Save Jars for Gifts

After composting all those outdated spices, save the glass jars for gifts.

  1. First, soak the jars in soapy hot water to remove stickers.
  2. Wash jars and lids in dishwasher a couple of times to remove any residue.
  3. Allow jars to air without lids for a couple of days. Check to make sure jars are clean and without any residual scent.

You can use these jars to make homemade bath salts; BBQ rub; saltless seasoning and to store your very own dried herbs from your garden.

One of my friends returns her empty jars every summer and tells me what dried herbs she would like for Christmas. By the time the holidays come around, she has forgotten what she asked for and is always delighted with what she gets!


Herb of the Year for 2012. Roses?

Yes, roses.

Besides being a favorite in a vase and considered the "queen of flowers," roses have a long and varied history. According to the International Herb Association, which makes the annual designation,  roses are used in many of the same ancient traditions and methods. Rose water is used in cooking and cosmetics.

Rose oil can be found in perfumes.

Aromatherapists use the scent of roses for emotional balance and a calming effect.

We have roses in liqueurs, jams, conserves and teas.

Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C, and wild rose hips are a good source of food for wintering animals.


Herbs Growing Crazy?

Don't throw them away; freeze chopped herbs in ice cube trays for later use.

Rosemary is one of my favorites. Cut off sprigs. Wash. Pat dry. Cut or break 1/2 inch pieces and fill ice cube trays. Add water. If you use rosemary in soups and stews, add unsalted chicken or vegetable stock.

Once frozen, pop out of trays and store cubes in a freezer bag.

One of my friends now expects to get a supply for her fall birthday. Another one wanted some as a housewarming gift so I know these also make great practical gifts ideas.

Have you frozen any of your herbs?