Creating a Life of Plenty

Herbal Vinegar and Oils

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This is certainly not a new idea or project; however, it is a perrenial favorite on my gift lists. My family and friends love getting herbal or flavored olive oil and vinegars each year. Looking around in the gourmet stores, I know they are also a valuable gift. Purchasing these products can set you back at least $10 per bottle. If you have a large gift lists, this can become really expensive.

Growing your own herbs gives you the raw materials to make these delicious gifts. You can use your fresh herbs all season long, transplant your favorites to overwinter in a sunny window and dry them to use them all winter long. In addition, you can snatch a few sprigs to tuck into bottles and fill with quality olive oils and white wine vinegar purchased in bulk.

Start with extremely clean bottles, run them through the dishwasher to get them sparkling. Use a skewer or chop stick to tuck the fresh herbs into the bottles artfully. Use a funnel to fill the bottles with the vinegar and oil to above the shoulders of the bottles and cap with either the spout or a cork.

To finish the bottles off, wrap the spouts with a small amount of plastic wrap to prevent leakage or use a cork and affix the spout to the bottle. Melt sealing wax in a double boiler. Dip the tops of the bottles in the wax and turn in your hand to evenly distribute the wax. Allow each bottle to cool slightly before re-dipping. To ensure an attractive and effective seal, you will need to dip the bottles about 10 times or more. Pair with a beautiful ribbon or raffia tie and a decorative and descriptive tag and you have a marvelous host present or a great addition to an elegant holiday gift basket!

Happy Gardening!

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