Tag Archives: gardening

best way to preserve garden herbs: freezing method in ice cube trays

Freezing self-grown basil herbs (basil) in ice cube trays for winter use

as seen in #21975 TasteSpotting/18.09.08; #5524 foodgawker/18.09.08

 

This year the summer was over in Switzerland rather early, I remembered when I first arrived Basel three years ago, also in mid-Sept, it was not this cold. I felt the warm weather just disappeared all of a sudden without any signs or saying goodbye to us, the daytime temperature dropped from 25°C to 15ºC sharply one day to another. I am missing the warm weather, I don’t want to put on winter clothes yet.

Last week, I have harvested and preserved the basil leaves from our garden so to enjoy them in the winter. My neighbour, Philly gave us two different species of basil that I had not come across in the supermarket: small leaves basil (Fig. 1) and purple leaves basil (Fig. 2).

 

Fig.1 Small leaves Basil

 

Fig.2 Purple leaves Basil

I have searched in the internet, there are so many different ways of preserving herbs that I did not know which method is the best, so I could only use my best guess. In the end, I have chosen the ice cube method (see below for details) for the small leaves basil as I do not need to chop them into smaller pieces, this seemed to be the most convenient and cleanest method.

As for the purple leaves basil, I divided the leaves in batches and wrapped them in cling film and then I used kitchen paper as separator between each batch so they will not stick together. Lastly I put them in a zip-lock bag and placed in the freezer for winter use.

 

Freezing Basil using Ice-cube method:

  1. Harvest the basil leaves, pick the healthy ones (Fig. 3).
  2. Wash, pick the leaves off the stalk and then use the salad spinner to spin out most of the water (Fig. 4 & 5). 
  3. Pat dry with kitchen towels (Fig. 6).
  4. Stuff the herbs in ice cube trays.
  5. Fill the tray with water. Using your finger push the leaves down into the water as much as possible as they tend to float. Place the ice cube tray in the freezer (Fig. 7).
  6. Once the ice cubes are frozen, remove them from the tray and transfer to zip-lock bags.
  7. These cubes are now ready for use, simply add the whole ice cube into your dish during cooking.

early summer delight: "absolutely fabulous raspberry fool (Plan A)"

In Switzerland, it is quite common to have your own vegetable & fruit garden. I am naive in gardening but I am learning everyday. Last summer, we had our self-grown beans and they really tasted much better than those from the supermarkets. It was an exciting experience for a city girl like me to see how the beans are still hanging on the plant before they are picked (please see pictures at the bottom of page). We also had a grape tree which we had made bottles of grape syrup.  So organic ……… : )

 

as seen in #22396 TasteSpotting/ 24.09.08 & #5874 foodgawker/ 25.09.08

This year we had two harvests of raspberries so far , I have made an absolutely fabulous and easy-to-make raspberry fool  dessert from a recipe of my neighbour, Philly. She is also our gardening consultant, by the way. Last year, I tried it at her place that it was so unforgetable that I have to try out myself this year.

 

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 600g rasberry  (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 500g quark
  • 500g mascarpone
  • milk 80ml
  • 8 tbsp brown sugar

 

Method:

  1. If you use fresh raspberries, dissolve a few generous spoonfuls of salt in a big bowl of water, then place the berries in the bowl and leave them there for 20 mins or so to get rid of all the insects which may still be hidding in the fruits. 
  2. Discard the salt water and rince the berries in cold water. Reserve a small portion of the raspberries aside for garnish in the end.
  3. Mix the raspberries and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and let them to macerate for 10 mins.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins, then squash the rasberries with a fork. Your raspberry should look like a puree now. The beauty of this recipe is that it is so clean that you will not need a blender at all as the raspberries are so soft.
  5. Mix in the quark and mascapone with the puree, then slowly add in the milk. The purpose of the milk is to make the dessert less thick. You can adjust the thickness as you wish by controlling the amount of milk added. If there is a lot of juice come out of the raspberries, you can leave the milk out.
  6. You can now spoon the raspberry mixture evenly into your favorite glasses. Garnish with the reserved berries on top. 

 

early summer delight: “absolutely fabulous raspberry fool (Plan A)”

In Switzerland, it is quite common to have your own vegetable & fruit garden. I am naive in gardening but I am learning everyday. Last summer, we had our self-grown beans and they really tasted much better than those from the supermarkets. It was an exciting experience for a city girl like me to see how the beans are still hanging on the plant before they are picked (please see pictures at the bottom of page). We also had a grape tree which we had made bottles of grape syrup.  So organic ……… : )

 

as seen in #22396 TasteSpotting/ 24.09.08 & #5874 foodgawker/ 25.09.08

This year we had two harvests of raspberries so far , I have made an absolutely fabulous and easy-to-make raspberry fool  dessert from a recipe of my neighbour, Philly. She is also our gardening consultant, by the way. Last year, I tried it at her place that it was so unforgetable that I have to try out myself this year.

 

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 600g rasberry  (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 500g quark
  • 500g mascarpone
  • milk 80ml
  • 8 tbsp brown sugar

 

Method:

  1. If you use fresh raspberries, dissolve a few generous spoonfuls of salt in a big bowl of water, then place the berries in the bowl and leave them there for 20 mins or so to get rid of all the insects which may still be hidding in the fruits. 
  2. Discard the salt water and rince the berries in cold water. Reserve a small portion of the raspberries aside for garnish in the end.
  3. Mix the raspberries and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and let them to macerate for 10 mins.
  4. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins, then squash the rasberries with a fork. Your raspberry should look like a puree now. The beauty of this recipe is that it is so clean that you will not need a blender at all as the raspberries are so soft.
  5. Mix in the quark and mascapone with the puree, then slowly add in the milk. The purpose of the milk is to make the dessert less thick. You can adjust the thickness as you wish by controlling the amount of milk added. If there is a lot of juice come out of the raspberries, you can leave the milk out.
  6. You can now spoon the raspberry mixture evenly into your favorite glasses. Garnish with the reserved berries on top.