I love gearing up for the Christmas holidays as it’s one of my favorite times of the year. People seem a bit kinder, smile more and the feeling of mutual respect resonates more during this time of the year than any other. Not to sound the alarm bells, but there are only 46 days before Christmas! Thinking of that perfect holiday gift can be tricky especially as one gets older. We have so many ‘things’ that tend to never see the light of day – who needs to add to that? I enjoy being able to make hostess gifts for those who love to cook as much as I do. DIY rosemary salt is so easy to make and you can customize it to suit it to the taste of your friend or family member. Homemade gifts come straight from the heart and they don’t need to break the bank nor be arduous.
To make this a true gift from the heart, please use sea salt. Table salt has all of its minerals removed which would otherwise help to balance blood pressure. As a result, table salt causes blood pressure fluctuations instead of stabilizing it. This well-known danger has created an entire industry of “low sodium” foods. The same goes for Kosher salt. Mark Bitterman explains why.
“Kosher salt is a processed food, with all mineral and moisture qualities intrinsic to real salt stripped away, and with a crystal structure fabricated by automated processes. The flavor is antiseptic, like the bright florescence of a laboratory on a spaceship drifting aimlessly away from earth. When we cook with kosher salt we sanctify the artificial, we embrace emptiness, we become unfit for our posts – a nakedness far worse than embarrassment”.
I switched from table salt to sea salt 14 years ago so this comes as no surprise but I do like his colorful explanation.
1/2 cup sea salt (PLEASE, no table salt)
1 tablespoon freshly minced rosemary
Combine the two ingredients. Spread the salt mixture over a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow the salt to dry overnight. Feel free to tinker with the ingredients and quantities as this is meant as a guide to get you started. Place in a pretty container, label it and give as a hostess gift or party favor.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Experiment with other herbs such as dill, sage and oregano. Consider adding chopped garlic or lemon zest. To make Tuscan herb salt use a mix of fresh rosemary and sage leaves. Enjoy!