I fully understand how lame this is, but it is part of a compilation gift for My Beloved Sister. We only had each other as siblings while growing up and we are just 19 months apart so we have always been extremely close. When we became adults we decided we would give each other 52 Christmas presents each year (one fore each week) but most of them were very small to zero cost items. A free sample of detergent was wrapped and given, or some swag key chain or ball point pens. It didn't matter as long as at the end we had about 52 wrapped presents. Over the years (we have gotten old and lazy) the number decreased and now we only do 15-20. We usually give each other a couple of "real" gifts and fill in with the fun things we pick up . (I found a great set of vampire teeth after Halloween for a quarter. She will love them!)
One of the "real" presents she wants for this year is a small colander. I was a reviewer for Amazon items for a brief while and would occasionally get free or small fee items to review. One of them was a collapsable colander so after reviewing it (Yes Beloved Sister, you are getting a colander than has been messed with) I tossed it in her gift pile. I couldn't figure exactly how to present it, because with cheap crap presentation is everything, so I decided to stick a bag of BOGO croutons and some salad dressing then wrap the whole thing in an Ikea dish towel (.79). By my count that would be 4 gifts in one.
Today While I was cleaning out some of the kitchen cabinets, I found an old magnum bottle from champagne we got in a gift basket last Christmas. So now, instead of having to buy a bottle of salad dressing I have a much cuter item to stick in the colander.
Basil Infused Wine Vinegar
This is a very technical process so pay careful attention, ok!
Take a cup and a half of wine vinegar and heat it to where it is just about to boil. Add 1 tablespoon of dried basil, remove it from the heat and let it sit for about an hour. Strain it through a sieve to remove all the basil bits. I used a pyrex measuring cup to strain it into because it has a pour spout. Rinse the sieve and pour the vinegar into the bottle through the sieve once more. Easy Peasy!
If I had used a clear bottle rather than the green champagne one I probably would have dried a stem of fresh basil to stick into it for looks, but it would not show through the green glass so I figured there was no need t worry about it.
This also would work well using champagne vinegar and would actually be prettier in the bottle but I had none and was not inclined to go to the store today.
Now My beloved Sister will have the beginnings of a very nice oil and vinegar dressing for the lettuce she can wash in her colander. Nice cheap present plus I had every component on hand!
You can try your hand at this using any herbs you have on hand, but dry them before you infuse them. I don't exactly know why but it is something about bacteria on fresh herbs, shelf life and food safety. Even though I made this today, I will most likely put it in another container and use it myself, re-wash the champagne bottle and make her more closer to Christmas just for the food safety because I don't want to take up refrigerator shelf space just to insure it's safe at Christmas. Another option would be to process it in a Mason jar and 10 minute water bath, but that is way too much trouble for one container of infused vinegar.
Anyway if you have a sister who asked for a colander for Christmas you might want to try this. It also might be good with a nice olive oil and a pair of salad hands or tongs for a salad loving friend.