It's a weekend of culinary experimentation. I'm trying my hand once more at kombucha (last effort was naaaasty), canning paste tomatoes, and making herbed oil. I'm using the oil recipe* from A Self Sufficient Life (love the nom-de-plume of the writers!).
One thing's for sure: it takes a heckuva lot of basil to make up 250 grams (per the recipe). Even though I had two huge bunches of basil, it was only enough to infuse about a cup and a half of olive oil. I'm thinking about contacting the CSA to see if they have any bulk basil they're willing to sell. I definitely want to make enough of this oil to give away as gifts this Yule, when fresh herbs are scarce and we all could use a bright taste of Summer.
Some ideas for using the oil: a dip for bread, "caprese" burgers (thanks JMM!), salad dressing base, marinade base, popcorn topper (instead of butter)... lots of cool stuff. It'll be three weeks before the oil is ready to strain & try, but I'll let you know how it goes. The Dirty Boots gang claim the oil can last for a year on the counter, but for safety's sake, I'm going to recommend folks use it up within a few months. I've never known cooking oils - once opened - not to go rancid outside four months. The good news is that this oil can be refrigerated or even frozen! Will keep you posted on how it turns out.
In the meantime: what's your favorite homemade gift to make? Or receive?
* You can find a grams-to-ounces on-line calculator here.
[Pic: the experiment.]