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Dec 15, 2012 09:26 AM

Homemade Holiday Gifts that Travel

I'm sending a box of some homemade food gifts to the in-laws this year, but have a couple questions about what can travel without refrigeration.
1) Homemade pasta: If I make fresh cavatelli or linguine, can I just dry it out, package it up and send it? I'm sure it will be fine, but sometimes fresh pasta is in the cold section of the store...
2) Artichoke Lemon Pesto: I know the cheese in here should be refrigerated, but sometimes I see sealed jars of this stuff on the shelves in markets. What's the difference? Will five nights in a box really spoil it?
Not trying to poison the in-laws...

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  1. I will leave others to answer the pasta question, as I have no experience with that.

    Your artichoke lemon pesto sounds marvelous and I think you would be doing it a disserivce to assume that it will be okay at all the different temperatures implied in "sending a box" (by post, by courier?).

    My guide to "Small Batch Preserving" (Topp &Howard) suggests that you MUST keep pesto refrigerated. But if you can find one that uses cheese and, after canning, endorses lack of refrigeration, then you (and your pesto!) are golden.

    1. I'm with LJS on this one.
      I'd not do either, because you're going to go through a great effort albeit a loving one, but to do all that, pay for shipping and postage and packaging to have it maybe not work would be so unfortunate.
      Example: I sent a huge box of home made cookies to a party I was attending far far up my state and 2 days away, but I knew the lady receiving it would get it to the party as she lived there. She said the cookies as she took them out of the carefully packaged FEDEX box were mostly all crushed. but commented that she couldn't resist eating one of them, my favorite recipe from my grandmother, the baker of the universe. said they were terrific but because of their shape and ingredients being a hearty cookie, the only reason she thought they survived.
      I know you're not planning on cookies but the premise is the same, a lot of work, a bit of cash and effort for your gift to arrive less than planned or worse is to me, not a thing I'll be doing often. unless of course you send FEDEX, next day, early morning, then I'd chance it and pray for the best. let us know what you decide and if you do do it, let us know if the package arrived without incident.

      1. I would freeze the pesto and ship with dry ice. Fedex overnight or 2-day. Ask the courier for advice on packing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KarenDW

          Thanks, everyone. In the end I decided to scrap the pesto idea, because it would have sucked to go to all that trouble and send them a spoiled product. Just as an epilogue, the box contained homemade: tagliatelle pasta, roasted nuts with cayenne and rosemary, maple granola, peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies, and savory cheese sticks. Yum!

        2. Send me some homemade pasta and I will let you know how it turns out. :)

          What a thoughtful gift for you to send to your inlaws, I hope they love you (and appreciate you aren't trying to poison them lol! Most people's intent IS to poison their inlaws haha.)

          Merry Christmas!