Winter officially starts in a few weeks and it's getting noticeably colder here. I cooked a pot of pea and ham soup last weekend. And used my last bouquet garni bag from the pile I made a couple of years ago. I find the bags so much easier than tying bunches of herbs together. Fill with fresh and/or dried herbs - even pop in a few peppercorns - then draw up, knot and trim the twine. When your soup is done fish out the bag, let it cool down and put the whole thing into your compost bin. I made more bags today. They're quick to make - no accuracy or seam neatening required - just a little draw string bag made from cotton "butter" muslin threaded through with cotton cooking twine.
I've also been experimenting with drying herbs. I've probably left it a bit late in the season but I've started with oregano which thrives in my garden. I rinsed the oregano first and gently shook off excess water. Tied it up in small bunches and hung them in my pantry from a little makeshift clothesline. Apparently you should dry herbs in a cool, dark place. You need to leave them there until the leaves are crisp and brittle. This took three weeks. Once dried just crumble up the leaves and store in an airtight jar. From a decent bunch of oregano I harvested about one tablespoon of dried herbs - which isn't much but does prove how much more potent dried herbs are over fresh. I'm encouraged and have started a second batch. Next autumn I think I'll do a larger quantity but also try other herbs like thyme or sage. Have you tried drying herbs? What worked for you?
Reading: The rules do not apply a memoir by journalist, Ariel Levy. The blurb says "in 2012, at age 38, when she left on a reporting trip to Mongolia, Ariel Levy thought she had figured it out: she was married, pregnant, successful on her own terms, financially secure. A month later, none of that was true." I'm only up to the married part. Too soon to comment but so far, so good. ☺