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Christmas Gift Ideas > 101 Homemade Gift Ideas for Christmas

Preserves from the Kitchen as Gifts

17. Candied fruit peel is a great addition to any pantry. The preparation is spread over 3 days, but it is still an extremely easy recipe to make. Cut orange, lemon and grapefruit peels into squares, diamonds or any other shapes using small cutters. Simmer peel in enough water for 1-2 hours till tender. Add 350 gm. granulated sugar and heat without stirring till the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave overnight. Next day, boil again and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave overnight. Simmer peel till all syrup is absorbed. Arrange in a single layer on a cooling rack and let dry. Once dry and cold, pack in foil trays and cover with cellophane.

Cranberry Jam18. Jams and Jellies can be prepared in advance with seasonal fruits and stored till Christmas to give as gifts. A sure-to-please 'Whisky Marmalade' can be made by heating citrus fruits (2 oranges, 2 lemons and 2 grapefruits) with 1-1/2 kg. granulated sugar till sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and keep on a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 227 ml. bottle of liquid pectin according to the manufacturer's instructions. Skim if necessary and stir in 3 tbsp. whisky. Cool, stir and pour into clean, dry glass jars. Do not freeze.

19. A variety of herbed vinegars can be made by combining distilled white vinegar with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil. Put sprigs of herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, tarragon or fennel in a sterilized cool bottle. Pour hot (not boiling) vinegar into the bottle over the herbs. Tight closely and store at room temperature. Some herbs will lend their color to the hot vinegar which will result in a more attractive looking gift bottle.

20. Fruit flavored vinegars

Instead of herbs, you can also make fruit flavored vinegars. Berries are especially good choices for fruits. Add berries to white vinegar and keep about a week at room temperature, in a dark place. Strain into a bottle and add a few berries (ones that you added) to the bottle to make it look more attractive.

Flavored Oils21. Flavored Oils

Just like vinegar, flavored oils can be very useful gifts. Flavor good quality olive oil with garlic, chili etc. Flavored oil can be used not only as a dressing, but also in cooking.

22. Flavored butters are not far behind. They make a lovely addition to any recipe and cooking enthusiasts are always thankful to receive them as gifts. They can be made easily by mixing softened butter with desired herbs and spices. Favorite choices are garlic butter, cinnamon butter, basil or any other herbed butters, horseradish butter etc. Cheese, nuts, sauces and dried onions enhance the taste. Once again, you are limited only by your imagination.

Pickles23. A Pickle Jar makes a wonderful hostess gift. An easy to follow and make recipe for making pickled lemons is to fry a teaspoon of mustard seeds in 2 tablespoons of oil. Add some curry leaves, lower the flame and add 1 tsp. chilli powder. Add 4 tbsp. white vine vinegar, stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped, deseeded lemons and store refrigerated when cooled.

24. Spice Blends

Another useful gift idea is to give ‘Spice Blends’. You can easily make several types of spice blends, the easiest being ‘Pumpkin Pie Spice’. Mix together 4 Tablespoons cinnamon, 2 Tablespoons ginger and 1 Tablespoon allspice and store in an airtight container.

25. Chutneys and Dips have become meal essentials and are forever welcome. Follow this easy recipe to make tasty ‘Corn Dip’. Mix together 2 cans Mexican corn drained , 1 cup mayonnaise, 8 oz sour cream, 1 small green chilies, 10 oz. Pickled jalapeño peppers and 8 oz. shredded cheese. Blend well and store refrigerated.

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Sweets & Candy from the Kitchen

Printable Christmas Games

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