Herb Drying

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I have finally finished my little experiment on the herb drying methods.

I dried them via microwave for two minutes, toaster oven for 20 minutes, convention oven for 20 minutes and hung on the ceiling for seven days.
While the hung herb is being dried naturally, I also left the other herb from the microwave and ovens continued to air dry at the same time.
Today when I did the final comparison, I found that the traditional way of hang drying is more gentle and natural, the slow drying method also seems to preserve the fragrance better in my opinion, not to mention I love seeing the herb hanging in the kitchen… very soothing to my eyes. The oven dried herbs appeared darker in color, probably due to the concentrating heat.
When I stripped the rosemary off the branches and into the jar, I decided to ditch the microwaved ones as I felt that method has literally zapped the life out of the herb. It looks the greenest but the fragrance is not as strong.

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From the left – naturally dried, conventional dried, toaster oven dried and microwave dried.

 

Conclusion – I will be drying my herb the naturally way.

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A place for Everything

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I used to have this question: Is the quote “A place for everything and everything in its place” interchangeable?

I have found that having a place for whatever you want to keep, whether it is a treasure or an everyday object (such as pens, papers or in this case, drinking vessels), is vital when you decided to live a more de-cluttered life.

In this post, I want to share how I conquered the Runaway-Drinking-Vessels. This small victory has changed my life on tracking who is not putting their drink ware away. I always share this with my young mom friends who have little ones and it’s been well received.
The drink ware set up is easy. Find a location that is convenient. In my home, that means on the counter right next to the sink where we have the filtered water mounted. It’s super convenient to fill up the glass with water, drink it and put the glass right back at its place. From left to right, youngest to oldest is the line-up. 
Before this, we constantly bickered with each other at the half drank glasses that were laying around namelessly. Since the implement of this small set up, the nameless mystery has been solved (for many years now).

Here are the easy steps for the drinking glasses station:

  1. Location, location and location. 🙂
  2. Give the whole family a “tour” or “instruction” on how this works. It’s so easy even my then three year-old got it.
  3. Old habit is hard to break so leave room for grace, they will all get it, if you are practicing this good habit daily yourself.

To answer my own question, I have chosen to have a place for everything before everything in its place.

How about you?

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Herb Beauty

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Ever since I have visited the Huntington Library’s herb garden, I have always dreamed of having one in my little side yard. Herbs are so beautiful and practical, not to mention the aroma and the healing benefit they provide. But since I am neither a chef nor a gardener, that dream may take years to realize.

My friend  gave me some rosemary and mint twigs this afternoon. After hubby replanted some (there were a lot due to the recent rain) I have decided to play with drying the rest of the rosemary myself. I couldn’t believe how many YouTube how-to’s out there on the drying topic. After watching about three short videos I decided to run a little experiment myself – with microwave drying, toaster oven drying, convention oven drying and the traditional way of drying by hanging up the twigs.
When the experiment is concluded I will write another post on my preference of the drying method. Until then here is the little mint bouquet I made for you to enjoy! It smells so good and I can pick them to put in my tea whenever I want.

The little herb garden may happen after all, with hubby’s help and with these two starter plants. I am grateful and excited!

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  ~ Genesis 1:11

 

 

Knitting

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Knitting is one of my favorite hobbies.

The fact that it takes only three items for the craft – yarns, needles and patterns – makes it extremely appealing to me, not to mention its portability. I can take it anywhere I go.

I used to stash yarns and books but now I only order quality yarns and patterns to make gift for loved ones. I only knit around Thanksgiving time and the item is usually given as a Christmas gift. The best part of this gift to me is when the recipient smiles while putting the item on their cheek with their eyes closed.

It’s a labor of love.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Is vs. And

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When I was contemplating a name for this blog, I thought a lot about less is more versus less and more. Perhaps they are interchangeable in some cases but not every time.

While I have embraced the less is more model for many years, I have come to a conclusion that less is sometimes not necessary more. I would not think of having a low household income necessary mean that I am happier and can pursue that personal dream (or life style) we see so often being portrayed (allusively) on the internet, at will. However, having a low household income did cause me to be creative to meet the needs of my family and therefor I have less but/and I have more. Thankfully the tremendous pressure of meeting the needs is over now – that’s the beauty of life’s seasons – with only my surprised caboose kid, we are freer, financially, to do more things but at the same time, less because the growing years of a young child do demand your undivided attention.

Whether it is less or more it is a life to be lived, to its fullest – if possible.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

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