How to Gently Wash and Dry Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are infinitely versatile and are a great way to add flavor, zing and interest to otherwise basic preparations. I have a large herb garden and the tender leaves and plants are a powerhouse of inspiration. They get used in everything from seafood dishes and savory bone broths to fresh fruit desserts and refreshing drinks.

Many folks, however, find herb preparation tedious. They tell me it’s a hassle to clean, store, and chop the leaves!

That’s usually when I suggest that they get a little herb spinner. Much like a salad spinner but smaller, herb spinners are quite handy. You can put the herbs right in the container and fill the container with cool water. You swish the herbs gently to remove any grit and you then gently lift and remove the herbs, leaving the dirty water behind. Drain the water, rinse the container, and return the herbs to the basket. Pop on the lid, give the whole thing a good spin, and you have fresh clean herbs ready for chopping and adding to a variety of dishes!

To store the whole clean herbs, wrap them in a paper towel and put them in a baggie in the fridge. They should last quite nicely for a few days.

–Melissa A. Trainer

A Seasonal Tool for Apples!

A hefty haul of Gravenstein Apples from a local NW orchard.
A hefty haul of Gravenstein Apples from a local NW orchard.

Have you tried the Apple/Potato peeler from Back to Basics located in Draper, Utah?

I have one of these nifty contraptions and now that apple season is in full swing, I am cranking my peeler at full speed.

I don’t know the history behind this wonderful invention, but it is absolutely astounding the way it can peel, core, and slice an apple in seconds. My children are always amazed at the instantaneous transformation and without fail they smile when I hand them a beautifully sliced and peeled apple. Somehow, I think those thin peeled slices taste so much better than peeled apple chunks.

While in the mood for a basic buttery apple cake one evening, I gathered an array of apples, readied my peeler, positioned my KitchenAid, and printed the recipe from the awesome Land O Lakes website. The apples were peeled and sliced in a heartbeat, and the finished product looked exactly the same as the one in the website’s photo. I plan to make this buttery baked good again. Thankfully, the Back to Basics peeler makes the whole process a snap!