Was Black Friday uninspiring at your house?
You’d rather steer clear of Tech Monday?
Maybe it’s time to make your own gifts from scratch.
Maggie Battista’s Food Gift Love: More Than 100 Recipes to Make, Wrap & Share (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015) will inspire you to make gifts from your kitchen not the box store. And, then, she’ll teach you how to box them for a really special presentation. It’s not just how well your gifts will taste – but how beautifully you wrap them up.
The book is divided up among Fresh Gifts like Mixed Cocktail Nuts in individual packets (p. 46) that might suit a family going on a trip for the holidays. Or a pot of Smoky Chicken Soup (p. 63) that might be good for a sick friend or someone in need of TLC, suggests Maggie. You can give the whole pot, a ladle, and accompanying Garlic Puree (p. 63). She will teach you how to make Homemade Butter (p. 64), but you can also whip up Basil-Feta Butter or Cinnamon-Sugar Butter (p. 69) for a special treat for someone going back to college.
Under Pantry Gifts, you could make cute Herbes de Provence Jars (p. 84). The photograph by <Heidi Murphy shows little sachets and jars with lavender – but the recipe calls for oregano, marjoram, thyme, and sage – either way, what a pretty gift for a cook.
But, let’s face it, most people want something sweet. The Candied Gifts chapter is loaded with great ideas. From Chocolate-Coconut Popcorn (p. 119) to elegant Chocolate-Dipped Spoons (p. 125), Chocolate Truffles (p. 130) or Peanut Butter Balls (p. 132) full of rice cereal, milk chocolate and peanut butter. The spoons are tied with twine and placed in a vintage tin mini-loaf pan. She presents the truffles on silver trays wrapped in cellophane that make them as elegant as a Victorian gift. And the peanut butter balls go in ceramic bowls with a ribbon tied around them. Elegant and simple. Her version of Nutella, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (p. 136) she pours into espresso cuts and gives them with a matching ceramic spoon. Yum.
With less then a month before Christmas and New Years (and any birthdays in between), it’s time to get into the kitchen and make some special gifts. Choose one or make many different kinds – but a food gift from a foodie to a foodie, is a gift of love.