bag-drying method differs from sun drying since it takes place
indoors in a well-ventilated room, attic, car, camper or
screened-in-porch. You don't have to have an herb garden to take
advantage of drying herbs -- buy fresh herbs at a farmers' market,
roadside stand or even the supermarket. Although any herb can be
dried using this method, sturdy, low-moisture herbs such as sage,
thyme, summer savory and parsley dry best.
Gather branches of herbs and cut with plenty of stem left. Strip
away tougher leaves growing lower than about 6 inches on the stalk.
Wash herbs by swishing the branches through cold water, holding by
stem ends. Shake off excess water and lay on towels until moisture
has evaporated (one to three hours). Wet herbs will mold while
drying; if this happens, toss the entire bag.
Bundle six to eight stem ends together and secure with string or
rubber band. Enclose branches upside down in a large paper bag.
Gather the bag around the stems and tie. Using a pencil or knife,
punch about 10 holes all around the bag for air circulation. Label
and date each bag. Suspend in an airy place for two to three weeks.
Herbs will be crispy when dry. The bag protects herbs from dust and
other pollutants during the drying process.
Basil, tarragon, lemon balm and mints have high moisture content
and will mold if not dried quickly. Remove the best leaves from the
stems, wash and dry. Lay the leaves on a paper towel in a single
layer without allowing leaves to touch. Cover with another towel and
another layer of leaves. Five layers may be dried at one time using
Dry in a very cool oven (high temperatures will result in
The oven light of an electric range or the pilot light of a gas
range furnishes enough heat for overnight drying. Leaves dry flat
and retain good color. Herbs are ready when they are crispy dry.
Store in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark area to protect
color, flavor and fragrance. Crumble when ready to use. Add dried
herbs to cooked foods during the last five to 10 minutes of cooking
time for best flavor.
Dried pumpkin seeds
Drying seeds and roasting seeds are two different processes. To
dry, carefully wash pumpkin seeds to remove the clinging fibrous
pumpkin tissue. Pumpkin and squash seeds can be dried in a
dehydrator at 115-120 degrees F for one to two hours or in an oven
set on warm for three to four hours. Stir them frequently to avoid
To roast, take dried pumpkin seeds, toss with oil or salt, and
roast on a cookie sheet in a preheated 250-degree oven for 10 to 15