Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Gift Giving: Herb Infused Olive Oil

Herb infused olive oil?!! YES! I don't know how I came up with that idea (although, I can probably attribute it to dating an artist and wanting to make something for our families this year) but as soon as it crossed my mind, I knew I absolutely had a winner!

It's a great gift idea because you can tailor-make your olive oil to each person's tastes. Personally, I am a big spicy foods girl, I get that from my dad, so my ideal infused olive oil is going to include hot peppers! Anyway, this is really easy to do and makes a really thoughtful gift, in my opinion.

It's super easy too! All you need is some olive oil bottles (I got a bunch of them at World Market, prices ranged from about $3 to $7, depending on the size), some fresh herbs (the heartier, the better: rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, maybe even some dried hot peppers!!), and olive oil. I went to Sam's Club and got a gallon of it for approximately $13. 

Oh, and you'll also need a funnel if you don't have one. Trust me, you're gonna want this.

Our method was to fill the olive oil bottle about 3/4 full with oil. Make sure you watch the olive oil entering the bottle AND the oil going into the funnel! You can pour oil into our funnel much fast than it comes out, what we ended up with was olive oil all over the kitchen table. After you semi-fill the bottle, insert your herb, pepper or whatever you're filling the bottles with.[11.30.10 edited to add: make sure anything you put into the olive oil bottles is DRIED. We made that mistake and our fresh rosemary was growing something after about a week. We're not trying to make anyone sick with our gifts...so dry dry dry your herbs and peppers and whatever goes into that oil!] I found that using a chopstick was useful in positioning and inserting the herbs. Then, finish filling the bottle with olive oil and cork it!

I'm planning on sending these to my parents in Hawaii...hopefully that plan doesn't backfire on me. We're going to have to devise some creative ways to make sure the bottles get there safely and intact. I thought about just carrying them with us when we go to visit, but we can't carry them on the airplane...and packing them makes me more nervous than just shipping them.

What's your best homemade gift idea (that you've given or received)?? Also, any ideas on successfully shipping olive oil across the country?

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