Those jars of marinated cheese available at the grocery store are a wonderful treat, and I've often thought "I can do that just as easily at home." With Christmas season upon us, it's occurred to me that it would be a lovely gift, especially with the beer quickbread mixes I usually give. I'll likely do a set with feta, peppercorns, garlic, and perhaps some roasted peppers, and another set with blue cheese, sage, and peppercorns. Most of the ones I've seen are done with canola, but olive oil seems like a good choice for the feta.
Before I give my friends botulism, I'd love to solicit suggestions from the board. How long should the cheese and spices marinate? The store-bought jars have use-by dates of about a year after purchase, but have a bit of citric acid added "as an anti-oxidant" (preservative?) -- how long should I expect a homemade version to keep well? Any other suggestions for cheese/spice combinations? Thanks so much for your advice!