Turn chive blossoms into chive vinegar

Chives are in bloom in my Connecticut garden (zone 6a) which means it’s time to turn chive blossoms into chive vinegar.

Making chive vinegar is an annual ritual in my kitchen. I’ve saved a good collection of attractive glass jars to hold this homemade concoction. Chive vinegar preserves the delicate onion flavor and stunning lavender-pink color of chive flowers. 

Chive blossoms

Chive blossoms

In early morning as the dew dries, snap close-to-fully-open chive blossoms from their stems. When you have enough to nearly fill your chosen container, simply drop the flowers into your clean glass jar, cover them with white vinegar, and set them on the kitchen counter out of direct sun. Yes, it’s that easy.

Choose containers with an opening wide enough for the chive flowers. My favorite glass containers are re-purposed Patron bottles.

Chive flowers infusing into vinegar

Chive flowers infusing into vinegar

In a few hours the color of the blossoms will infuse into the vinegar. The color of the vinegar depends on the shade of the blossoms – the more lavender blooms infuse a darker shade, the more pink flowers a lighter shade. The longer the blossoms soak, the stronger the flavor of the vinegar. But the chive flavor never becomes overpowering.

 

I’d give the blossoms at least two weeks to infuse before using the vinegar. Before use, strain the vinegar into a separate jar, then add the spent chive blossoms to the compost pile. I use the flavored vinegar in salad dressings, to baste chicken and other roasted meats (the vinegar helps keep meats tender and moist), and in many recipes calling for regular vinegar.

This vinegar infusion method works with garlic chive blossoms as well as leaves of rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and other herbs. But no other herb flower I’ve used imparts a more lovely color to the vinegar than chive flowers.

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May 2014 Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day in Connecticut

Spring brings lots of blooms to Connecticut gardens, and May always brings bountiful blooms for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. The spring of 2014 had a slow start and has remained generally chilly – giving us a long and lovely daffodil bloom time – but, during the warmer temperatures of the last week or so, other spring bloomers have begun to shine.

Lilacs, the common purple variety, 5/15/2014 in CT

Lilacs, the common purple variety, 5/15/2014 in CT

Lilacs – the common purple variety – fully opened yesterday in my garden, though the flowers are a bit scant this year.  Late season extreme cold likely damaged the forming buds, resulting in few purple and no white lilac flowers this spring.

Mimicking the lilac color is early-blooming nepeta (aka catmint). planted nearby.

Nepeta blossom

Nepeta blossom

 

 

 

 

Rivaling the lilacs in fragrance are Lily-of-the-Valley flowers. A vase of these dainty beauties sit on the corner of my desk, keeping me company as I write this post.

Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily-of-the-Valley

 

 

 

Two flowering quince (Chaenomeles sp. Texas Scarlet), planted in the transition area between lawn and woods, managed to survive the winter and put out a few flowers.

Flowering quince 'Texas Scarlet'

Flowering quince ‘Texas Scarlet’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azalea and dogwood blossoms add pink tones.

Azalea

Azalea

Dogwood

Dogwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alpine strawberries and blueberry bushes promise yummy treats if I get to the fruit before the birds.

Alpine strawberry

Alpine strawberry

Low bush blueberry blooms

Low bush blueberry blooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And two viburnum shrubs hold blossoms nearly ready to pop.

Leatherleaf (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)

Leatherleaf (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)

Viburnum plicatum 'Mariessii'

Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariessii’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The remaining daffodils round out the show of blooms.

Narcissus Fragrant Rose

Narcissus Fragrant Rose 

May blooming narcissi

May blooming narcissi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

unknown variety of May blooming narcissus

unknown variety of May blooming narcissus 

Likely Poet's daffodil

Likely Poet’s daffodil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Head over there now to enjoy the May blooms in gardens all over the U.S. and beyond.