Drying Herbs

My basil was getting away from me, and the spearmint has been a monster from the beginning of the season. Drying herbs seemed simple enough, but I consulted a few other garden blogs to brain storm. Here is what I settled with.

The best time to harvest herbs is right before they flower. Not only will you see the buds forming, but the leaves will appear more oily with deepened colour. This will give the dried herbs more flavour.

I harvested about half of the basil in the garden. I cut down majority of each plant, leaving the last row of leaves, incase it decides to make an end-of-season comeback.

I washed the spearmint and basil with cool hose water. Using about 2 paper towels for each bundle (4 total) I semi-dried the leaves. I then spread them on baking sheets to sit in the sun for the remainder of the afternoon. Although hang drying does just that (dry them), sun-drying beforehand helps to maintain quality and prevent musk or mould.

Hang somewhere with good air flow indoors. I chose to make my own herb drying rack to hang from an existing hook in the corner of our living room, beside a window. I had extra wire fencing from earlier this summer when I built the fence for my garden plot.

Hopefully I will have flavourful, organic dried herbs, preferably without creating a mess in the living room. We will see.

How do you dry your herbs? I always love new ideas.



Tutorial: Fix your Own Sink

My mother, the boundless handy-lady, raised me to attempt to do everything myself, including the man’s jobs. Now, my husband and I had a problem with our sink for weeks. Something inside was clogged. My suspicion was that it was due to him rinsing caulking residue down the sink on multiple occasions. He promised for weeks he would fix it. Finally I got fed up waiting on him, and did it myself. The major difference between my mother and I, is that my mother does her due diligence and researches the how-to’s before attempting. I prefer to go in head strong and blind, convinced I will figure it out, and, usually, I do. To all the other mom’s out there who need to fix their sink, figure maybe they could do it, but are none-the-less worried about breaking something. Here’s all the confidence you need to carry out the task yourself. You will not, however, learn any plumbing terminology, what so ever. 

If you check out this first picture, or look under your own sink, you will notice right away that every joint twists on by hand, meaning, if you simply grab one of the gripped joints and twist it, it will easily come undone. I guess the ease of this part would depend on the strength of the last person who was under the sink. 


Here are the pieces disassembled. The piece far-left attaches directly to the drain plug, and the u-shaped piece attaches below that one to the main plumbing. Important to note here is that the silver ring from the sink drain itself needs to be unscrewed. The piece far-right is part of the drain plug. Note that the plug portion of this piece has been removed (unscrewed) and is not shown in this photo. Every piece that you attach just needs to be unscrewed. Pay attention how they attach as you take them apart. 


Here is your sink with all of those pieces removed: 


When I removed the pieces, I did so with a bucket underneath, to catch water or crud falling down. I also used an Old Navy bag as a glove. 

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Important note on plumbing: do not rinse caulking down the sink when cleaning painting supplies! 

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Mike wasn’t completely to blame. There was a mildewie mass of thick, long, black hair from the Indian woman who occupied the home before us. Luckily for you, I can’t find photos of the hair glob. When cleaning these pieces, do so in a basement wash tub, or in the back yard on the grass as I did. 

To re-assemble, begin with this piece: 


Notice above, the silver rod that goes into the grey piece. It’s important that this piece accurately placed into that hole, and also strung onto the bottom of the drain plug. In this photo I’ve lined them up so you can see what to aim for. Do not assemble any other pieces until you are sure you have got the rod in the right spot, otherwise your plug won’t work. 

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Don’t forget to put your sink ring back on before you put the plug in. 


Our sink is filthy due to the clog, dirt and muck were constantly in standing water and draining slow as molasses. 

The other great thing about fixing your own sink, is you can clean all of the otherwise hidden nooks and crannies. 

Happy Plumbing!