As one who is constantly on the go, I must admit that I am enjoying being homebound during this snowy and icy pandemic pause.
Creatively cooking while cleaning out the pantry (when did I buy kimchi?) playing the “match the socks game” with Tequila shots and planting seeds, hoping for summer blooms seems the order of the day.
Though I grow many herbs for cooking, there are some that I prefer dried and place them in the cabinet with my spices and extracts and oils.
I did my annual clean out of the spice cabinet last week, checking for expiry dates along with trusting my nose for freshness. Alas, lots of dead soldiers needed to be tossed in the bin. Or no. Just because they are too stale for cooking, what could be done with them?
Here’s an OakleafStyle idea for a “cooped up Kirk” project that will create a money saving, creative, fragrant and beneficial gift from the heart. Fragrant herbal, spicy bath salts are just what the doctor ordered!
Pour stale herbs and spices in a bowl, avoiding hot spices such as chili and cayenne. Maybe add a drop or two of lemon, almond or vanilla extract for a fragrant punch. If you have a lime or lemon left over from last night’s spritzer or dinner recipe, peel, dice and mix into the bowl. Now take that jar of clumpy sea salt, bang it lightly on the edge of the counter (whilst chanting “Covid-19 go away”) to loosen crystals, then pour into bowl.
If by chance you have in your garden a patch of mint, thyme or a stray lavender or rosemary plant, slip outside and take a few snippets to add to your blend. While snipping -stop- close your eyes and listen to the earth. Birds singing, crickets chirping. Assurance that in the big picture you are connected, and all is well.
Back in the kitchen, take out several of those small canning jars you’ve been hoarding, wash and dry thoroughly and place on the counter. Fill jars almost to the top with your freshly made herbal, spicy bath salts, set lids on jars, not sealing them yet, just to cover. The salt will dehydrate the citrus peels and fresh herbs.
The next day or so, if you’re feeling particularly crafty, seal jars and tie a bow at the top for an added flourish. Keep a couple for yourself, you deserve it, and drop off the rest at neighbors’ doorways on your morning walk. During this surreal time, what a wonderful way to stay connected to those near you.