The herb sage is a delightful addition to meat dishes, especially pork, lamb, turkey and sausages. While it's possible to use fresh sage, dried and crumbled sage -- called "rubbed sage" in most cookbooks -- is the best way to get the most flavor.
Rubbed sage is available in many grocery stores and spice shops, but it's also incredibly easy to make.
Buy or harvest 3 to 5 oz. of fresh sage. Make sure that the leaves are green and healthy looking. Discard any brown or diseased leaves.
Tie the stems of the sage together, using the rubber band, and hang the bunch in a well-ventilated room, out of direct sunlight. The herb can take 3 to 10 days to dry, depending on the ventilation in the room, the climate and the season. When the leaves are crispy and crumble easily, they're ready.
Set the wire-mesh colander on the bowl. Pick the leaves off the dried bunch of sage, and put them in the colander. Rub the leaves with your fingertips, crumbling them against the mesh. The rubbed sage which collects in the bowl should be a fluffy, crumbly powder.
Store the rubbed sage in a clean glass herb jar. As long as it remains dry, it should be good to use for 6 to 12 months.
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Nicole Cipri is a professional writer living in Chicago, Ill. She earned her bachelor's degree from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where she also studied theater, history, carpentry, sociology, gender and cultural studies. Cipri is a DIY enthusiast with professional experience in electronics, building, cleaning, carpentry and house renovations.
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