Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Pleasures of Herbs...Making Herb Vinegar...



Hello ladies... I have grown my own herbs for over thirty years now and so enjoy the many ways you can use them... from crafts to cooking to decorating... the list goes on and on... herbs are one of the easiest things in the world to grow, and you can even grow many of them indoors in a sunny windowsill... my gardens are full of herbs, mostly for cooking, some for decorative purposes... nothing is better than a cold glass of sweet tea in the summer with a sprig of my homegrown mint!... some of my tender perennial herbs come inside during our harsh winter months, which by the way, seem to be continuing... as we are in the midst of yet another blizzard here today... four days in a row now... so today I decided to make one of my favorite herb vinegars, and show you how I do it...

My Rosemary is one of my tender perennials that comes inside each year until Spring is really here... it flourishes in my sunny kitchen nook windowsill...
You can pick any number of herbs for your homemade herb vinegar... you will need approximately 1/2 cup of herbs for each pint of vinegar, more if you want a stronger taste... when you are making your vinegars in the summer, pick your herbs from your garden in the morning, after the dew has dried off of them, but before the hot summer sun has taken away some of their essential oils that give them their flavor... be sure to use only perfect leaves and flowers and none with any signs of pests... I never use pesticides, and most herbs do not need them anyway... wash your herbs gently then place on paper towels to dry... make sure they dry thoroughly, or they will cloud your vinegar... this will not affect the taste, but the vinegar looks so much prettier clear...
Be sure to use only highest quality vinegars... I use white wine vinegar, by Star... and be sure to always use a wooden spoon, as the vinegar can react to regular silverware...
Next, choose a pretty bottle to put your vinegar in... these are my herb vinegar bottles... your bottle must seal tightly... these seal perfectly with corks in them... after your herbs are dry of any water from washing, bruise them slightly before putting them into your bottle or you may use a ceramic crock with a tightly fitting lid... pack the herbs in with the end of your wooden spoon... pour your vinegar over the herbs to the top of the bottle or jar and close tightly...
For now, I will set my bottle in a sunny window to "brew"... for the next two weeks, turning it frequently... (I just hope the sun comes out ever again here!)... in the summer, I love to place my bottles of vinegar in my gardens amongst my herbs to brew naturally in the warm sunshine... kind of like when I make sun tea, but for a longer period of time... the warm summer sun brews them to perfection, and they look so pretty sitting in the garden...
For now, mine looks pretty sitting in my somewhat sunny~between~snowstorms windowsill in my breakfast nook... and it will remind me of sunnier days to come and long~awaited time spent in my gardens...xoxo...


11 comments:

Sandi said...

Your vinegars look so pretty Julie Marie! I used to make them years ago, but haven't for quite some time. Thank you for reminding me. I see vinegar making in my near future. :)
Blessings~

Rita said...

Such beautiful jars that you put them in! I know that you enjoy the wonderful taste of the vinegar and the beautiful sight in the meantime! Have a wonderful day!

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Julie Marie,
Love your special vinegars and the gorgeous bottles you store them in. I love my herbs too and already set out rosemary and lavender on the patio. I love the aroma they give.
My grandma used a lot of basil and to this day when I catch the scent I think of her and the wonderful aroma from her kitchen.

Love your sunny windowsill with your herbs and the crochet scarf under neath is so pretty.
Love your countertops too.
Simply gorgeous.

Love to you dear friend.
Celestina Marie

Sheila R said...

Your vingars sound wonderful. I most ask, what do you use the vingar in?

I just got in from planting some of my veggies in my garden. I might have to give herbs a try too!

Have a wonderful day, dear friend.

My Grama's Soul said...

Hey sweet lady.....thanks for this lesson today. I have a few herbs in my little garden, rosemary, basil, mint, terrigon and lavender. Never tried vinegars..but I'm going to now.

xo

Jo

Philly and Ellie said...

Thanks for the share- Those bottles are pretty and this is a great idea... I might try something like this because I have been into baking, gardening etc since we have been in London... Hope you get some sun soon... Missing you
Love Filly xoxo

Ana said...

Oh Julie Marie,
I can smell the rosemary all the way over here...Mmmmm, love it. Hope your days clear up real soon. Sending you tons of warm hugs.

Hugs and Kisses,
♥Ana

Darla said...

Well I just filed this idea! They are gorgeous.

Marie said...

Wow! I've never seen such pretty vinegar jars! You've inspired me to make my own too.


Happy Cottage Flora Thursday!
-marie

Olive Cooper said...

Hello Julie-Marie, what a great idea and those bottles are very good looking too. hugs♥O

Fishtail Cottage said...

Julie Marie ~ your jars are so pretty & i love that you are using your own Rosemary to make your vinegar & shared how with the rest of us! Thanks for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursdays today (i've missed you here). I know you've still been getting snow, but i can't wait to see your beautiful garden that is coming! Hugs. Tracie