Fresh, dried, and powdered thyme are readily available year-round in most markets. If you are lucky enough to be able to grow your own, keep in mind that thyme leaves are sweetest if picked just as the flowers appear.
Store fresh thyme in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator or stand sprigs in a glass of water on the refrigerator shelf.
When cooking with thyme, be aware that one fresh sprig equals the flavoring power of one-half teaspoon of dried thyme.
As with most leafy dried herbs, be sure to crush the leaves between your hands before adding them to your recipe. To hang bundles of sprigs upside-down in a warm, dry, airy location for about ten days. Dried thyme should be stored in a cool, dark place, in an airtight container for no more than 6 months.
It is preferable to strip the leaves from the stems for your recipes when using either dry or fresh thyme because sometimes the stems can be woody. This is easily accomplished by placing the stem between the tines of a fork and pulling the stem in the opposite direction of the leaf growth. Of course, you can also use your fingers instead of a fork.