My parsley crop is meager this year and I was running out of dried parsley in the pantry so I picked up two bunches at the grocery store last week. I dry my herbs very very simply with a round herb rack in my kitchen. I bartered for this rack several years ago. If memory serves I traded some cloth pads for it over on Mothering.com's swap boards.
|2 bunches of grocery store parsley - I separated them into 7 small bunches for quicker drying|
If you don't have an herb rack you can easily substitute a large embroidery hoop with twine or wire as a hanger. To attach the herbs I use a variety of methods. The rack came with some s-hooks, but I also use clothespins and have one bent wire paper clip up there! I first make small bunches and then use large rubber bands to hold the bunches together. I then slide an s-hook, bent paper clip, or clothespin through the rubber band to hold the bunch up on the herb rack.
|selection of garden grown herbs from 2009 - sage, rosemary, and oregano|
|garden grown basil from 2010|
After the herbs are completely dried, I take down the bunches and remove the rubber bands.
|dried basil from 2009|
Then I separate the stems and begin to remove the leaves from the stems.
|dried basil from 2009 with most of the big stems removed|
|dried basil from 2009 with most of the stems removed and partially crushed|
After all the stems are removed and I'm left with just leaves I decide if I want to store the leaves mostly intact or if I want to crush or powder the leaves. For the most part I store my herbs with the leaves partially crushed as I tend to use herbs that way most often. If you prefer powdered herbs, a food processor or mortar and pestle can help you powder the leaves.
|dried basil from 2009 in jars and ready to store in the pantry|