what’s in store?

It’s a sunny day with puffy clouds in a blue sky. You walk through the farmers’ market. Baskets, bushels, and crates, are overflowing with produce. Doesn’t a sparkling day make everything look irresistible?

When you get home, the cloth bag is unloaded. (Click on this link to read about the importance of cleaning those cloth bags! ) http://blogs.phillymag.com/bewellphilly/2012/04/05/checkup-reusable-shopping-bags-swimming-germs/ 

 Here are some thoughts for storing your herbs. These tips are for herbs you get at the market. You may have taken too much from your own garden. Keep the herbs fresh for another meal. 

Farmers’ markets feature herbs in two different ways. They can be pre-cut and packaged. Harvested and trimmed at the roots. They can also be displayed in buckets of water with roots intact.You want to store the herbs in the refrigerator. By taking some time to prep the herbs, you can save time when making meals for the next week or so.

For herbs without roots, store in several sheets of paper towels. Briefly run the paper towels under running cold water. Lightly moisten the paper towels. You want to save rinsing the herbs for when you are ready to use them. Wrap the stems in the moist paper towels. Place the herbs in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. You can also wrap some plastic wrap around the bundle. It works just as well as a plastic bag. This will keep your herbs fresh for about two weeks.

The herbs in the water buckets have the roots intact. In this instance, you want to store them, in a glass or jar, of water. You want to retain as much moisture for the herbs until you are ready to work with them. Again, save washing the herbs until they are ready to go into a dish to add flavor.

After placing the herbs in water, cover with a plastic bag or a large square of plastic wrap. You don’t have to secure the plastic bag in any way. Leave it to loosely cover the herbs. You can place the jar of herbs in the refrigerator and use for the next two weeks.

If you have a bunch of basil, with the roots or not, place in a jar of water. No plastic. Leave the jar out on the kitchen counter. The basil will wilt in cooler temperatures. It’s much happier sitting on the counter until you’re ready to use it.

More tomorrow!

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