If you pick fresh leaves, make sure to dry them for at least two weeks, which will give them time to develop their full flavor. But be alert and don't pick bay leaves in nature unless you are really sure what you are doing: some members of the same family of plants produce poisonous leaves.
Other bay leaves are Californian, Indian, West Indian and Indonesian bay leaves.
Recipes using bay leaves:
- Soups, such as a vegetable soup.
- Stews, such as a rabbit stew.
You can grind up bay leaves with other herbs, such as pepper corns and juniper berries, to create a spice mix for venison, hare and other meats.
More information about bay leaves on Wikipedia.