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maggiethecat

"Artisanal" Holiday Presents

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Well, after this weekend, I may be "artisanaled" out.

Office folk are getting homemade fudge (I tried to make one of those "no fail" recipes with marshmallows and decided it wasn't going to set so returned it to the pan with candy thermometer) and homemade almond brittle.

Family are getting baskets with handmade jewelry for the women and jars of spiced apple chutney and pickled onions, and depending on my energy and time this week, pecan brittle.

And I made one of those french memo boards for my grandmother. It was actually relatively simple to construct, and looks good, if I do say so myself.

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And I made one of those french memo boards for my grandmother. It was actually relatively simple to construct, and looks good, if I do say so myself.

Qu'est-ce que c'est? What is a French memo board? Do you have a picture of your magnum opus?

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I have done a bunch of needlework over the past few months for Xmas presents. I had one grandmother who believed if you were five, you were old enough to learn to knit. I had another who believed if you were five, you could thread a needle, attach a flour sack dish cloth, and embroider (after learning to use the iron and using an Aunt Marth's transfer).

So, this year, friends and teachers are getting dish rags and potholders. Heidi's class, and a close friend are also getting a set of "days of the week" towels.

gallery_6263_35_13952.jpg

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Jaymes,

Early in this thread you mentioned that you make pralines. My mother has been looking for a praline recipe for years. Would you share yours? I'd like to make them for her and pass along the recipe.

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a few friends are getting molded truffles, including this bittersweet ginger truffle(sorry the lighting sucks) for a young man of my aquaintance who adored the caramel skulls we made last year:

gallery_20334_1332_1854.jpg

FYI it's not decorative, but the Press & Seal wrap does a great job of getting a fairly airtight wrap around weird shaped little treats like skulls & unicorns.

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I have done a bunch of needlework over the past few months for Xmas presents.  I had one grandmother who believed if you were five, you were old enough to learn to knit.  I had another who believed if you were five, you could thread a needle, attach a flour sack dish cloth, and embroider (after learning to use the iron and using an Aunt Marth's transfer).

So, this year, friends and teachers are getting dish rags and potholders.  Heidi's class, and a close friend are also getting a set of "days of the week" towels.

gallery_6263_35_13952.jpg

Girlfriend, that's downright scary! I have a shoebox of Aunt Martha embroidery patterns, including the days of the week tea towel set. I also own virtual twins of the dishcloths, bought at the Ladies' Guild Gift Shop at The Ottawa Civic Hospital last year. You've been busy, Martha of Minnesota, and believe me that's a compliment coming from me!

My sewing machine bit the dust after twenty five years of faithful service this October, as I was making my Mother-of-The- Bride toilette. It was a bitch.It's replacement is the only item on my Christmas list, so if Santa is listening I'll have all those aprons I cut out in September completed for next Christmas.

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This dishrags are knit out of Sugar and Cream yarn (by Lily) just as my great grandmother did. I use a size 5 needle, but I have been knitting so long that I knit very loose. Most will want to use a size 8.

The pattern is to cast on 4.

Knit one row.

Row 3: Knit two, YO (yarn over), knit two.

Repeat row 3 until you have 45 stitches.

Then, K1 (knit 1), YO, knit to end of tow.

Repeat until you have four stitches.

Bind off.

Weave ends in.

For the potholders, I cast on 39 stitches and knit every row until it is square and then cast off. I use size 2 needles, but most will want to use a size 5 or 6 -- you want these to be a tight knit.

If anyone wants the round potholder (or dishrag if you use a bigger needles), let me know. That one is a bit more complicated.

Yes, Maggie, Aunt Martha's transfers. They are getting hard to find. The one I really especially like is the animated dishes. I still have the dishtowels embroidered with these that were gifts to my grandmother when she was a bride.

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OK, so purists would not think these are as good as turtles. But, us non purists think they are even better.

A Rolo candy (unwrapped, naturally), on top of a pretzel, in a 350 degree (F) oven for two minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for about a minute, and smash a pecan or a cashew (or other kind of nut) on top. Let cool. Give away. These are better with those square windowpane pretzels. The combo of the crunch and salt along with the rolo and the nut is really, really good. Kids can make these. In fact, unwrapping the rolos is a good job for kids.

Prep:

gallery_6263_35_9488.jpg

Finished:

gallery_6263_35_27579.jpg

Sorry for the blurry second photo.

Yes, they are good. They are church cookbook kind of food, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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OK, so purists would not think these are as good as turtles.  But, us non purists think they are even better.

A Rolo candy (unwrapped, naturally), on top of a pretzel, in a 350 degree (F) oven for two minutes.  Remove from oven, let sit for about a minute, and smash a pecan or a cashew (or other kind of nut) on top.  Let cool.  Give away.  These are better with those square windowpane pretzels.  The combo of the crunch and salt along with the rolo and the nut is really, really good.  Kids can make these.  In fact, unwrapping the rolos is a good job for kids.

Prep:

gallery_6263_35_9488.jpg

Finished:

gallery_6263_35_27579.jpg

Sorry for the blurry second photo.

Yes, they are good.  They are church cookbook kind of food, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Oh MY! I have to try those. Thanks snowangel :smile:

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I made up some Limoncello and will be gifting it post Christmas. It's finished, but Mr. tejon and I cannot for the life of either of us find bottles to pour it into. We were hoping for something that holds around a pint or so that has a top that seals well, something glass. Does anyone have any ideas? I'll order if need be at this point.

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Here's the goodies I made for my daughter's teachers.

gallery_20283_442_25082.jpg

Cookie bouquet, pretzel rods covered in caramel chocolate and pecans, hot cocoa cones, caramel popcorn, white chocolate popcorn, mini brownies and white chocolate bark.

Sandra

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I made up some Limoncello and will be gifting it post Christmas. It's finished, but Mr. tejon and I cannot for the life of either of us find bottles to pour it into. We were hoping for something that holds around a pint or so that has a top that seals well, something glass. Does anyone have any ideas? I'll order if need be at this point.

I'm probably too late, but these are the bottles I used for my limoncello gifting this year: Specialty Bottles.

I like the spring top corked options...but they're only around 250mL.

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Those are perfect! Thanks for the link. We haven't actually given any of the Limoncello out, lacking proper containers, so I'll order and bottle everything up when they come in.

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Check at Cost Plus World Market. They had three different sizes with the "swing top" at excellent prices.

I bought some of the large ones for vinegars and the medium for hot sauces.

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By the way, I have added my method for candied or crystallized ginger to RecipeGullet

Candied Ginger

Too late for this years holiday gifting, however I make it at any time.

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I have done a bunch of needlework over the past few months for Xmas presents.  I had one grandmother who believed if you were five, you were old enough to learn to knit.  I had another who believed if you were five, you could thread a needle, attach a flour sack dish cloth, and embroider (after learning to use the iron and using an Aunt Marth's transfer).

So, this year, friends and teachers are getting dish rags and potholders.  Heidi's class, and a close friend are also getting a set of "days of the week" towels.

gallery_6263_35_13952.jpg

I've had a couple of requests for the pattern for the round dishrag/potholder, so here it is:

Petal dishcloth/potholder

1 ball Sugar and Cream yarn (I find that I can get dishrags out of two balls, and three potholders out of 3 balls).

Needles. I am such a relaxed knitter than I use very small needles. Bigger needles produce dish rags, smaller needles potholder or trivets.

Key: K – knit. YO -- yarn over (back to front). SL1 slip one stitch, knitwise.

Cast on 15 stitches.

Row 1: K across

Row 2: K3, YO, K to last stitch, turn.

Row 3: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 4: K3, YO, K to last 2 stitches, turn.

Row 5: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 6: K3, YO, K to last 3 stitches, turn.

Row 7: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 8: Bind off first 3 stitches, K2, YO, K to last 4 stitches, turn.

Row 9: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 10: K3, YO, K to last 5 stitches, turn.

Row 11: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 12: K3, YO, K to last 6 stitches, turn.

Row 13: SL1, K to end of Row.

Row 14: Bind off 3 stitches, K2, YO, K to last 7 stitches, turn.

Row 15: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 16: K3, YO, K to last 8 stitches, turn.

Row 17: SL1, K to end of row.

Row 18: K3, YO, K to last 9 stitches, turn.

Row 19: SL1, knit to end of row.

Row 20: Bind off 3 stitches, K to end of row.

Repeat these 20 rows 6 more times, bind off, and sew together. You should end up with a round dishrag or potholder that has small petals edges.

I’ve got one of these started with bulky untwisted yarn and very large needles, and plan to felt the thing to see what kind of trivet or potholder I can come up with.

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OK, so purists would not think these are as good as turtles.  But, us non purists think they are even better.

A Rolo candy (unwrapped, naturally), on top of a pretzel, in a 350 degree (F) oven for two minutes.  Remove from oven, let sit for about a minute, and smash a pecan or a cashew (or other kind of nut) on top.  Let cool.  Give away.  These are better with those square windowpane pretzels.  The combo of the crunch and salt along with the rolo and the nut is really, really good.  Kids can make these.  In fact, unwrapping the rolos is a good job for kids.

Prep:

gallery_6263_35_9488.jpg

Finished:

gallery_6263_35_27579.jpg

Sorry for the blurry second photo.

Yes, they are good.  They are church cookbook kind of food, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

These are great. I made them for the first time last year and they were gone before Christmas and I had to make again. They are one of the most popular things I make - everyone loves them! Go figure! :laugh:

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This dishrags are knit out of Sugar and Cream yarn (by Lily) just as my great grandmother did.  I use a size 5 needle, but I have been knitting so long that I knit very loose.  Most will want to use a size 8.

The patter is to cast on 4.

Knit one row.

Row 3:  Knit two, YO (yarn over), knit two.

Repeat row 3 until you have 45 stitches.

Then, K1 (knit 1), YO, knit to end of tow.

Repeat until you have four stitches.

Bind off.

Weave ends in.

For the potholders, I cast on 39 stitches and knit every row until it is square and then cast off.  I use size 2 needles, but most will want to use a size 5 or 6 -- you want these to be a tight knit.

If anyone wants the round potholder (or dishrag if you use a bigger needles), let me know.  That one is a bit more complicated.

Yes, Maggie, Aunt Martha's transfers.  They are getting hard to find.  The one I really especially like is the animated dishes.  I still have the dishtowels  embroidered with these that were gifts to my grandmother when she was a bride.

Hi snowangel,

I think that there is an error in this pattern (there are no decreases). I would guess that it should be something like:

Cast on 4

Knit one row

K2, YO, K to end of row

Repeat Row 3 until you have 48 stitches

K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end of row

Repeat until you have only 4 stitches remaining

Bind off.

I just wanted to mention it in case a new knitter attempted to make these and got stuck half way through the pattern.

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This dishrags are knit out of Sugar and Cream yarn (by Lily) just as my great grandmother did.  I use a size 5 needle, but I have been knitting so long that I knit very loose.  Most will want to use a size 8.

The patter is to cast on 4.

Knit one row.

Row 3:  Knit two, YO (yarn over), knit two.

Repeat row 3 until you have 45 stitches.

Then, K1 (knit 1), YO, knit to end of tow.

Repeat until you have four stitches.

Bind off.

Weave ends in.

For the potholders, I cast on 39 stitches and knit every row until it is square and then cast off.  I use size 2 needles, but most will want to use a size 5 or 6 -- you want these to be a tight knit.

If anyone wants the round potholder (or dishrag if you use a bigger needles), let me know.  That one is a bit more complicated.

Yes, Maggie, Aunt Martha's transfers.  They are getting hard to find.  The one I really especially like is the animated dishes.  I still have the dishtowels  embroidered with these that were gifts to my grandmother when she was a bride.

Hi snowangel,

I think that there is an error in this pattern (there are no decreases). I would guess that it should be something like:

Cast on 4

Knit one row

K2, YO, K to end of row

Repeat Row 3 until you have 48 stitches

K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end of row

Repeat until you have only 4 stitches remaining

Bind off.

I just wanted to mention it in case a new knitter attempted to make these and got stuck half way through the pattern.

Thanks so much for correcting me. You are absolutely correct. (hanging head in shame)

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It's the season, and I'm working on woodblock print/origami Christmas cards. (I'm a paper geek through and through, in each and every way.)

I'm thinking about making those layered-in-jars, recipe card attached gifts, mainly because someone gave one to me a few years ago and it was excellent -- white chocolate chip macadamia brownies, as I recall. Does anyone have any bright ideas about updating the genre? Maybe something savoury?

And I'll be making aprons and chef's pants -- people expect them from me.

What homemade food and hearth related gifties are you talented peeps whipping up? Inspiration accepted with gratitude.

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It's the season, and I'm working on woodblock print/origami Christmas cards. (I'm a paper geek through and through, in each and every way.)

I used to design my own cards every year. They were cartoons with a hidden holiday greeting. An old printer in my hometown who was a better artist than I drew them and printed them up. They were quite popular, but I lost interest in doing it.

I'm thinking about making those layered-in-jars, recipe card attached gifts, mainly because someone gave one to me a few years ago and it was excellent -- white chocolate chip macadamia brownies, as I recall.  Does anyone have any bright ideas about updating the genre? Maybe something savoury?

How about spice blends and rubs, layered in test tubes?

edit #1 (Forget I mentioned this. I should probably file for a business method patent on the idea?)

edit #2 (I typo "business" as "buisness" nearly every time I write it! :angry: )

And I'll be making aprons and chef's pants -- people expect them from me.

What homemade food and hearth related gifties are you talented peeps whipping up? Inspiration accepted with gratitude.

I make a lot of different quick breads, maybe a few cookies, and several kinds of dog treats.

SB (nowhere near as festive as I used to be) :sad:


Edited by srhcb (log)

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Maggie- I like to do spice blends in layers, the taco seasoning in particular is popular. I also have a spaghetti sauce season blend I like to use.

I'm such a geek, I've been compiling my "possibles" list for holiday baking since umm...August... :blush: I like to do a few regular staples and a few experimental, fun things every year. Along with the requisite cookie plates, I have all kinds of jams, jellies, apple sauce, and pickles downstairs and I'm about to add cranberry-applesauce to the shelf.

I took up wood burning a couple years ago, it's fun and easy and you can do so much with it, even at my elementary skill level. I've been learning to draw celtic knotwork to use on the little wood boxes. I also decorate the bowls of wooden spoons, (which, by the way, you can find in three packs at the dollar store making them a very economical craft, tie a pretty ribbon at top for hanging and there you go) wooden ornaments, plaques, keychains...The neighbor girls are really into princesses, dragons, and knights, so I'm going to do a plaque that says "Who need's a Prince Charming? I can rescue myself", still trying to come up with an illustration to go with it that I can actually pull off. One of these days I'll find the magic place where time is stored on finally get around to making candles and soaps.

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I also decorate the bowls of wooden spoons, (which, by the way, you can find in three packs at the dollar store making them a very economical craft, tie a pretty ribbon at top for hanging and there you go)

What a cool idea -- and welcome to eGullet!

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