If you’re thinking of giving something homemade for the holidays, now is a good time to give it some serious thought. Right now, fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak. So, if you’re going to make a food gift, now’s the time to acquire and prepare your ingredients. Fill your freezer. Learn how to do home canning.
And think about making something other than cookies or sweets. If you’re thinking of making fruitcake, do it now so it has time to soak up the rum or whiskey it should contain. Fruitcake, by the way, gets a bum rap. Yes, there are lots of really bad fruitcakes out there. But there are also recipes that are not so hard and dry.
If you still want to go cookie, think different. Fortune cookies hold up well in transportation and can contain homemade fortunes that exactly match the person receiving them. Know a busy mother who needs a little help now and then? Make some of the fortunes coupons to exchange for babysitting or play dates. Is your boyfriend or girlfriend the recipient? Make fortunes expressing your feelings and offering romantic evenings. These cookies are easy to make. Just remember to write out your fortunes ahead of time, because you’ll need to work fast when they come out of the oven.
Even the smallest apartment can handle a small herb window garden. You can use a series of little clay pots (with saucers) containing common herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, Italian parsley or cilantro. If you can find a long ceramic or clay tray, even better.
How about a meal in a box? Load it with cheese, crackers, smoked salmon, nuts, bean dip, tortilla chips and salami. Throw in a bottle of wine and you’ve not only got a nice gift, but maybe a suggestion for a quiet evening.
Or you can do a breakfast basket, with teas, gourmet coffee beans, dried fruit, homemade granola, rice or soy milk, muffin or scone mix, honey and fresh oranges or grapefruit.
Or a bag of Latin flavors with homemade salsa, tortilla chips, mole sauce with a recipe for a favorite dish, and a bottle of tequila with some fresh limes.
For the busy Bachelor, you can do a dried soup mix in a jar. Just mix together dried alphabet or other small pasta, bouillon granules, dried split peas or small beans, barley, rice and spices like dehydrated onion, oregano, basil and parsley. Add a label to the jar with instructions and suggestions for fresh add-ins.
There are other ideas and we’ll look at those in later posts. Do you have any ideas? Please share them in our comments.