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It’s Oil in the Presentation

Family, friends, Secret Santas, bosses, neighbors… the cost of holiday cheer can be enough to send us here at RHR running for the spiced rum.

So to level the playing field between our extreme popularity ;-> and our deep and abiding cheapskatery, we’ve been making our holiday gifts for years now.

I know, I know. Nobody likes to get a homemade present. They’re always weird, and nothing you’d actually use… and worst of all, you can’t even re-gift them because what if the recipient asks you about the crafting process or the materials or something? Stupid, lousy crochet. Damn you and your prudish insistence upon keeping things “cozy.”   (Image courtesy of Photobucket)

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to go down like that. Over years of careful observation, we’ve determined one essential DIY gift constant: everyone likes food.

We’ve gifted everyone from immediate family to casual acquaintances with foodstuffs — and always to rave reviews. We’ve done flavored apertifs & spice rubs & hand-dipped candies. And frankly, we haven’t even scratched the surface of everything we want to make.

DIY gifting is every bit as addictive as any other DIY pursuit. Sure, it takes planning and effort. But it’s truly fun & a lot easier than you’d imagine — and eventually you find yourself turning your nose up at store-bought options because you know you can do it better… for SO much less.

Anyway, this year we decided to do infused cooking oils!

First, we headed out to a local gourmet foods distributor that sells bulk oil. By buying from the source, we could afford higher quality ingredients. Plus, we managed to cut costs by getting the bottles for only 50 cents each (with purchase of oil). Score!!  The containers for homemade gifts are often the most expensive part of the project, so we’re always looking for clever ways to cut costs on that front.

We chose a light Spanish olive oil…

…then we picked up some whole clove garlic, fresh thyme & rosemary and black peppercorns.

Once we got all the booty home — for about $7 per bottle — Dan heated the oil, adding a sachet of the rosemary & thyme so the oil could suck up all their herby goodness.

For an expert herbed-oil tutorial, click here.

Once the oils were thoroughly infused and ready for gifting, I topped them with a little tin foil and ribbon, along with a shiny ornament.

Because with homemade gifts, presentation MATTERS.

Practical, easy & so much less expensive than it looks. Score!

AND… We’ve already gotten the ultimate homemade-present compliment. One of our recipients actually used our infused oil to cook for a holiday party. Color us flattered!

How about you guys? Have you ever made infused oil? What are your favorite kinds? Anyone else making gifts rather than buying? We’d love to hear that we’re not alone… ;-> So don’t be afraid to hit that comments button! Tell us all about it!

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