Christmas Gift Ideas >
101 Homemade Gift Ideas for
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.
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.
21. 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.
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
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