Czech Green

If you have a bumper crop of herbs or flowers, drying them is a great way to preserve them. They also make great gifts for friends and family members.

Herbs and flowers that we use on stems like rosemary and lavender can be dried in bunches. These bunches might take a little longer to become completely dry, but using this method helps to preserve the original flavors and scents of your favorite plants.

Start by cutting the stems near the root of the plant, making sure that they are as long as possible. Wash them carefully in cold water so that you don't knock off any leaves or petals. Next, very gently pat them dry. Now you want to gather up your stems and tie them together in bunches with yarn or ribbon. Do this by first laying out your ribbon and placing the stems in place one by one. Pull up your ribbon and snug it up around your bunch. Then, wrap it around a couple of times to make sure everything is secure and tie it off. Your herb bunches are going to be hung upside down so be sure to leave a loop to hang them from.

These flower or herb bunches can be hung in your kitchens from a hook in the ceiling. They can also be hung in an enclosed porch area or sun room. Remember, you can't wash them after they are dry so it is important to dry them in an area that is free from bugs and debris. Letting them dry is the best part because while they are drying, they can make the area smell really nice. The drying process could take anywhere from a few days to a week or more, depending on the environment they are dried in. Never try to dry herbs outside or on a porch in cold winter months, they could freeze and turn soggy when they thaw out.

To prepare herbs for storage, you are going to need a pair if kitchen scissors. You have a couple of choices when cutting them down to a smaller size. The first method is to cut the leafy part of the stems into shorter one to two inch lengths and keep them in a plastic container. Be sure to use a container with a snug fitting lid to help keep them fresh. The other method is to either remove the dry leaves from the stem or cut the tops into tiny pieces that can be put into a spice jar.

Storing your herbs in a wall spice rack with labeled jars will help you keep track of them. Hanging spice racks on the wall with all of your freshly dried herbs is the perfect storage system for keeping them well organized and maintaining freshness.

Have any of you read "Blue Planet in Green Shackles" by former Czech President Vaclav Klaus? ?

What did you think?
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/blue_planet_in_green_shackles.html

Yes I read it few months ago and I have read many of his speeches and saw him in several interviews.

The book gives a very clear view on how the pseudo-science of global warming and the ambitious environmentalists are threatening our freedom, economic growth and free trade. He compared it with what his country had to endure while they were under the Soviet Union.

It's a really small book but very straight to the point.

..edit..
Just a correction: Klaus IS the President of the Czech Republic (he was re-elected this year). He is also the next rotating President of the EU and, as expected, the media has already started the boycott with their tactic "du jour": name-calling.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/25/europe/25klaus.php
http://news.lalate.com/2008/11/25/vaclav-klaus-european-union-president/




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