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Cutting and drying chives


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fish_4_all
Zone 8-9 Washington
Posts: 627
Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:19 pm   Post subject: Cutting and drying chives


My chives are simply thriving, I cut a ton of them yesterday but I need advice. When you cut them, do you cut as close to the ground as possible or leave an inch or two? Also, Is it better to only cut a portion or can one pretty much cut all of them if they are ready?

As for drying them, is there another way except for a dehydrator? Maybe in the oven on the lowest setting?




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mart
NE Texas
Posts: 1528
Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:49 pm   


I believe you can cut all the ones that are ready since they grow from the roots and put out new shoots !! I usually leave about an inch although I don`t think its really necessary !! I just dont like to get too close to the soil !! I have dried many herbs in the oven on lowest setting and usually I open the door about halfway through !! I put them on a cookie sheet or something similar and stir them through out the process !! It shouldn`t take long for them !! I have flat leaf italian parsley to do now !!! This is the 4th year it has come back without replanting it !!

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Biita

Norway
Posts: 2048
Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:53 pm   


Hi Fish,,you can cut your chives all the way down,,i leave about an inch or 2 1/2 cm. They will continue to grow unless you leave them and let them flower,,even then they will keep growing until they deside to hibrinate.

Drying them, hmmm. I can tell you from experience that in the oven works,,but you loose most of the flavor. So not a good option. The dehydrator is the best way. But! i do not have one so i freeze mine. All the flavor stays and they are as green as when you picked them. I use a very small freezable plastic bowls with air tight lids. Do not rinse your chives, like berries they will turn to mush. Chop them up as you like and put some in each bowl, lid them and freeze. Simple. When you need some, open a bowl, take out what you need or want, then place back in the freezer. Others choose to use ice cube trays. But then you have to use water and that to me defeats the purpose of keeping your chives as fresh like and firm as possiable. I hope this helps. Do not be afraid to cut those chives...they will thank you for it,,and come back even more and continue growing longer thru the season. When i cut mine, they last almost until November and that is long! I also grow some indoors for the winter, and i just keep cutting them and they keep growing!

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fish_4_all
Zone 8-9 Washington
Posts: 627
Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:17 pm   




Sounds good to me, guess I can cut them closer than what I did. I put this batch in the dehydrator, will freeze the next batch like you suggested Biita.

One q Biita, do you dry them on a paper towel or anything before freezing them? Do they stick together much and make it hard to take small portions out? I will use a lot in potato dishes and soups as well as garlic breads and such so knowing the best way to get what I need and have it right for each dish will be really nice.

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Palustris


Posts: 767
Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:53 am   


Cut them on a dry day and freeze spread out on a tray. That way they remain seperate when frozen.

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Biita

Norway
Posts: 2048
Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:25 am   


You can do as Palustris says, but there really is no need. The chives when you chop or cut them release a natural oil and will coat each piece. When you freeze them they will be all froze together but will crumble very easily and seperate. Use a spoon or just break off a piece and then use your fingers to crumble them. The trick to all this is do not, repeat, do not let water get into the bowl you freeze in. As soon as you take out what you need, put it right back in the freezer. If water gets in there, it just becomes a huge ice glob then you need to use a knife or let thaw to get it apart. Then it is mush.

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