A little herb goes a long way in cooking, so you’ll want to find other uses for the bounty of your herb garden. Herb vinegars, herb teas, herb butters, and herb jellies are easy to make and delicious to use.

Herb vinegars

Adding sprigs of fresh herbs to vinegar provides wonderful flavor. Pretty bottles of your own herb vinegars make wonderful gifts, too. You can use any herb you like, or any combination you prefer. Tarragon in white wine vinegar, basil and garlic in red wine vinegar, and mint or savory in white or cider vinegar are just a few examples.
1. Have ready measuring cups, glass mixing bowl, saucepan, strainer, jars or bottles, and labels.
2. Select perfect, fresh herb leaves. (You’ll also want perfect sprigs to go in the bottles, but don’t harvest these until after you’ve let the leaves steep in vinegar for a few days.)
3. For each pint of herb vinegar, lightly crush about y2 cup of fresh herb leaves in large glass mixing bowl. Add 1 pint white, cider, or wine vinegar. Cover and set aside for 3 to 5 days.
4. Now gather as many perfect herb sprigs as you’ll have bottles of vinegar. Wash them.
5. Wash the bottles well, rinse, and then sterilize them by simmering in water to cover for about 5 minutes.
6. Strain the vinegar and discard the herbs. Heat the vinegar to boiling.
7. Pour the hot vinegar into hot bottles or jars. Add a sprig of fresh herb to each bottle or jar.
8. Close the bottles with corks, lids, or other airtight seals. Label and store in a dark, cool, dry place.

Herb teas

Fresh herbs have long been favorites for use in infusions, or teas. You can use almost any dried herb you like, but you’ll have to test and taste to determine how strong you like it. Mint, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme are favorites for tea, but why not experiment with some others, too? Use about one teaspoon of dried herb (or a combination of herbs) for each teacup (six ounces) of boiling water. Put the herbs directly into the teapot and add the boiling water, or put the herbs in a tea ball. Let steep for five to 10 minutes. Don’t add milk or cream. Sweeten, if desired, with honey or sugar.

Herb butters

Herb-flavored butters make marvelous toppings for bread, vegetables, meats, and seafoods. Use anise or oregano butter on your own sweet corn; basil butter on broiled tomato slices; tarragon butter on broiled fish filets; garlic and oregano butter on French bread slices; and marjoram butter on fresh green peas.
You can chop or crush fresh or dried herb leaves to cream with softened butter, or mix the leaves and butter together in a blender or food processor. Use about two tablespoons dried or 1/2 cup fresh herbs for each stick 1/2 cup) of butter. Store herb butters tightly covered in the refrigerator. Use in a few days.

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