Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hello, My Name is Mama Pea and I'm a Slow Learner

Well, a-PPARENT-ly.

I've always grown parsley in the garden and used it a lot during the summer months as a fresh herb added to my cooking.  Since I've never had any luck keeping a pot of parsley alive in the kitchen over winter, I have regularly purchased dried parsley from our local co-op to use when I didn't have fresh.  Until last year, I hadn't dehydrated any of our homegrown parsley.  How silly was that?  And why didn't I?  Just one of those (should be) logical, super-easy things to do that slipped by my mushy gray matter.

The amount I dried for last winter's use wasn't nearly enough, and I was a bit grumpy when I had to go back to using store bought.  Homegrown dehydrated parsley is soooo much more flavorful and . . . well, GREEN.


Today I finally had a big enough "stand" of it in the garden to warrant harvesting a bunch and getting it into the dehydrator.  (I'm betting cutting it will also encourage more lush growth.)

(A little glitch, I made a mistake by not mulching around the plants.  With all our rain, the parsley got fairly splattered with mud and required repeated washings to get it clean.)


Once thoroughly washed, spun in my salad spinner and rolled in a clean bath towel to take as much moisture out of it as possible, I filled four dehydrator trays with small clumps of parsley leaves.  Wanna take a guess as to how much dried parsley I'll end up with?  A cup?  A quart?  Somewhere in between?

A dehydrator temperature of 110° and three and a half hours later:


Right in between a cup and a quart . . . two cups on the nose.  With lots more to come.  I may be a slow learner, but I'm socking away as much homegrown, dried parsley as I can this year!

18 comments:

Sparkless said...

We didn't plant any parsley this year but now I'm regretting it. I really need to get a dehydrator but with all the other appliances we have I'm not sure where I'd put it.

Mark said...

Umm.. Excuse me while I go plant some more parsley. I clearly didn't plan anywhere near enough. :-)

Tami said...

Look at you...You're such a smart girl! Don't you love it when the light bulb comes on?

Carolyn said...

thanks for the reminder.....need to get my butt out there and harvest some of the basil that's going to go to waste if I don't dry it!

Susan said...

I snorted into my morning tea at that post heading! I dried parsley last year and still have tons. But that was nothing compared to my new 10 year supply of dried dill. I find that I miss the obvious at least six times a week...

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Our dehydrator is an old relic (but I won't give it up), big and bulky and permanently lives on the corner of a work bench in hubby's garage!

Mama Pea said...

Mark - I have four plants. Wonder if that is enough??

Mama Pea said...

Tami - Yeah, even though at times the light bulb is very, very dim! (Or sometimes the switch doesn't work at all . . . )

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Do you know I CANNOT grow basil? I don't think it's warm enough on a regular basis. This is the first year I haven't planted some just hoping . . . good thing I didn't as it wouldn't have stood a chance in he** this year!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - If you hear someone banging around in your pantry some night, don't panic as it will just be me stealing some of your dried parsley. So tell me, how much did you do last year? What should I shoot for?

Leigh said...

Beautiful! My parsley bolted way too early because it got so hot and dry so quickly. Hopefully it will seed itself because I love parsley.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,
Looks really good!!! I bet if you picked a 5 gallon bucket full you probably would get 1 quart jar.

It's a lot of work but well worth all the picking, cleaning, and dehydrating.

Enjoy your parsley!

Lisa said...

Just began doing this with our basil and cilantro this past year!! Your parsley is beautiful.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - I never knew parsley did bolt! How different our growing conditions, huh? Hope yours does self-seed. If so, does that mean you could get plants big enough to harvest before your winter sets in?

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - That's the thing about dehydrating. It seems like you end up with so little . . . and yet that's also one of the advantages of drying . . . it takes so little storage space and no energy to keep it in storage!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Thanks! I grow cilantro every year because I think it's so beautiful when it flowers . . . but I don't really care for the taste of it. Silly, huh?

Anonymous said...

Oh fabulous! I haven't had any luck with the herbs I started in the spring, but am going to go great guns again. Thanks for the great ideas. My biggest use in the kitchen is "italian seasoning", so I want to grow what I need for that, to make my own.

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