Monday, July 13, 2015


I also harvested some of the lemon verbena bush yesterday afternoon.  These leaves smell as lemony as a real lemon- I've never grown lemon verbena before and it's amazing.  Emma's in love with this flavor, and we thought it would be fun to make our own lemon extract.

Lemon verbena harvest

We started off with a pile of leaves, which were chopped and loosely stuffed into a pint jar.  After adding enough 190-proof grain alcohol to cover, the 37 grams of leaves filled the jar about 3/4 of the way.

Lemon verbena extract (tincture)

It will live in my cupboard for the next six weeks or so and I'll give it a shake when I think about it, then I'll strain it and we'll see how lemony it is.  Emma's excited for lemon cookies from our garden, in December.

The dehydrator-load of cherries was also done yesterday, and I got them packaged up to store.  Nine fairly full Excalibur trays turned into five full quarts of dried cherries.  These are vacuum sealed and safely stored in the basement.  I still have a bit less than a quart left from last year, so those will be used first.

5 quarts of dried cherries

Last but not least, here's the cucumber salad I made with one of the cucumbers we harvested yesterday.  I used a mandoline to slice the cucumbers extra-thin, but that's not strictly necessary.  It was quick and easy, and so so so yummy.

Quick cucumber salad: 1 medium cucumber, sliced thinly, 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon balm, 1 teaspoon sugar, a splash of rice vinegar to make a loose dressing.

Quick Cucumber Salad

1 medium cucumber, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon balm
1 teaspoon sugar
a splash of rice vinegar to make a loose dressing

Mix the dressing ingredients together well.  Toss with the cucumbers.  Eat.


Rachel said...

how did you vacuum seal your cherries??

and i'll be very interested to hear how the 'extract' works out. I never really thought to do that with an herb like lemon verbena so this winter you'll have to keep me posted!

Sue said...

I have a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, and got the jar sealer accessories so I can vacuum seal regular and wide-mouth canning jars. It's not a substitute for canning, but is great for storing dry foods!

Suz said...

I'm loving all of these how-to posts. I have a TON of mint and lemon verbena, and now I'm thinking of doing extracts as well.

And I totally saved that cucumber salad recipe - My friends and I have a tomato/cucumber exchange going on (all of my cucumber plants died, all of their tomatoes did, it's so weird this year).