posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 07:58 AM
herbs should be dried in a dark place - hanging them in light will hasten evaporation of essential oils (ie scent/flavor). Either hang bunches of them
in a dark place, or spread them on newspaper and put somewhere out of the light (like under a bed). When dry, crumble leaves or flowers (lavender)
off the stalks and store in containers out of the light. Herbs can also be used to make herb oil and vinegars - bottles of good quality oil and
vinegar are packed with herbs of your choice and steeped in the sun - say on a sunny windowsill. Pack more leaves in over several weeks until the
oil/vinegar has a strong flavor.
I have made jam from honey & fruit alone - but I can't remember the proportion, sorry. I made plum jam and apricot jam - the jams lasted about 6
months (until they were eaten). The apricot jam was fantastic, the plum was not bad. The honey has to be the lightest in color you can find -
otherwise the flavor is too strong for the fruit. The jam was made without water canning afterwards - just ensuring the jars were sterile before
filling with jam and sealing.
I have also dried apricots in the sun - on a clean window fly screen apricot halves were arranged and covered with gauze to keep flies off. they'd
dry in a couple of days in summer. The fruit will darken & go quite chewy. If the fruit was dipped in an ascorbic acid solution before drying it
helped keep the color better. Commercial dried fruit is coated with metabisulphite which keeps color intact but I think that's been linked with
health problems with allergy/ asthma sufferers. Apples can be dried by peeling, coring and slicing into rings then threading the rings of thin
dowling or string. A dehydrator is of course much more efficent and you can make your own fruit leather in a dehydrator.