Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making Presents

With the holiday season upon us (I just saw a city bus drive by with the interior decked out with silver and green garland) I thought it time to make some presents for the season.
We acquired a half-dozen bail-top or Kilner jars, and I thought they might prove nice for a couple of presents. I've seen the rubber rings fail badly when in contact with a 5% acetic acid (you know, vinegar), so flavoured vinegar was off the table. Instead, I dropped by For Good Measure, our neighbourhood bulk/health food store and bought some vanilla beans. Then I dropped by a neighbours place...

Yeah, that's a rosemary bush. Over 1.3 metres high and a good metre across. There's two of them, and we talked to the homeowner this summer and it turns out they never use rosemary in cooking. I was knocked out--such beautiful bushes and not using them for anything other than garden decor. I shake my head in wonderment....
The gentleman we spoke with about the rosemary invited us to take some when we needed it, so I went back over and clipped a couple of ends and brought them home.
It's been a mild winter so far--so much so that I had to take this picture:
Yes, the rosemary was in bloom at the beginning of December. In Canada.
I washed the rosemary sprigs and then measured the vanilla beans against the jars. I cut the beans almost in half, and split one half and scraped the seeds out and put them in one of the jars. Then I put the other half of the bean in and poured warm honey over the vanilla. The split and seeded half went into a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar.
I added a couple of sprigs of rosemary to the other bottles and poured warm honey over them as well.

If you look at the full size version of the picture, you can see the tiny vanilla seeds in the honey.
So vanilla honey (should be good in cookies or tea) and rosemary honey (which I use as a glaze), and I have a couple of presents made.

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