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  • FIRST POST
    • Zziggi
    • By Zziggi 7th Sep 05, 9:51 PM
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    Zziggi
    Bay Leaves/tree
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 05, 9:51 PM
    Bay Leaves/tree 7th Sep 05 at 9:51 PM
    I saw a bay leaf tree mispriced today (1.99 instead of 19.99) so i just had to get it. Looks like a nice little ornamental type garden tree. Can i also dry the leaves to use in cooking? If so how/when do i need to take the leaves off the tree?

    Thank you
Page 1
    • apprentice tycoon
    • By apprentice tycoon 7th Sep 05, 10:05 PM
    • 3,286 Posts
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    apprentice tycoon
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 05, 10:05 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Sep 05, 10:05 PM
    I have one of these, if it's not kept under control it will grow quite large - pick the leaves at anytime and dry them in the airing cupboard.
    I use lots of these at Christmas, I make little pots of pate and top them with clarified butter, when it's nearly set I position a couple of bay leaves cut to look like holly leaves, (little semi circles cut out of the sides with nail scissors) finish with little cocktail cherries or dried cranberries to look like the holly berries.
    • carly
    • By carly 8th Sep 05, 7:35 AM
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    carly
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 05, 7:35 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 05, 7:35 AM
    There is no need to dry the leaves to use in cooking. Commercial ones are dried to prevent spoilage whilst in store. Just snip off the leaves as you need them and add to your recipes. This is the way I use them.

    Bay trees are hardy in all but severe winters in most parts of the UK, but you can always protect it by bringing it indoors or covering with horticultural fleece if you live in an exposed position.
    • MATH
    • By MATH 8th Sep 05, 9:36 AM
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    MATH
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 05, 9:36 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Sep 05, 9:36 AM
    I never dry the leaves before use either. Take the warning of keeping the tree under control seriously. Mine Bay is now well over 13ft high,
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    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 8th Sep 05, 10:35 AM
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    squeaky
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 05, 10:35 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 05, 10:35 AM
    My neighbours keep theirs in pots about 18" 50cm wide and at ten years old now they've made just 4-5ft (about 1.5mtrs). Presumably this is because their root ball is restricted in size so if you don't want the thing to get out of control you could try a suitable pot.
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    • Zziggi
    • By Zziggi 8th Sep 05, 8:29 PM
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    Zziggi
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 05, 8:29 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 05, 8:29 PM
    Thanks for the tips. I didn't realise you could just pick them and use them in cooking (without drying them). We bought it in a little pot so i am hoping it'll stay small as a garden ornament. Thanks for the tips about keeping an eye on it growing.

    I love the idea of cutting it like holly for display - great idea!
  • katiepops
    • #7
    • 9th Sep 05, 12:17 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Sep 05, 12:17 PM
    I never dry the leaves before use either. Take the warning of keeping the tree under control seriously. Mine Bay is now well over 13ft high,
    by MATH
    Mine is currently at least as tall as the house, and as wide as the garden. I so need to do something about it! On the plus side, it does afford complete privacy from the houses on the street behind us.

    Kate
    • Rikki
    • By Rikki 9th Sep 05, 12:25 PM
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    Rikki
    • #8
    • 9th Sep 05, 12:25 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Sep 05, 12:25 PM
    I couldn't believe how big they got and even with visious pruning it still tries to take over.

    As for cooking I use them fresh and slightly crush the leaf to release the flavours.
    • Yoga Girl
    • By Yoga Girl 9th Sep 05, 1:46 PM
    • 893 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    Yoga Girl
    • #9
    • 9th Sep 05, 1:46 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Sep 05, 1:46 PM
    I have a small bay tree, its never grown big as I keep it in a pot on the patio.

    We use the leaves all the time in cooking, just snip off leaves as required and pop them straight into the pot. They don't disintegrate during cooking so you can retrieve them just before serving.


    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 9th Sep 05, 2:31 PM
    • 39,911 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    It is a pernicious weed and has taken over our rockery! Do not let it out of the pot! (Except to put the leaves into the cooking pot!)
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    • svmitche
    • By svmitche 9th Sep 05, 3:21 PM
    • 583 Posts
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    svmitche
    I never dry the leaves before use either. Take the warning of keeping the tree under control seriously. Mine Bay is now well over 13ft high,
    by MATH
    Snap, my mum and dad moved into a house with a seriously untended garden, and when we'd cleared away most of it we discovered a giant bay tree down the garden. It must be about the same height as yours. Smells lovely when dad's doing the pruning!

    We don't bother to dry the leaves either unless it's for decoration, as apprentice tycoon said.
    I'm so sexy it's a wonder my underpants don't explode.
    • arkonite_babe
    • By arkonite_babe 9th Sep 05, 9:56 PM
    • 7,259 Posts
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    arkonite_babe
    Where can I buy a bay tree? I can only find dried leaves so far in Northern Ireland. :confused:
  • samnmalc
    Most garden centres will have them
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 10th Sep 05, 6:03 PM
    • 3,975 Posts
    • 7,525 Thanks
    culpepper
    MIL's reached about 25 ft and that was after they burnt it to the ground.We have an offshoot of it that Im thinking of digging up and maybe potting as it is about 5ft high but not very wide yet.
  • louB
    Bay Leaves
    I have a huge bay tree in my garden, I remember my nan always using them in her casseroles etc, does anyone know how I prepare them? Is it as simple as drying them out first?

    Also, how good are they? Do they do make much of a difference to the flavour?

    Thanks in advance!
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    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 30th Mar 06, 5:08 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
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    thriftlady
    I just use mine straight from the bush.Sometimes I pin a branch of leaves up near the cooker where they slowly dry.Mostly though I just go in the garden and pick one and sling it in the pot.Very good in a bechamel sauce or with fish and beef stews.HTH
  • ladywood
    Me too. I rinse them if they look grubby but otherwise straight from bush into pot. Really simple. They give a nice flavour to stews and Italian dishes.
  • brindles01
    I pick off the brown ones, they're virtually dried out anyway and then pop them in a little plastic money cash bag and keep them in my cupboard ready for use and, yes, they do add flavour and fragrance but not too powerful.
    • Yoga Girl
    • By Yoga Girl 30th Mar 06, 7:12 PM
    • 893 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    Yoga Girl
    I've had my bay tree for a few years now and its still going strong. We quite often just pop into the garden and pick a bay leaf, quick rinse under the tap then pop it straight into whatever dish we're cooking. Lovely!

    We add them to tomato based sauces, bolognaises, also if you're roasting veg you can add them to the roasting tray with some olive oil.


  • louB
    Thanks everyone, Im a bit ashamed to say that its been there two years and Ive only just realised what it is!

    I'm so chuffed its that easy!

    Thanks again!
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