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Oct 12, 2009 05:36 PM

Homemade holiday gifts, any thoughts?

Yes, I did a search, but new hounds join on a regular basis and people come up with new ideas pretty frequently. I am definitely going to do spiced nuts this year, but I am thinking of healthful/gourmet twist on those meals in a jar using no perishable ingredients. I was thinking of incorporating the jar in a basket with some good crackers and wine. Soups come to mind. Any ideas? Other ideas other than jarred soup are also welcomed.Thanks

Here's an example:


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  1. Did you mean this link:

    What a great idea...the link I posted is for split pea soup but there's a second one also.

    thanks Tracy!

    1. I've made granola and given it as a well-received holiday gift. There are endless variations, depending on the flavorings, sweeteners, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits you use. Maple, orange, crystallized ginger, and dried cranberries are good seasonal flavors.

      1. A few weeks ago, I made jars of Poblano Tomatillo Salsa & okra pickles from ingredients in my garden. I'll be giving away some as gifts. The salsa will be great warmed & topped with crumbled Queso fresco and served with some crackers or fresh tortilla chips or added to some crusted chunks of pork in a stew.

        I added ancho chiles & garlic to the okra pickles to give them a smoky flavor; they'll be good on a veggie tray or in a sandwich and as a garnish in a bloody Mary or tomato margarita...

        1. I may have posted this on the older thread, but:

          For friends who enjoy cooking I often make and give Moroccan style preserved lemons in a pretty jar with recipes/suggestions.

          For more casual gifts (and for those "surprise" situations) I make a little gourmet coffee break pack. I put together mini bags of good coffee beans and dip good quality plastic spoons in melted chocolate, which can be flavored. I arrange the coffee, chocolate covered spoon and home made biscotti in a holiday theme mug and wrap with clear cello wrap and curly ribbons. If I end up with some leftover I just take out the components and we use them up!

          1. I make jellies and jams and give them out as gifts. Or I take a jar or two, depending on jar size, when I am invited to a holiday dinner when my spouse is out to sea. Ditto with homemade pumpkin bread or cranberry bread.

            7 Replies
            1. re: KristieB

              If you can, jams and jellies with unusual (but not what most people consider "weird") flavors are always a hit, I've found. I did lemon marmalade in smallish jars one year, and people still ask me to do that one again.

              1. re: dmd_kc

                Do you need canning equipment to make jams & jellies?

                1. re: Val

                  Not unless you consider a large deep pot to be "canning equipment"! I have a small pressure cooker that fits pint jars but I NEVER use it for jams -- you don't need it. The sugar and acid are preservative enough.

                  1. re: LauraGrace

                    Thank you, LG...must investigate this.

                    1. re: Val

                      My pleasure. And now's the time to buy jars and the like -- in many places they'll be on sale, bein's how it's the end of the season!

                      Marmalades are wonderful gifts -- homemade marmalade is far superior to that over-sweetened goo most people know, and it doesn't even require pectin.

                      1. re: Val

                        There are lots of threads about canning with basic info on Home Cooking, but for a primer, I recommend the Ball Blue Book.

                  2. re: dmd_kc

                    That's my MO too.

                    I make flavors they're not going to find in the grocery.

                    This years gifts include: Strawberry Basil, Ginger Lemon Marmalade and Blueberry Lemon. I also did some Asian style pickles.