I received an email from a Seattle elementary school the other day....... I'm writing to ask for your advice for our school garden club, it is rockin with lots of fantastic parent volunteers and looks great now. We have come up with a few ideas for how the kids can make gifts out of the garden and would love to do herb vingegars for mother's day, but what do you know about making vinegar? Is there a kid friendly process vs. a hot process that involves kitchens?
They wanted me to come down and show the kids and moms how to make herbed vinegars for a simple kid-friendly Mothers Day gift. What a great idea! Sadly, I couldn't make it to hang with the kiddos, but I'm posting the recipe here for them.....and you!
I absolutely love herb vinegars. They are easy to make, taste lovely and are a great way to use extra stalks from picked herb-branches and herbs about to flower. Here is a simple recipe, excerpted from my book, Urban Pantry..............
Mothers Day Herb Vinegar
Use fresh healthy sprigs and distilled white vinegar for the best results. Any herb can work—try mint, lemon balm, basil, or tarragon. Use two sprigs of herb for every cup of vinegar. Add the sprigs directly to prepared jars. (Wash and sterilize jars for 10 minutes in a hot water bath before using.) Heat the vinegar until just beginning to boil and pour over the herbs, leaving a bit of head space. Store the vinegar in a cool, dark place for three to four weeks, checking the flavor after two weeks. When the flavor is to your liking, strain and discard the herbs and store the infused vinegar in a cool, dark cupboard. Use glass containers that can be sealed with a lid or cork.
Herb vinegars will keep for three months, longer if refrigerated. Be mindful of any mold or fermentation bubbles—this means the batch is spoiled and should be thrown out. As vinegar has a high acid content, there is no risk of botulism; mold and yeast are the two culprits of spoilage.