Living – Salts & Oils Evening Class

The other week a friend & I took an evening class called “Salts & Oils“. It sounded very promising – despite the many items we were supposed to bring. It turned out that about 13 out of the 15 items were available in the kitchen so we lugged them around unnecessarily.

The good thing was that instead of twelve participants we were only six, which usually means that tasks weren’t divvied up between us but that everyone could basically try their hand at everything.

Remember my kitchen spring cleaning session earlier this month? Well, not throwing away something can be an advantage, it seems. I was going to throw out or give away the gazillions of preserving jars that I owned but something held me back. My friend didn’t have any jars, so I brought some for her. We each filled about 12 jars with salts, oils, vinegar, and the makings for stock.

While the evening was fun – mostly, because we found there’s always one person attending those classes who tries to walk away with double the amount of stuff they are entitled to – and most of what we made looked nice and would make a nice gift, we also clearly saw the not so positive sides.

I am definitely not a penny pincher, rather the contrary, but while 12 Euros for the class seemed perfectly acceptable, the extra 12 Euros for “materials” somehow were not worth it. For one, salt is a very cheap ingredient, especially bought in bulk. Then my friend noticed that the oil and vinegar were both of the cheap variety as well. I certainly did not expect a top quality olive oil for that price, but at least not one of the cheapest sunflower oils available. The herbs and wild herbs came from the lecturer’s garden and fields, and while I agree that the upkeep of those takes some work and warrants payment from our side, the amounts we used were certainly not worth that kind of money. To top it all, the promised “nice recipe booklet” was nothing but rather unappealing looking black & white photocopies.

Shortly before we left, the lecturer asked if I would send her some of the pictures I took of the ingredients and finished products. For free, of course. I don’t think so 😉 .

My friend said she found what we made “too salty”, meaning for a class called Salts & Oils it was rather salt heavy. We made parsley salt, wild herb salt, lemon salt, a salt with fresh mediterranean herbs and one with dried ones. The vinegar was some kind of one-herb-vinegar, and the oils we made were both with dried herbs. The last item on the list was a chopped vegetable & salt mix that can be used for making stock.

The only salt I feel I might recreate at home at some point is the lemon salt – quick and easy to make.

I will definitely not have use for 5 jars of salts, so I’m going to divide them into mini jars and gift them to friends.

I know this post looks like one big complaint… but I did have a very nice evening, it was a fun experience – I just wish the positive could have outweighed the not so positive.

Have you attended any good classes making salts, oils, or other food things that are quite pricey to buy but that you can easily make at home?