I love this period between Christmas and New Year but usually for very different reasons than what I am up to this year. December is crazy (good crazy) for us and I find that when I actually get a few days at home, I become that crazy neurotic person who suddenly has an overwhelming urge to pull the cupboards apart……. cupboards, drawers, bike sheds ….anything that I cross seems to get the once over. I become ruthless and the pile to donate grows by the day. I call it ‘the cleanse’. Some others call it “Mummy’s gone nuts”.
This year, I made a pact with myself. You see…. I’m exhausted (from said crazy December) and although our home and cupboards and drawers could certainly do with ‘the cleanse‘, I know what I need to do is to stop….to have some down time & recharge and so I am trying. I have sent myself out into the garden a lot to ensure I wasn’t tempted by the cupboard that wouldn’t shut or the ironing drawer that is over flowing (b.o.r.i.n.g). The weather has been beautiful and I am finding a certain kind of healing out in our veggie patch. We have also taken day trips to the beach, drinks on the deck with friends (not so healing and too much of it but that is what summer is about right although I am not sure my organs agree).
I admit….I have touched one rooms cupboards. It was my own clothes cupboard and it was 100% necessary and you would agree had you seen the looks from one very patient Michael. This lovely man had been ‘rooming’ with a woman who had regressed to her teen years in the busy-ness of December and there were more of my clothes on the floor of our bedroom than were in cupboards. He’d had enough of my growing pile of clothes (no words were needed) so I folded, packed away, hung up and got my little cleanse fix and filled a garbage bag to take to the Op shop. I could feel myself getting sucked in. It was only a matter of time before I was under kids beds for days on end or suddenly having an urge to throw away half of our linen press so out into the garden I headed again. We have herbs in abundance right now and despite them featuring in each and every meal, I cannot manage to use them quickly enough so I have turned to making seasoned salts and let me tell you….you start on this and it’ll change your life! Seasoned salts can add a wonderful depth of flavour. My girls are fixated on oregano salt on top of their baked smashed potaotes but they are amazing also with roast chicken as well as pasta and fish. I also seasoned my steak with oregano salt the other night as soon as it came off the barbecue and it melted in to the meat and did all kinds of wonderful to the flavour. Incredible…something so easy and yet so wonderful.
Many say you need to dry out your herbs first to make a seasoned salt that will last. You can do this by air drying your herbs first or using a dehydrator should you be lucky enough to own one but I have just been laying mine out on a lined baking tray overnight after blending and before storing in an airtight jar. Seems to be working a treat so far.
Here is a basic ‘how to’ for oregano salt however play around with other herbs and ingredients such as basil, coriander, thyme, parsley, lavender flowers, paprika, tumeric, lemon (just a few suggestions to kick off your addiction).
- Combine sea salt (you all know my preference is Murray river sea salt) and oregano in a food processor. Blend until mixture is a finely ground powder.
- Transfer oregano salt to a glass jar, cover with lid. Use within 6 months.
- Technically the flavorings you add added to the salt should be dried
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of flavoring for every 1/4 cup of salt
- Once the flavoring and salt are mixed together, briefly grind in a coffee grinder, food processor or mortar and pestle to really combine the flavors (briefly and gently; you don’t want to completely break down the salt crystals).