I was going to post about a bright idea I’d seen online but not tried… but then it struck me that it would be easy to test and that would add value to the post.
The idea was drying herbs by sticking them in a microwave. That isn’t a new article (2015) and I’m sure I’ve seen it before but I didn’t have a microwave in 2015 so it probably passed me by. However, we’ve almost used up our stock of dry bay leaves and we’ve got a couple of bay plants in the garden. The fact that it was already dark was a minor impediment but I managed to remove a few leaves (no nasty spikes on Laurus nobilis).
I folded a piece of kitchen towel – with five leaves, I could get two layers underneath and one on top as suggested in the article. I then set the microwave going for a minute on full power. A few seconds in, there were some disturbing pops but I checked and there was nothing burning or arcing. I did stop a couple more times during the first minute but the sounds quickly died off. At the end, I gave it a couple more 15 second zaps and then it was done – the leaves were clearly dry but retaining more of their colour than when I’ve previously used a low oven (or residual heat after cooking) to do the job and the latter approach takes much longer.
This is going to make getting my hands on dry bay leaves a lot simpler – I don’t even need to keep many in stock, although I can also do an easy batch job when it comes round to pruning. I’m also keen to try it on other herbs (although my garden selection is minimal at the moment – more planting due in the spring). So, if you have a microwave, try this at home!