Herbs are my favorite group of plants, hands down. They’re easy to grow, have a number of culinary and medicinal uses, and they’re pretty and scented. What’s not to love? But in recent years I’ve also begun experimenting with creating herb bundles to give as gifts for the holidays. They’re perfect as a homemade host/hostess gift when you go to holiday parties, or simply to have on hand when someone pops over to your house. The recipients enjoy the cozy fragrance indoors until they’re ready to use them in the kitchen.
1. Gather 5-7 stems of each herb, about 6″ long. The herbs I love include rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram — they are so easy to grow, and are common ingredients in holiday cooking. If bundles are intended for cooking, combine them accordingly, but if they are for décor only, use all sorts of herbs to make an attractive display.
2. Tie the bundle together tightly with a rubber band. The key here is “tightly” — as the herbs dry, they will shrink, so a tight bundle is essential to avoid the bundle falling apart.
3. Use a length of ribbon to cover the rubber band. Tie a loop for hanging in the ribbon before wrapping around the bundle. I like to use a holiday-themed ribbon like plaid or stripes for an added accent, and wire-edged ribbon creates an additional dimension and texture.
4. Before gifting, consider adding a cluster of flowers near the top of the bundle. Choose flowers that dry well and add a pop of color, like rose buds, gomphrena, marigolds, and strawflower.
5. Hang the herb bundles in a well-ventilated location out of direct sunlight. Pinch off herbs as you need them.
6. To use the entire bundle, remove the flowers, rubber bands, and ribbons.
Cooking Tip: For holiday feasts, place an herb bundle of rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram inside a turkey with peppercorns, a halved onion, and a bit of salt.