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17

There is no reason to worry. The worst thing which can happen is that a piece of bay leaf, being somewhat hard, can lodge somewhere in your digestive system, necessitating a trip to ER. But a medical paper on the topic starts its discussion section with the sentence "Reports discussing ingestion of bay leaves have been exceedingly scant". They only cite 10 ...


16

A nice thing to do is simply give them away. Last year someone dropped of a big pile of small branches of bay leaves at our child's school, with a "free" sign. You could do something similiar, maybe using your community email list or whatever depending on your personal circumstances. You may have many neighbors who have never experienced how amazing fresh ...


13

dry them and sell them at your local market


12

The use-by dates on all spices are mainly hokum. Most spices last for six months in whole form, herbs can be dried and last about three, after that time the taste is going to weaken and change as essential oils leave the spice. If you keep your spices in an airtight dark container you can eek out a little more time, but I would highly recommend that if you ...


10

Macerate them in Everclear or midrange vodka for a week or so, then add sweetener and dilute to ~40% ABV. This makes a decent digestif, similar in spirit (no pun intended) to Chartreuse. Or mix in a small amount of fresh thyme, lemon balm, lemon verbena, etc, to make it a little more Provencale. We picked up a bottle of 'Laurus 48' while in Italy a few ...


8

Bay leaves lose potency if stored at room temperature. They will last much longer if stored in the freezer. This is based on a Cook's Illustrated magazine article. They did a taste test a few years ago, and were amazed at the flavor difference after 6 months (between frozen and non-frozen bay leaves).


7

Maybe a donation to the local food bank? Herbs and spices and such are not cheap, and I bet there will be plenty of people who would appreciate them.


7

Bay leaves are definitely edible. I have always heard the same warning, but after seeing flaked bay leaves for sale at the store, I concluded they were safe. This wiki summarizes it as they are safe (if you can stand the flavor), except they are often still stiff after cooking and could potentially cause choking or scratching. ...


4

I was rushed to the ER after swallowing 2 small pieces of bay leaf that were in a salad served at the Long Beach Diner and lodged in my esophagus cutting me like a rasor blade. It resulted in hours of violent hacking and spitting up blood, xrays, a catscan, and a painful camera probe through my nose and down my throat. Hospital suggested surgery to remove ...


3

Broken glass is perhaps tipping it a bit strong, but the thick central stem of bay leaves does mean they stay quite rigid even when cooked, so there is potential for scratching the intestinal lining if a whole one was swallowed. I don't think small fragments would do much damage however - certainly no more than a bit of un-chewed potato chip or boiled ...


2

I consider them "normal"; they're the oval-shaped bay leaves. There's a "California" bay leaf variety that has elongated leaves and a slightly different flavor.


2

According to The Spice House: The flavor of these Turkish bay leaves is far milder and more complex than that of domestic bay; it adds a subtly sweet astringency to dishes. Only one or two are needed to enhance a whole roast, pot of soup or stew.


1

I've seen a youtube video of people making smoked cheese with bay leaves. They took an empty charcoal grill, put a metal bowl of ice in it (to keep the overall temperature down), and then lit a big pile of dry bay leaves at the bottom with a torch. Seems like a tasty idea, if you've got the bay leaves to spare.


1

When I went to Dominica, they would make bay oil with it.


1

Batter and fry the leaf, add as a garnish to a dessert. (You eat by just biting the batter off of the leaf.) That or make a wreath.


1

Dry the leaves and bundle with cinnamon sticks or other aromatics and make homemade potpourri/culinary gifts for the holidays. What cook wouldn't want a jar full of bay leaves?


1

Store them and use them to make stock, in soups, as flavors for sauces, and so on.



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