Thursday, October 14, 2010
A Quick Gift from the Garden (that will keep until Christmas)
Over the last few days I've taken some time to cut herbs from my garden to dry or freeze for the winter (I dry basil, parsley, and mint and freeze snipped chives in ice cube trays). I also made up a couple of jars of herb vinegar for Christmas giving. This is a simple and inexpensive gift that only takes a few minutes to do.
All you need is:
-assorted fresh herbs from the garden
-quart size Mason jars with lids (you can reuse old lids for this project as they don't need to vacuum seal)
Simply fill the Mason jars with a few sprigs of herbs and top with about 3 cups of white vinegar. Put the lids on and let stand for about 4 weeks or so (you can test the flavour at this point and let them brew a little longer if you want it a bit stronger). Strain the finished vinegar into decorative glass bottles for gift giving.
You can do an endless number of variations on this basic recipe. You can do single-herb vinegars (basil vinegar, oregano vinegar, etc) or come up with different herb blends. You can also add garlic cloves, mustard seeds, or peppercorns to the vinegar mixture to jazz it up a bit more. Get as creative as you want!
My recipe books say that these herb vinegars will keep for at least a year, so you can easily make them now and tuck them away for Christmas gifting.
Do you have a creative way to use the last of your garden herbs? I'd love to hear about it, so please share in the comments.