Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

maggiethecat

"Artisanal" Holiday Presents

Recommended Posts

Sabrosita – I love the pho idea! I also like Lilija’s idea of including bowls. What I’d do is stack 4 bowls together, put the ingredients in the top bowl and tie them together with a gorgeous bow.

Lilija – I think that candy works great as a gift – most people manage some kind of cookies, but not candy – that would be a real treat. Also, fudge freezes really well, you could make it anytime now and have it done.

Susan – re: the peach ‘syrup’, I bottle ‘syrup’ every time that I make pear preserves – the end of the pot never has much in the way of fruit, but I’m not willing to sacrifice that glorious nectar and everyone loves it on waffles, ice cream, etc. Sometimes I’ll add a little extra seasoning (ginger, five spice – even a little hot pepper) and boil it down some more and use it to glaze ham or pork.

I finished those appetizer picks that I mentioned:

gallery_34972_3925_1831.jpg

gallery_34972_3925_59126.jpg

gallery_34972_3925_143000.jpg

Just turkey lacers with beads. I liked how they turned out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice Kim, great gift! I can see them holding a couple of olives in an icy martini.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kim, those are beautiful! I think the recipients of those are going to have to be very careful...I can see them "accidentally" falling into many a guest's pocket...including my own! :smile:

Did you just use glue to stick on the beads?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kim, those are beautiful!  I think the recipients of those are going to have to be very careful...I can see them "accidentally" falling into many a guest's pocket...including my own! :smile:

Did you just use glue to stick on the beads?

Yes, just glue. I found a craft glue the works on everything and is dishwasher-safe. I just hope it holds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last year I made some star shaped banana bread, and some of Jaymes' wonderful caramel popcorn. They were very well received.

Thanks for the compliment!

I try to save Christmas tins everytime I see them because my family has gotten to where they expect that caramel corn and whine if they don't get it.

Different family members request their favorite nuts in it - cashews, spiced pecans, chili peanuts, etc.

This year, I'm considering a theme (especially for the hard to buy for crowd) - cheapie DVD plus your popcorn. Good pairing, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last year I made some star shaped banana bread, and some of Jaymes' wonderful caramel popcorn. They were very well received.

Thanks for the compliment!

I try to save Christmas tins everytime I see them because my family has gotten to where they expect that caramel corn and whine if they don't get it.

Different family members request their favorite nuts in it - cashews, spiced pecans, chili peanuts, etc.

This year, I'm considering a theme (especially for the hard to buy for crowd) - cheapie DVD plus your popcorn. Good pairing, eh?

That is cute! Nice variation on the traditional "movies & popcorn," eh? Actually, now that I think about it, I might do that my ownself.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My plan for the year is limoncello and recycled t-shirt shopping bags. I say plan because each year I have a definite plan, but by December 15 I'm freaking out b/c nothing's done. I usually just end up making cookies for people I know I'm going to see and send cards to everyone else (albeit handmade cards, that I do do).

ETA - Those picks are adorable!


Edited by emilyr (log)

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm making some horseradish vodka and adding my own labels. I've also got brandied cherries. Looking for more tricks with booze.

The coffee toffee looks pretty durn good . . .


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those picks look wonderful!

Jane

Sabrosita – I love the pho idea!  I also like Lilija’s idea of including bowls.  What I’d do is stack 4 bowls together, put the ingredients in the top bowl and tie them together with a gorgeous bow. 

Lilija – I think that candy works great as a gift – most people manage some kind of cookies, but not candy – that would be a real treat.  Also, fudge freezes really well, you could make it anytime now and have it done.

Susan – re: the peach ‘syrup’, I bottle ‘syrup’ every time that I make pear preserves – the end of the pot never has much in the way of fruit, but I’m not willing to sacrifice that glorious nectar and everyone loves it on waffles, ice cream, etc.  Sometimes I’ll add a little extra seasoning (ginger, five spice – even a little hot pepper) and boil it down some more and use it to glaze ham or pork.

I finished those appetizer picks that I mentioned:

gallery_34972_3925_1831.jpg

gallery_34972_3925_59126.jpg

gallery_34972_3925_143000.jpg

Just turkey lacers with beads.  I liked how they turned out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say, I've been following this topic for over a year and I'm glad to see it back. I'm like the rest of you love getting in the kitchen to make things. I know people at work are already wondering what I'm going to be giving them. Here are a few thoughts so far:

blueberry topping (I made it) with a pancake mix

cranberry vodka

vanilla with cookies

candy such as caramels and peanut brittle

What I will also including is the ones that I give out that have won awards this year, I think.

How easy is to make fruit leather? I have never made it is there a place or book that has a good one that you have used. I'm like most of you after different things from other years. Keep those ideas running. I will write down mine and be back with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the ankle version of carpal tunnel -- my right foot has been pressed to the pedal of my sewing machine for so many weeks that I hobble a bit. Why, you ask?

Reversible aprons -- like two aprons in one. I can have a sweet farmhouse print on one side and chile peppers on the other. I'm running through my scrap pile of a zillion years cutting out contrasting pockets and yokes. I've done the Church Lady Apron (love it) the 60's TV housewife apron (think Mary Richards or Samantha on "Bewitched") The Wrap Front Apron. I'm about to embark on the reversible His/Hers apron: Camo on one side, calico on the reverse. NASCAR print on one side, Hello Kitty in pink on the other. And maybe this isn't actually a His/Her thing -- maybe in my aprons I can express the gender dualities all of us hold? :biggrin:

I'm stockpiling aprons for Christmas and the future global financial collapse, when everyone's gonna need to cook. If I really love you, I'm thinking of doing matching potholders.


Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Christmas, I am daring to hand out to my relatives, who were chocolatiers and confectioners during the depression, a copy of the formulas rebound and the most loved recipes from the collection made perfectly according to the original instructions.

Sigh, the older ones in the family have their noses in the air. Nothing can compete to theirs, after all, they used "fresh" creams right from the Deaett Dairy. Well, I think that they have a surprise coming. And, I love the fudge with peach brandy added to it, the fruits in it, and the heavy whipping cream that goes into it. I think I am still wearing several pounds of this fudge on my butt from last year...it's just too good to leave alone. Shame on me.

Relishes are also going to be added. Special butters. And, sis can make the bread!

I am also going to be teaching the "family" recipes to my son and his friends, and hope that I can get some more folks to join them, as this has become a fun tradition within our family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so much inspiration here!

i plan on going the 'artisanal' route this christmas, so i was happy to come across this thread..

i love the limoncello idea! i'm going to have to steal that one.

this year i was thinking of fleur de sel caramels, jars of dulce de leche (so simple and seems more impressive than it actually is..), florentines, gingerbread cookies, jars of pasta sauce, flavoured oils... and, of course, a mix cd. i don't feel right giving a gift that doesn't include a mix cd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aprons are good. Reversible aprons even better.

My cocktail-themed gifts are now expanding. There are brandied cherries, there is horseradish vodka, there will be spicy pecans and now cheese straws.

I know nothing about cheese straws but I can't wait to learn.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now those aprons sound great!

Here is what I'm thinking and been working on. Theme baskets/gifts.

For the cook: preserved lemons, herbs (that I grew), spice rubs, herb vinegars (yes it's my vinegar) and something to eat right away.

For the baker: vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, and that is all I have right now.

For the non cooks but enjoy breakfast: pancake mix, hot chocolate mix, granola, and blueberry topping and of course something to enjoy right away.

For the person who enjoys entertaining: limoncello, cranberry cordial, branied cherry raspberry compote and of course something to enjoy right away.

For the sweet tooth: salt caramels, peanut brittle, fudge, lollipops and truffles.

For the ice cream lover: buttersctoch topping, chocolate-raspberry topping, blueberry topping and ice cream that I will be making (I can so the topping are ready to go or will be).

The cookie lover well what else cookies of several types.

Well that is about all I can come up with right now.

Jane


Edited by JaneMC (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aprons are good.  Reversible aprons even better.

My cocktail-themed gifts are now expanding.  There are brandied cherries, there is horseradish vodka, there will be spicy pecans and now cheese straws.

I know nothing about cheese straws but I can't wait to learn.

If somebody told me that I was receiving "cocktail-themed gifts," I'd sure be hoping for some rum balls somewhere in that basket.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My cocktail-themed gifts are now expanding.  There are brandied cherries, there is horseradish vodka, there will be spicy pecans and now cheese straws.

These ideas are great. How about adding a little homemade grenadine? Vastly superior to store-bought. And the aforementioned limoncello as well...


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's taken me quite some time but I just finished this thread. So many great ideas!

I've been doing truffles for nearly 10 years, and as many others have mentioned, after the first time, it's a hope- then an expectation- that you'll continue to do so. I usually do a no-fail PB/chocolate fudge from the Hershey's cookbook, and buckeyes. I've begun to dread the buckeyes though, and my interest is turning toward homemade marshmallows, dipping caramels, and tinkering with toffees.

I did the ecole course in the spring, which was incredibly valuable in particular because it forced me to actually work with the chocolate in new ways and build my skills further. Now that I'm a bit more confident, I passed off Grewling's and Shotts's books to a couple of coworkers and a friend or two with a stack of post-its. They chose some VERY ambitious candies, to say the least. :shock: Up until last year, a friend from high school and I got together at her mom's shortly after Thanksgiving to spend an entire day doing old fashioned hard candy. Three women can churn out a LOT of candy! :laugh: Since the passing of her mom's husband though, we've not done it. I miss having that one day where the three of us set the rest of the world aside to spend with each other. Maybe this year we'll start a new tradition without the hard candy.

This year I'm also doing the homemade vanilla (another big timesink thread :blush: ) and might try the famous Jaymes Caramel Popcorn to add to the fray. You all are such an inspiration!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm doing bird cookies, too, now. Moosed suet and seeds patties to be strung in trees to attract birds. Much more fun than shopping.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am planning on gifting friends and family with my homemade goodies, including:

my "famous" candied ginger, plus the vanilla extract that has been "cooking" all year and also the red wine vinegar that I think is pretty good.

Also some candied citrus peel and glacé fruits, smoky fig jam, the "smoke" flavor provided by Lapsang Souchong tea. If I have time, I will jar up some other fruity jams that are now done and in the freezer until I have time to process them.

My laurel nobilis bushes are going to be the source of some sweet bay wreaths and fans for both decor and culinary use. They dry nicely while hanging.

I am currently drying several batches of herbs. Lemon verbena for tea, anise hyssop, ditto.

And I am drying a big batch of shallot slices. They crisp up nicely and retain much of their flavor for later use.

To each gift basket I am going to add some purchased items that I have discovered at Pepper-Passion.com

I bookmarked the site a year or so ago when another eG member posted something about the site and just noticed in my list and found they have increased the number of "exotic" peppers they carry. Not to mention the gorgeous mills they hand-craft.

(Naturally, I am buying a prezzie for me too.)

One of my friends is going to be using my kitchen (hers is miniscule) to make some fancy soaps from goat milk and in exchange for the use of the kitchen, she is going to supply me with some for my gift baskets.

I have a few other ideas and am doing some baking, but don't want to overcommit myself and run out of time.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andiesenji, now that candied ginger sounds wonderful. Do you boil it first? I just looked it up and something I'm going to have to try myself. Always looking for something fun, interesting and I must add different to do each year!

So far the ideas I have read though the years have been wonderful. I'm also doing a bread basket for a few. Bagels, jam and cream cheese all made by myself. Thinking about adding butter also, which is so easy to do.

Jane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far the ideas I have read though the years have been wonderful. I'm also doing a bread basket for a few. Bagels, jam and cream cheese all made by myself. Thinking about adding butter also, which is so easy to do.

Jane

I bend my knee to you. Artisinal cream cheese and butter? I am not worthy.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andiesenji, now that candied ginger sounds wonderful. Do you boil it first? I just looked it up and something I'm going to have to try myself. Always looking for something fun, interesting and I must add different to do each year!

So far the ideas I have read though the years have been wonderful. I'm also doing a bread basket for a few. Bagels, jam and cream cheese all made by myself. Thinking about adding butter also, which is so easy to do.

Jane

I don't boil it, it would take too long with using mature ginger. I steam it until it is tender then put it into the syrup and cook it until it is translucent all the way through.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...