Posts Tagged ‘herbal vinegars’

There was some serious making happening over here in the sparkling days leading up to Christmas.  The merriest kind of making.

There was the stitching and glue-gunning of felted acorn and little clothespin elf ornaments.  I was delighted that Eli wanted to join in.  Really I think it was the lure of the glue gun, but he quickly got swept up in the fun and the two of us cranked out enough little ornaments to bestow upon family and friends.

The jams and relishes that were processed during the height of warmth and sun and tangerine-colored nasturtium vinegars were dressed up pretty with tags and twine.  Strawberry, blueberry and raspberry jams were given.  Along with delicious Roasted Beet Relish made in the weeks of farm boxes overflowing with beets.  I used a recipe from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook and would gladly make it again.

And my salve… my salve!  This month I made the first batch of salve that I’ve made in many years.  I was so excited by this batch because I was able to include oil extracts of my own garden’s comfrey and calendula.  It felt extra special.  I added cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax and some drops of essential oil and oh my, is it ever a dreamy combination.  We’ve already dived into some here and it’s been amazing on diaper rash (that would be Soren’s), weird face rash (that would be Eli’s),  cracked, weathered skin (that would be mine) and fingers that got a bit grated with cheese grater (that would be Jeff’s).  It’s already a hardworking family medicine in our house it was so fun to share.

I hope your holidays have been merry and that you find many more beautiful moments to relish in as the new year creeps in.

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Oh my do we have an abundance of chives!  We inherited all this chivey goodness from our home’s previous owners who filled, it seems, any available space with chives.  The benefits to us are many.  We’ve been able to add this zippy little allium to salads and slaws and marinades all spring and summer.  The wall of pungency that the chives make up along the edges of our vegetable garden no doubt are one of the primary reasons our vegetables remain relatively insect-free.  And, as I discovered last year, chive vinegar makes up just about the prettiest little kitchen gift you can muster (and mixed with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, it makes a very fine salad dressing).

This year, Jeff’s stepmom blessed me with bottles!  She saved up a whole bunch of  bottles from her fancy specialty vinegar and offered them up to me.  I was overjoyed.  The graceful long-necked bottles make up an even prettier batch of vinegar than last year.

I so love that this punchy, pretty vinegar is becoming a annual tradition!  It’s just one more glorious way to celebrate the season.

*A total anecdotal side note:  Just recently, after a pretty heavy-handed cold I wound up with a whopper of an earache.  Trying to avoid a course of antibiotics I looked into natural remedies for ear infections.  It turns out that I had the very best remedy right there in my kitchen all freshly made!  A 50/50 ratio of chive vinegar and water made up the perfect ear drop solution.  The mixture helped the hurt instantly and now after a few days of treatment, my ear is back to its shiny little self!

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