Monday April 23, 2012 | 12:45 PM

I'm a squanderer of parsley. A fritterer of chives. A shameful waster of basil.

Or I was, until I learned about herb cubes.

What, in cilantro's name, is an herb cube? It's a question your roommate might ask after reaching in for a few hunks of frozen water to toss into her ginger ale, only to discover the ice cubes are perceptibly green and filled with leaves.

In my case, those would be leaves of parsley - the leafy leftovers from a recipe that required only 2 tablespoons of the fresh stuff. As for the remainder? Historically is was destined for a short life of wilting, drooping, and neglect on a shelf of the fridge.

Until I picked up this tip from the chef during last week's risotto demo: You can freeze the extra and use it as needed.

Just chop it up.

Spoon the herbs into an ice cube tray, fill with water, and slide it into the freezer. Then simply toss into a recipe. No rush. No pressure. No guilt. (I found one ice cube equaled about 1 tablespoon of parsley.)

No longer will you watch those bundles of fresh herbs slowly lose their enthusiasm for life while you desperately scramble to use up every last bit by sprinkling parsley or chives or oregano on everything you consume. Even your coffee.

The herbs appreciate it. As does your coffee.

About the Author

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Shannon Bryan is a feature writer for the Portland Press Herald and content producer for MaineToday Media's entertainment website, www.mainetoday.com.

And here's a well-known truth: Shannon can't cook. She's also ostroconophobic (in Maine?!?), but in a foodie place like southern Maine, she's determined to learn how to cook, eat, and order with the best of them. Read about her culinary crusade:
Pans on fire

She's also an investigator into all that's strange and entertaining to do around here. Those findings are gathered here:
Out Going: Things to do in southern Maine

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