooks in our house, stringing twine from one to the other, and beginning to dry some of our herbs, and most importantly, fig leaves. 

Every year I find that I let some (or a lot of) our herbs go to waste, and it always makes me sad. It just feels like such a waste. Especially when those herbs could be used in cooking or tisanes once the weather turns cold. 

What's a tisane? I asked the same question a few years back when I noticed them on the shelves at the bio. Essentially think of a drink that is made just like tea, but doesn't actually contain tea leaves in it. Drinks made with dried flowers, dried herbs, etc., but without tea leaves, are tisanes. So that post I did last summer on Fig Leaf Tea was actually a Fig Leaf Tisane. (Hashtag whoops.) Semantics aside, it was still delicious. 

So that brings me back to this project. The other day I made a delicious fresh fig leaf and fresh mint tisane that was out of this world. Drinking it made me feel like I was at a spa. And I thought to myself, now is the summer to dry all these leaves I've wanted to, so that once the leaves have fallen off of the trees outside I can still enjoy a nice tisane. I refuse to feel the pangs of regret at yet another winter of no fig leaf based tisane drinks, or having to buy dried herbs!

We're starting off small, as this is the first batch, but we should be able to get a couple of drying rounds in before the fall hits and the leaves begin to drop. In today's round we're drying fig leaves from a few of our local trees, as well as mint, rosemary, and chives from our terrace orchard garden. If our drying process yields enough by the end of the summer, I may have a small amount available to offer to some fellow fig-loving-tisane-drinking-readers, if you'd be interested. 

Never had a tisane? Try one out! You can make them with so many different herbs or flowers, dried or fresh, and many have some great health benefits if consumed regularly/properly. Always either ask your doctor before consuming, especially if you're pregnant, and do a quick Google search as some have cautions. Check out my fig leaf tea tisane from last summer here, or try adding a sprig of mint (about 10-12 leaves) into the tea ball with a chopped up medium sized fig leaf for the heavenly drink I had the other day. 

Check back for more updates on our drying process!

A la prochaine friends...

Honey 

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