Gifts from the Herb Garden
With a calendar full of springtime parties, we're on the lookout for creative hostess gifts. Drawing inspiration from the kitchen garden, our culinary expert Susan S. recently shared a wealth of suggestions for herbal gifts that your hostess will love. Beautiful and edible, many of these gifts are also simple to make-- perfect for those last-minute invitations. Read on for Susan's favorite ideas, fresh from the herb garden.
First up, we're pairing herbs with Weck jars of all shapes and sizes. Traditionally used for preserving fruits, vegetables and jams, Weck jars are also great for homemade infusions since they can be tightly sealed. Herb-infused salts, sugars, oils, vinegars, and spirits take only a few minutes to create, and make for pretty, botanical displays. Once these treats are enjoyed, the jar can be used over and over in the kitchen. From left to right, Susan's herb ideas include:
Sweet & Spicy Dill Pickles
Red Wine Vinegar with Garlic, Thyme & Basil
Orange Scented Herbes de Provence
Infused Vodka with Dill, Cucumber & Lime
Compound Butter with Basil, Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic
Lavender Infused Sugar
White Balsamic Vinegar with Tarragon
Hot Chili & Rosemary Olive Oil
Wildflower Honey with Thyme, Lemon Zest & Rose Petals
If you'd like to bring a gift that can be enjoyed at the party, Susan recommends the confection above-- an Olive Oil Cake from Yvette van Boven's newest cookbook, Home Baked. This zesty cake is topped with a clementine-infused glaze, dried citrus, and sprigs of fresh rosemary. We love complimenting the simple glaze and cheerful toppers with a minty, jadeite cake stand.
Our final herb idea can also be enjoyed right away, and makes a beautiful beverage for any spring gathering. Our brand-new, 2.5L Weck jar is the perfect size for brewing a batch of sun tea infused with herbs and fruit. We added several Earl Grey tea bags along with freshly-sliced orange and a handful of mint, then filled the jar with water. Place the jar in the sun, allowing the natural warmth to steep the tea, then serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.