Reminders of the Little Ways God Loves Us, and…How to Make Herbal-Infused Vinegar

Showing up in little ways, God reminders not only help us when we want or need something, but they are reminders that God cares about the littlest of things that are important to us.

Having finished praying this morning, I got up, and what I noticed at some point was that there were dried flowers next to my bed. How interesting. From where did that come, I wondered? Flowers to turn up randomly like that made me wonder why. So, what it brought me to were…plants.

I have dried flowers in different places around my house, but they are tucked in between things. This was not. It was ready to remind me of an event for which I’d already planned and had on my calendar for a while, but about which I’d forgotten and was not on my radar!

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I immediately thought of the Herbal Society meeting, and I wondered, “Is today the day of the meeting?” I was planning on attending the Perfecting the Art of Herb-infused Vinegar class. But then I thought, “Oh, no. I missed the meeting this past Wednesday.” I checked my calendar, and sure enough, it was today. Yah!! I didn’t miss it. So glad!! I checked the time, and it wasn’t until 10. Great! This will give me time to go for a run and get to the meeting on time.

I got ready, headed to the bridge, and ran a few miles, then took a quick bike ride to stretch out my running legs, then I headed back home to shower and prepare myself for the meeting.

I walked in and greeted everyone with a, “Good morning!” I was maybe a few minutes late, but I was glad to be there!

There were about 10 different types of herbs spread all over the table and it smelled like spaghetti sauce cooking in the kitchen. There were also many bottles of different wines spread throughout, bottles of apple cider vinegar, lemon rinds, peeled garlic cloves, and pepper corns all displayed on the table.

Miriam, the curator of the garden, was at the head of the table, ready to teach us. She got me set up with a table cloth, and we got ready.

About an hour later, many of us had made different types of vinegars – the two of which she gave us recipes for were Italian (rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, basil, garlic, sage, peppercorns) and Lemon (lemon basil, fennel – only because we didn’t have any dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, lemon rinds, peppercorns.)

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Italian (L); Lemon (R)

Of course, you can use any combination you see fit and appetizing for you.

If you’re making these: The peppercorns always go in first. If you’re using garlic, then the clove(s). Then the herbs, and finally the wine and vinegar – we were instructed to use a 50/50 ratio of wine to vinegar. I later tried, instead of only apple cider vinegar, using rice vinegar. Mix it up. See what’s good.

In addition to the other items, plus the jar or container you choose, if you’d like to make these, you will also need a funnel, and a poker, we used chop sticks. From there, you should be all set to make these beautiful concoctions of herbal-infused vinegars – fit for home or gifting, and fun to create.

Something to consider, when putting in herbs, once the fluid is added, the herbs will rise to the top, so consider where you cut the stems if you want them to span the size of the bottle. You may also choose to put in some herbs first and some later, after you have added the liquid, depending on the shape of the bottle. One of my bottles was long and narrow. See below, left. I actually added the thyme at the end because there was space on the top for more herbs – the original herbs I used did not rise completely to the top in this case because of the narrow shape of the bottle, and the width and strength of rosemary.

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Notice the arrangement of herbs at the top of each bottle. Herbs, and the shape of bottle, both contribute to the overall effect.

You can keep them for up to a year for their visual appearance only, but after that time, herbs will likely break down and you will want to strain (maybe) the wine vinegar before you use it. Red wine barely shows off the herbs. Even in a lit window, they are very faint to view. I only used a slight bit of red wine mixed with the white for a darker appearance.

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White Wine only (L) versus White/Red Mix (R)

This is just one small way I appreciate the Lord and how He works – helping remind me of things I want or need to do. He shows up for me with the little things in my life. I love it!

Many people think or say He’s got more important matters of which to attend, and He doesn’t care about small things, but I disagree. If he knows the number of hairs on our head, why not help us out with the little details of our lives, like helping remind us of what matters to us and will bring us joy? He’s good like that, too😊

God gives us the desires of our heart when we delight ourselves in Him, according to Proverbs 37:4. I’ve been working on loving more which I think would be delighting myself in Him – what His essence is. 😊 He is love, according to 1 John 4:8.

He knows I love plants, and they are a desire of my heart. His prompting my memory this morning with that little dried flower brought me joy today. I got to meet new people, revisit others I met previously, and I got to learn something new and useful about plants! Fun! Now, here’s hoping it tastes good. We’ll see.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to remember, and for showing up with the little things in my life that matter and make a sweet difference.

Thank you,

Holly