The leaves can be used fresh any time;
but for drying, it is best to cut fresh growth after the bloom cycle. When
three or four inch pieces of new growth can be harvested, cut these in the
early morning, after the dew has dried, and make small bundles. Hang these
out of direct light and check often for dryness. How long this will take
depends on the moisture in the air. It is very important to make sure the
Thyme is completely dry before storing, because improperly dried herbs can
mildew and rot. If the herb is crispy when crushed between the fingers,
then it is dry. When using dried herbs, always remove the herbs from the
jar away from the steam of what you are cooking to avoid introducing
moisture into the jar.
Thyme leaves may be small, but they pack
a powerful punch. Thyme is one of the savory herbs, which are main course
herbs used to flavor hardy meals, bone warming soups, and piquant sauces.
It is also one of the three traditional herbs used in Fines
Herbes. Thyme blends well with other savory herbs like
French Tarragon and
Winter Savory to create some memorable flavors, as in this savory
herbal marinade. Or in our citrus, barbeque marinade used
for smoking turkey. The marinade is your basic brine (salt, water, apple
cider vinegar) full of orange slices and a savory barbeque sauce plus
lots of fresh herbs including English Thyme, Rosemary, Greek Oregano,
Greek Bay and Sweet Myrtle. To really infuse flavor, we let the turkey
marinate for three days before smoking.