My son is getting to the age when he is learning more about material things. I didn’t even know this. I’m not into ‘brands’ and ‘brand’ things, so I figure he doesn’t get his information from me or my husband, but one day he happened to get a pair of ‘Nike’ sneakers (they were on special!) and when the shoes were presented to him, he shouted in excitement that he had a pair of ‘Nikes’! Also, as he reads now, he is always talking about the brand of cars and other things. Usually my kids don’t watch commercial channels, so they’re not really exposed to much advertising, so it is very interesting how it all creeps into everyday life, which is why I try to discourage them from getting too much into ‘buying’ things such as gifts.
Every year for special holidays and birthdays, I ask my kids to make gifts for family rather than buy. Usually, we bake cookies, but this year, with baby no.3 keeping me busy, I didn’t even have time for that, so we made herb infused olive oil. Luckily I had some spare jars in my garage which I used. I also had herbs to use from my garden. With our scissors in hand my son and daughter and I went harvesting – first some rosemary, then Thyme, then lemon myrtle (an Australian native plant) and lastly some chillies. Here is what you need to do the same:
- Jars – I sterilised mine with boiling water and let them dry out completely;
- Extra virgin olive oil – I usually like my olive oil quite fragrant, so I usually buy a strong one;
- A clove of garlic;
- Chillies; and
- Herbs as you wish. Good ones to use are rosemary, thyme and basil.
Now, I have to state that there are apparently issues with making your own herb infused olive oil. This relates to botulism. Apparently, the water in fresh garlic and the herbs can lead to bacterial growth in the oil. There are ways to avoid this, such as using the oil soon after making it, using dried herbs, preserving the herbs first (in vinegar) before using, and pressing the herbs. This article contains great tips on how to avoid this: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/infusing-olive-oil
I ended up drying my herbs in the sun and then the oven for a little while before using.
Firstly thoroughly wash your harbs then dry. Keep in the sun for a day or out in the oven on low heat to dry them out.
Warm your olive oiI in the oven. Then get creating and add your herbs to the jar and carefully add the olive oil. Viola!
These make a great gift. They were very popular and I’ve had great feedback from family about it. It’s also super easy for kids to make with you.