Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I have two gigantic containers of sage that I bring in from the garden each year to overwinter in the sunny window of an unused room. The plants were very productive this year, so I gave them one final cutting last month, and tied them in bundles to hang dry in my kitchen. That's a whole lot of dried sage-an herb where a small amount goes a long way. Today, I stuffed it into jars, and vowed to use it for something other than chickpea salad and mushroom sauce. Surely, there must be other uses for sage.

Earlier in the season it was uncharacteristically wet in our part of Nebraska, so I decided to dry a batch of sage in the oven. Bad idea. Very bad idea-unless you want your kitchen to smell like cat pee (hey, I'm not judging or anything if you do). I'd forgotten about that. Years ago, I had a landlord that burned sage in some sort of new-age-I'm Gilda the Good Witch-type ritual (Raymond remembers) that was supposed to keep people from breaking into the house (didn't work) and attract stray cats (worked). I came home one night from work and the stairway reeked. I'd never heard of burning sage at that point, and I was sure there was an unnoticed family of cats pissing their little kitty bladders all over the stairwell. I know you'd assume that I was relieved to know it was just the landlord burning sage to protect the building from break-ins, but oddly enough, I found the fact that someone believed burning sage would protect their property better than say, oh I don't know...working locks on the doors, for example-much more upsetting than the prospect of being robbed. We didn't have anything worth taking-no one breaks into a house to steal books.

So anyway, if you possibly can, tie the sage in bundles and hang them to dry. If you live in a place with a great deal of dust, place a paper bag over the herbs and punch holes in it so the herbs may breathe. Dancing in fairy rings is still completely optional.


Raymond said...

At least the witch burned the sage only on the days of a new moon.

I wonder if burning sage can fix a husband's wired-shut mouth?

Goody said...

OK, I really did just "LOL"

Danny wanted to know what was so funny and I could only stammer something about "TMJ" and wearing a mouth guard.

He didn't even get any good pain killers for all his suffering.