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Fresh chives, tarragon for herbed butter

Some herbs are ready to harvest in many areas of the country, and if you have more than you can use it's a good idea to make and freeze some herb butters and vinegars.

In my garden in New England mint has been adding a fresh flavor to salads for weeks, and chives have been so plentiful from the garden that no eggs or salads or cold soups have been without a few chopped green sprinkles.

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Tarragon is at its best, and now is the time to make herb butters to use daily or to freeze for next winter.

Herbed butter is nothing but ordinary butter, salted or unsalted, with different herb combinations mixed into it.

It adds a marvelous, flavor to warm breads, and is delicious on fresh vegetables and broiled fish or meat.

Simply mince the herbs and add to butter that has been softened to room temperature.

To each 1/4 pound stick, use 4 tablespoons of fresh leaves or 2 tablespoons dried. If using herbs that you consider strong, like garlic or thyme, use your own judgement in reducing the amount to 1 tablespoon.

Add a little lemon juice if you like and beat in a bowl or whirl in a blender or processor until fluffy and smooth, then store in the refrigerator, covered.

You can shape the butter back into a block, make a roll or put it in little custard cups to be put on the table.

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Chopped, fresh herbs, such as chives and dill, can also be mixed with cottage cheese or mayonnaise for hors d'oeuvres.

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