Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What to do with Cinnamon Basil Buds

A short while ago during the Polka dot blog hop,one of the people to comment on my blog asked a question.  Even though Nellie,left a link for me to contact her,much to my frustration I have not been successful in my attempts to do so!!! :(

The question was,"what do you do with those buds from the cinnamon basil?"

This past weekend I pick my cinnamon basil for the last time this season.  Pictured above,in a recycled plastic meat tray,which by the way,works great for a drying tray also!

A closer view,of the buds and leaves too.  To answer the question though...

When picking the buds of your basil make sure to do so before any of the little flowers start to bloom,like in the above picture.  The reason being,if you allow the buds to flower,the plant will not continue to produce all summer and into early fall.  So,make sure to keep pinching off/harvesting the buds to keep your cinnamon basil producing.

After harvesting my basil,I leave it on the kitchen counter,or table in the tray used for picking.  Every day stir it around a bit,so that it will dry evenly.  (you could also cut off whole stems and hang/tie them up to dry)  since I like to harvest as much as possible,I do not cut off the stems,just pinch off the buds and leaves.

After the basil is dry,(the amount of drying time will depend on how humid or dry it is where you live) it is time to prepare it for storage/immediate use.  If using right away,say for tomato jam,take the amount desired and over your pot of simmering jam,crush it between your hands,buds and leaves alike.  If storing you can either crush it,or what I do is,place all the basil in an airtight container as is (not crushed).  Basically,you just use it the same as the leaves :)  Of course you can use the fresh picked buds for a pretty garnish too!

My container is....

A up-cycled Starbucks coffee jar :)  My plan is to etch the names of the herbs onto the jars,hopefully soon!  I hope this answered your question Nellie,and I am sorry that it has taken me so long reply to you.  (Hope you are still reading my blog to see the answer)

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