drying herbs

whats the best way to dry or preserve herbs, i have a large bay tree that i want to cut back but dont want to waste the leafs
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snagglepuss2k

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On 7/21/2008 6:40 PM, snagglepuss2k wrote:

I rinse the herbs. Then I lay them out in a single layer on paper towels on top of my refrigerator. For bay, give them about 6 weeks.
However, you generally use only 1-2 bay leaves at a time when cooking. I have a bay to a 12-inch flower pot; it's about 18 inches tall (pruned often to keep it from outgrowing the ability of its constrained roots to supply it with water and nutrients). I pick fresh bay leaves whenever I want to use them. (The same with rosemary, oregano, sage, tarragon, peppermint, and thyme, all of which are in my garden.)
Fresh herbs generally have better flavor. On the other hand, I prefer dried spices. Somehow, it seems to my tongue that herbs lose some flavor while drying while spices get stronger while drying. Since basil and dill are summer annuals, I need to dry them if I'm going to use them in the winter.
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David E. Ross
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I haven't done bay, but many other herbs. zap them in the microwave spread out on a paper towel. I've done herbs the slow way, but the microwave does a more thorough job, especially during humid summer weather and you avoid mold.
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On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 13:33:05 -0500, "frinjdwelr"

I dry a lot of herbs using a food dehydrator. One time last year my whole house smelled like a medicine cabinet, but the odor dissipates quickly. My mother used to keep a bay leaf in flour to repel bugs--I guess it worked.
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Just pick the leafs off the branch and dry on paper towels.
They keep the bug eggs from hatching, actually. So, it breaks up the life cycle of pests. I put one in all my grains, flour etc. You never know what you may bring home from the store.
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