Have you ever made something in your kitchen and thought, I'll know what I bottled, how I tweaked that recipe or how I made this; only to end up with a mystery jar a few weeks later? I don't care how good your memory is, trust me, you won't remember. Labels, notes, some type of system that works for you is key or a lot of items will linger unused until they find their way to the compost or that delicious recipe will be a distant memory.
I love to cook, I collect cookbooks and read them like novels. I might actually make any given recipe exactly as written the first time before putting my twist on it or substituting ingredients for ones I don't have on hand. I've learned the hard way that if I'm happy with the results to write it down - sometimes it's a note in the margin other times it's a post-it note on the page. If I'm trying to change up a recipe it usually gets a post-it note with each rendition until I'm satisfied - then a note goes in the margin or I type up the brand new recipe for my book.
When it comes to herbal concoctions - a vinegar, a tincture, a new tea blend, or anything I dream up in the moment I write it in my kitchen notebook - yup, I have a notebook in the kitchen just for those moments. I date it and write exactly what I did and where everything came from - did I buy the herbs? from where? did I harvest the herbs? from where? How much did I use? How did I make it? What were the results. I also label the jar with a date and what it is. I keep a similar notebook at the studio. Sounds a little crazy, I know. Some would argue that I am - rightfully so at times. But, it really is important if when you go to decant something 6 weeks or 6 months down the line to know what you are decanting. It's important if you want to repeat the process in the future and it is crucial if you want to offer it to others.