I love herbs. I don't know why I don't do more with them. I love growing them and getting that herbal fragrance in the garden when you brush by them. I'm growing regular and lemon thyme, a couple of kinds of sage, marjoram, Greek oregano, pineapple mint, chives, rosemary, anise hyssop, and cinnamon basil.
I want to make cinnamon basil flavored vinegar and so I went looking for a how to and found this at About.com. It sounds pretty easy. I use to buy vinegars made by a local person flavored some with berries and some with cinnamon basil. I loved it. It has a wonderful colored and flavor, slightly spicy. Raspberry vinegar would also be fun to make. We may be going picking raspberries this week.
The Thrifty Country Woman tells how to make your own Herb De Provence which is my go to herb mix. I like it because I like the Mediterranean flavors. I've never tried making my own, but would like to. She also introduced me to a new to me blog on herbs called I Refuse to Recede that has a lot of useful information about herbs.
I think I should be doing more with herbs and want to focus on finding some ideas and trying some things. I love the herbal fragrance in bath and body produces and I have essential oils that can be added to homemade cleaning products. I'm using up my store bought products and then will be making my own.
I have used herbal teas for many minor health complaints and find them useful. I've never made my own but used store bought, but with frugality in mind I will be seeing what I can make. The anise hyssop I have was given to me and I'm not sure exactly what you do with it, but I do know it's a medicinal herb and the person that gave it to me said they thought you could make tea out of it. I have a lot of books and info. it's just that I haven't used herbs this way for a long time. I'm taking so many medications now that I feel I have to be careful about mixing them with medicinal herbs.
Cooking with herbs is of course the most enjoyable way to use them. They are wonderful in salads, herbed butter, just about anything really. Using them in place of dried herbs requires a little trial and error. Some herbs, like rosemary can be quite strong, so I've learned to be cautious. One of my favorites is thyme, I love the flavor it gives to meat dishes.
Using herbs in beverages like lemon aide is a lot of fun to experiment with. I'm not a big fan of store bought herb teas except for medicinal purposes, but I love them mixed with regular tea. One of my favorites from Eastern Shores Tea Co. is Rosemary Hill Farm. It is a Earl Grey tea with rosemary in it and I forget what else, maybe lavender. We order it in bulk we love it so much. They have decided not to make this tea anymore, why do companies do that. They do have a lot of other interesting teas like Pear Ginger, Watermelon Kiwi, Green Peach. The Watermelon is great for ice tea.