How to Store Herbs

Wow, that's a long break between my regular posts. Life has been hectic. I was so tired after the past few weeks that on weekend when I started to write this post about my favourite How-To, it just did not work. I decided to wait for a little bit, but then life got in the way. On Monday I had a family birthday dinner, on Tuesday I stole someone's cat, on Wednesday I had to work late. Wait, what? Stole someone's cat?

Ok, let me explain. It's not as sinister as it sounds, I promise. I volunteer with the Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue non-profit organization and when I say volunteer, I mean I help them with their social media, work on redesigning their website and once a week I go to the adoption centre to clean after the kitties, feed them and play with them. I don't really rescue cats.

My co-worker, who knew about this, called and said that there's a stray/lost cat that has been coming to his backyard for almost a week. It kept meowing and staying there. Having never rescued a cat before, I sprang into action. I arranged for a veterinary visit. Started the process of finding foster home for the cat. Was prepared to foster it for a few days bringing the total of cats living in my household to three. Changed our usual routine by going out of the way to work and parking closer to colleague's house. I got a water bowl, cold water, treats, can of tuna, can opener for the said can, a cage, blankets, pair of shoes to change. Armed with all that I went to my co-worker's house at the end of the day, terribly worrying about the cat and it being dehydrated, hurt and scared after the heatwave and the storm that we had over the weekend.

The moment I saw the cat I knew it was a misunderstanding. It was someone's cat that for some reason decided to hang out in my colleague's backyard for a week. The cat looked clean, healthy, well-fed, well-kept and not scared at all. He went right into my arms and I made a decision to still take him to the vet just to make sure. The clinic confirmed what I suspected - he was healthy and clearly someone's cat. No signs of malnutrition, dehydration, stress, abuse or anything like that. 

It was an emotional experience, with tears and worries and in the end I decided to bring the cat back to where I found him since he obviously had a home near by.

So, that's the story of me "catnapping" a cat.

Now, let me tell you this mind-blowing trick about how to store Herbs! It's absolutely amazing! I've tried different methods before: keeping herbs in water on the counter, washing and drying and keeping in airtight container in the fridge, not washing them and keeping wrapped in paper towel - nothing worked. I mean yes, all these are good options if you finish a bunch of herbs in a week. However, unless I'm making some kind of pesto, I usually use a couple of sprigs or a few tablespoons of herbs at a time and in a week I still have a lot left.

Fresh dill

Then one day, a few years ago I was at my mom's when she was making a salad and I saw this weirdly shaped bag in her fridge. This is when she told me about how someone taught her to store herbs. And it's unbelievable. Herbs now last for at about four weeks in my fridge. Mind you, after two weeks they are not as lively as in the beginning and I wouldn't use them in fresh garden salads just because of their visual appeal, but they are perfectly fine and tasty to use in soups or other cooked dishes. 

Fresh Dill on Paper Towel

How to store Herbs

So, this is what you need:

Herbs (obviously)
Paper towel
Plastic bag that you put the herbs in when you purchased them
  • First step is optional, I rarely do it because I'm lazy, but it'll save you time in the future. Wash the herbs and dry them thoroughly!
  • If the first step is omitted, then just let them dry a little bit from the moisture that they had at the store.
  • Now, get two layers of paper towel and put herbs on it (just like in a picture above).
  • And here's the mind-blowing part. Place the herbs and paper towel into a dry plastic bag, blow into it and tie the bag like a balloon. The key is to fill the bag with CO2 by exhaling/blowing into it. (You see what I did there? Mind-blowing... blow in the bag... Ok, it's not that funny... moving on...)
  • Keep this "balloon" in the fridge.
  • Every 3-4 days, you'll notice that there's condensation inside the bag and the paper towel is damp, place new dry paper towel and turn the bag inside out, so that it's dry inside. Make the "balloon" and repeat again in a few days.
  • This method takes a lot of space in the fridge, but it's amazing how long I can store the herbs this way. They don't rot, they don't go bad, they are still green and flavourful (although limp) in 4 weeks.
Fresh Dill in a Bag
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Posted on July 23, 2015 and filed under Personal.