NOTE: This was originally written 12/10/11 Ignore the posting date.
I was shopping yesterday in a kitchen gadget store for Christmas gifts. I like to check out the fancy food items in stores like that, things like jams, vineagers, mustards and oils. I saw Blood Orange Olive Oil. What could be bad about that? I bought all they had - 2. I really needed one more. So I got to thinking about making my own for that "one last person who reallly needed one." I grow many kinds of herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Wow, that would make great lyrics for a song! Anyway, my most favorite herb to grow is BASIL. I usually grow sweet, lemon and purple ruffles, but have been known to grow more. One summer I grew six different kinds, but there are approximately 100+ types.
Okay, back to flavored oils - when I got home from shopping, I was on the hunt for instructions for making my own herb infused oil. I went to Google and found many websites with instructions, recipes and warnings. WARNINGS? Yes, warnings. Who would have thought you would need a warning when it came to cooking with olive oil? Isn't olive oil the food of the gods? Yes, but it's man who can mess it up, especiallsy when it comes to botulism. The moisture content of the herbs or other things added to flavor the oil can be BAD. I've been reading about the dangers of garlic infused oil. "They" all recommend keeping the oil refrigerated and using within a few days. if the oil is made with fresh garlic and fresh herbs. I don't do much daily cooking anymore so that wouldn't work too well for me. I would have to make it 2 or 3 tablespoons at a time. I want to be able to store it unrefrigerated in the cabinet or on the countertop.
I got to wondering about using minced dehydrated garlic. Hmm? I'm still waiting for an answer from casaveneracion.com. Also on this website, in the comment section, someone named Cheri (post dated 11/20/09) took a course at Williams-Sonoma and gives directions how to cook the oil to give it a 2 month shelf life. I'm going to try that. I want to give these oils for Christmas gifts along with some homemade bread.
Who knows? This might be so fun, so good that it will be an annual food gift item, like my beef jerky and Conway corn.