Indian Dolls and Making your Herbs Last Longer

Shanti

My sister has the unenviable task of finding an Indian doll. Not just any Indian doll. A doll who is just like Shanti from Jungle Book 2. My daughter wants one. Apparently the Barbie invasion has been successful. Whenever she’s asked for an Indian doll, she’s been shown the Indian likeness of Barbie. Need I mention that my sister lives in Bombay, India?!

I know I promised more Handy Tips, so here is the next one that has saved me a lot of heart-ache.

Handy Tip #2: Keeping your herbs fresh longer



Ever since I moved to the US, I’ve always choked on the prices of herbs. A measly bunch of limp cilantro for 79 cents or about 15 sprigs of mint for over $2.50. To make matters worse, the herbs didn’t last very long. I thought Devon Street was my answer. I got 4 plump bunches of cilantro for a dollar. I got three times as much mint for half the price. But guess what, it didn’t last too long either. A trip to Devon was not such a frequent occurrence either. As I fretted, a vase of rich pink gladioli caught my eye. These glads which were a product of my feeble attempts at gardening lasted over 3-4 weeks in a vase. Yup. You got it.

Mint

Put those babies in a tall container or glass that is half-filled with water, throw a grocery bag loosely over the leaves and tie it around the container and refrigerate. Every time you pull it out to use some of those fresh luscious leaves, make it a point to change the water.

I now have fresh cilantro and fresh mint in my refrigerator for weeks!

Update: I decided to research a little bit on Keeping Herbs Fresh and came up with the following documents:

Caring for Fresh Herbs
The exception is fresh basil, which may blacken in the refrigerator; instead, store it in the same way, but do not refrigerate.


Herb Helper has a great alternative: Wrap in a barely damp paper towel and place in a baggie. What I loved in this article was:
The best way to have a steady supply of fresh herbs is, of course, to grow them yourself.

Cleaning and Storing Fresh Herbs has some neat tips on how to wash your herbs although the author does not think it's a great idea to stand them in water and refrigerate.

Herbs
How long can you expect to keep those fresh herbs
fresh? Basil will last on the counter top for up to
31 days. In the refrigerator, chervil stays fresh for
8 days, chives for 9, cilantro up to 14, dill for 9,
parsley up to 21, and tarragon for up to 17 days.

I've had my mint going for over 3 weeks now with no loss of flavor. I pluck the leaves at the first sign of any blackening and change the water as soon as the color changes. I use cilantro and mint at least every other day so it's not a big deal to clean it up before it goes back into the refrigerator. I've had cilantro last for over 4 weeks. I use fairly stable wide-based plastic containers - like the large Country Crock tubs or the 32oz Dannon containers. I usually store mint in smaller containers. I have never had a spill thus far and it's rare for my refrigerator to be anywhere near empty.

Update: I made Spicy Jeera Chicken yesterday with chicken tenders. It was delicious. I’ve updated my Spicy Jeera Chicken page with a picture of it.

6 comments:

Abhi said...

Somebody had suggested putting a copper penny in the vase/container to keep the herbs fresh for a longer time. I haven't checked this out but thought would let you know.

Manisha said...

Abhi, that's interesting. But wouldn't the copper penny get oxidized in the water? Or does the lower temperatures prevent it from getting corroded? I would try that out without the herbs and watch for changes over a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

I've added a couple of links to my post about some interesting do's and don'ts.

Abhi said...

Yes, I guess it would, though the "intention" would be for it to be oxidised and thereby helpful. Maybe it would release trace amounts of Cu perhaps. Anyway, I am trying it out with my Pothos (money plant). Will let you know if anything changes.

Manisha said...

Abhi, some research on copper and health led to some interesting information. Copper is a micronutrient and trace amounts are present in our regular drinking water.

This site on copper has a great deal of info (even though the changing homepage was rather irritating, apart from being a dumb thing to do - they have index1 through index9.html).

Pothos will survive on air! A pothos in my basement, which is in water, is flourishing despite the fact that all the water evaporates and it goes for days even weeks without being replenished. My husband heard that aspirin and paracetamol will make flowers last longer and pothos grow well. He wanted to try it out with the cilantro :-O It was very strange coming from someone who gets ill at the very mention of anything medicinal. :-D

Sumitha said...

Thanks for the tip!

pvyas said...

That was a very useful tip, i would surely try this at home. I would like to share benefits of this herb at http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/indian-herbs/podina.html