I’ve been clearing the shelves and cleaning things in the kitchen of late. Maybe it was the bright sunlight on the snow the other day, whatever it was the light suddenly showed up all these cobwebs and dust.
Eeek time to do something about it. Alas, cleaning is never my strong point and I am easily side tracked.
I got side tracked by containers. Oh I know we are surrounded by containers, but I like them. I like bottles and jars, tins and boxes. Correction, I like old bottles and jars, tins and boxes. I am a decanter at heart. I buy things in one container and change them to another because I prefer the look.
Jars of salts, sugars and spices are a case in point. I love to have them on display, out where I can see them and then have at least some sort of hope of using them. You see for me something out of sight is most definately out of mind. A real case of “Hmmm I’ll need mace for this recipe, look about, can’t see any therefore can’t possibly have it – abandon the mace project, meanwhile back at the ranch there are 2 jars of the damn stuff in the drawer” . So I like to find nice jars and things and have my foody goodies on display where i can get at ’em.
I love those old jars that you pick up in charity shops and at boot sales. The sort that would have graced a dressing table many moons ago. Now I used to buy these and keep them on my dressing table. There got to be quite a few, they sort of crept downstairs to the kitchen of their own accord. Honestly it is amazing how inanimate objects can get around in this place.
Anyway these jars in the kitchen are filled with dried chillies, lavender sugar, mint sugar and lavender salt.
Not just pretty containers, they are filled with useful goodies.
Here are my simple recipes for homemade flavoured sugar and salts;
Start with some caster sugar (you can make your own caster sugar from the normal granulated variety by just whizzing it in the processor and making it finer) andthe buds from about 4 lavender stalks. Whizz everything in the processor till the lavender is tiny pieces in the sugar. Store in a pretty jar. Leave this for a few weeks and the flavour will be fabulous. Great on fruit salads and in baking, excellent for making a flavoured syrop for drinks etc.
Same process but with fresh mint or dried. Remember when using dried herbs half your quantity as they are much stringer than the fresh variety. It is up to you how strongly flavoured you make your sugars, taste and see.
Chunky rock salt is bels for this, something like Malden salt is perfect. Crush up your lavender till it’s really small and mix well with salt. Store in airtight container. Fabulous on salads in summer.
There you go, some ideas for things to make to fill some jars, homemade flavoured sugar and salts. Fill those shelves with yet more dust-catchers, but pretty and useful ones!