What’s the best way to dry herbs? Hanging upside down on strings is the traditional way. Some people use an oven, but many modern ovens don’t have the low temperatures that herb drying needs. One of the most ingenious and unorthodox ways I’ve heard is to dry herbs using your car as a dehydrator. This tip was gleaned from the excellent edible gardening and growing food podcast called Living HomeGrown with Theresa Loe. With this unusual method you take a bunch of herbs, bundle them, and tie the stems together with a rubber band. (A rubber band works better than string because as the stems shrink the rubber band still holds them tightly.) Don’t make your bunches too big; a bunch of stems about an inch or less across is a good size. Then simply place your herbs around your car. You can use a tray to be tidy, but even placing them on a tea towel would do.
On a hot summer day it would probably only take a couple of days to dry your herbs this way. And it makes your car smell delicious with the fragrance of rosemary, or whatever you are drying. The title of this post “Why does the car smell like dinner?” comes from the story told by Theresa Loe about the kids getting into the herb-drying car and asking this question. That’s better than new car smell any day!