The cookie baking is mostly done for this holiday season. I can’t say I really feel done, even though the cans are filled and the packages are in the mail. We didn’t make as many batches this year as we have in the past. Usually we are drowning in cookies even after we give most of them away. I might have to whip up another batch or two just to feel like I have had my fill of butter and sugar.
If you aren’t into baking, or are looking for another kind of homemade gift, try making herb salts. I got the idea from a Splendid Table podcast. They were talking about making herb salts, and gave detailed instructions and a recipe too. I was going to make basil salt when the garden was lush and full, but I
forgot about it ran out of time before the frost nipped the plants. I decided to make rosemary salt instead, since I do still have my rosemary plant in the front flower bed. Who says flower beds can’t have herbs in them?
The herb salts take about ten minutes to assemble. After a day or so of drying, they are ready to put into small jars for gifting, or to use. The picture at the top of the page is the fully dried mixture, the second one is of the freshly chopped mixture. Notice how the herbs darken slightly as they dry. Feel the mixture with your fingers after about twenty-four hours to make sure it is crunchy and dry before you package it for storage or gifting.
I used two large cloves of garlic, about ½ cup of fresh rosemary and about three tablespoons of kosher salt. Try to find salt with no additives – I used Penzey’s fine flake kosher salt, which is just salt, nothing else. Follow the instructions in the link, but basically you chop the garlic, the herbs and the salt together, spread them out on a pan to dry and then use or store. I wish I had chopped my garlic smaller to start, or taken it all the way to a paste. I will work on that for my next batch. And there will certainly be a next batch. The house smelled wonderful and the jars look fabulous.
Get some fresh herbs and a couple of cloves of garlic and start chopping. Be sure to use the biggest knife you have – it makes the chopping go a lot faster.