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‘Joy of the Mountains’

By Carol Clark

With the second year in our herb garden the oregano and thyme have turned predatory, seeking to take out every other living thing in our small garden. We transplanted the thyme into its own pot where it could do no more harm. Cutting back the oregano, I didn't want to waste the extra, but did not yet want to dry for winter. (Can't admit that summer will come to an end). So with the extra we cut small bouquets which we tied with jute to share with our Greek friends. Totally irresistible.

Since your herbs will not stay forever ready in your garden, cut stems and have them ready in a canning jar filled with water. These will stay fresh for up to two weeks in your fridge. I like having them out on our kitchen table where they make the house smell like an Italian bistro and where I can be reminded to use them while preparing the next meal.

Make sure to dry enough for winter. Try drying leaves and stems in the refrigerator. After washing and patting dry, store in a brown paper bag in the fridge for three or four weeks. This way they are out of the dust and bugs way.

Greeks call oregano "Joy of the Mountains" and it is said to banish sadness.

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