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Food Gifts 2011


Goatjunky
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I am putting together baskets this year as presents and am looking for some new ideas. I did search this topic and found many other posts and some great ideas but am curious what any of you are doing this year. I already canned tangerine marmalade from my tree, jalapeno jelly, cranberry chutney, habanero chutney, salsa, and fresh tuna belly (which may not go in basket as its appearance is off putting) im going to can blueberry maple sauce and spaghetti sauce next weekend and plan on doing some salted caramels, baked goods, and possibly some cookie mixes layered in jars.

Two questions. Anyone ever make jerky from moose meat? Do you think i would have to treat it differently from beef? And when freezing cookies are there any kinds that dont hold up well to it?

What are you making?

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1. Yes, I have made moose jerkey. It takes a little longer than beef if you've got the same thickness of strips, but boy howdy it's waaaaay better. Moose also holds up well to sweet jerkey recipes, which I've found are seriously lacking when beef is used.

2. Any sort of cookie with a jam center or similar won't freeze well, and in my experience shortbreads also suffer from it. All others, you're good to go.

--

This year my baskets consist of the following (in no particular order):

  • Nova Scotia Black Fruitcakes, aged at least 3 weeks in Brandy de Jerez
  • Mango Chutney
  • Sweet and Sour Cauliflower and Romanesco Pickles
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Walnut loaf
  • Gingerbread Maple Leaf Snaps
  • Sweet Dilled Carrots with Cumin
  • Super-spicy Pickled Cabbage
  • Classic Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies
  • Coconut-Plantain Pound Cake

And whatever else I feel like throwing in.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I'm doing a liqueur and infusion assortment with some bonbons. I don't have to ship anything.

I sometimes think about making a 'greatest hits of eGullet' basket, with Toast Dope, Vanilla Extract, etc. in it with a note of explanation. I am wondering which items other members view as archetypal of the site?

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Well, this year, like every other year in memory, I'm making caramel popcorn. It's attractive when packed in small plastic bags. It packs well. It ships well.

And, thus far anyway, everybody seems to like it.

Caramel Popcorn

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.

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I usually make cookies. I usually end up going overboard. Lately I don't always have the enthusiasm for it that I'd like so sometimes I'm scrambling during the final week to get done... but there are people that would be disappointed if I stopped so I keep doing it (though last year the humbug bit hard and I did very few).

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Yep, I'm baking cookies. Lots of cookies. Also stollen, panettone, making marzipan goodies, candied peel and ginger, mustard and will be baking my fruited cocoa Christmas cake.

That should be enough.

"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

 

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Yep, I'm baking cookies. Lots of cookies. Also stollen, panettone, making marzipan goodies, candied peel and ginger, mustard and will be baking my fruited cocoa Christmas cake.

That should be enough.

Andie, one day I would like to cook with you! I am currently drooling.

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Yep, I'm baking cookies. Lots of cookies. Also stollen, panettone, making marzipan goodies, candied peel and ginger, mustard and will be baking my fruited cocoa Christmas cake.

That should be enough.

Andie, one day I would like to cook with you! I am currently drooling.

Hell, I just wanna eat with you.

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.

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Yep, I'm baking cookies. Lots of cookies. Also stollen, panettone, making marzipan goodies, candied peel and ginger, mustard and will be baking my fruited cocoa Christmas cake.

That should be enough.

Andie, one day I would like to cook with you! I am currently drooling.

Hell, I just wanna eat with you.

Maybe if we offered to wash the dishes?

Back onto the topic, I have made cookie baskets for people in the past, but it doesn't seem to be quite the same tradition here as it is in North America and at least in Sydney the humidity and heat wreak havoc with many things. I have taken a basket of goodies to work to share, and that works well because it usually disappears within nanoseconds. I usually do a tin of biscuits for my neighbour. This year I will probably make lemon crinkles and shortbread (a version that uses rice flour).

I'm stuck for a gift for my in-laws this year and am thinking of putting together a 'sundae box' with some inexpensive ice cream coupes, a scoop, sprinkles and a couple of sauces. They never seem happy with our gifts, but at least this way the kids might enjoy it. :rolleyes:

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I like to make Viennese Crescents from Fanny Farmer for Christmas using ground pecans instead of almonds. I make them in extended ovals instead of crescents and drizzle dark chocolate on their tops in a rounded zig-zag pattern. These go to a Christmas Eve party along with DH's French Canadian Tortiere.

Also a favorite...and I have a couple of 'commissions' to make it for a local business...is the Copy Cat Enstrom's Style Toffee.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Jaymes,

I'm about to embark on the first of several "makings" of your caramel corn. Thanks to you, I now get yearly requests for the stuff! I use Lyle's Golden Syrup, in place of molasses or maple syrup, simply because I love Lyle's!

I have a question... I'm willing to experiment, but would rather have the widsom of more experienced caramel corn makers... Do you think I could substitute 100% Lyle's Golden Syrup for both the molasses/maple AND the corn syrup? I make a really killer caramel sauce that is only butter, brown sugar, Lyle's and cream. But, I fear using only Lyle's on the caramel corn might make it too sticky?

I may just try a small batch tonight or tomorrow and see how it goes, but would prefer not to waste the pricey Lyle's syrup, if I am doomed to failure.

Pam

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Vanilla extract, some made with vodka and some with rum, toffee, apple cider jelly (assuming this recipe ever sets, otherwise apple cider syrup...lol...) several kinds of christmas cookies, and some cupcake making and decorating kits I'm putting together with a homemade chocolate cake mix, truffles to melt down for frosting, piped and dried royal icing flowers, assorted sprinkles, cupcake papers and a cheap 12 cup muffin tin. The mixes are going to the people that always call me at the 11th hour begging for a birthday cake. :rolleyes:

I'm thinking of making some ginger infused simple syrup for my mom, and sending her a DIY ginger ale kit with the syrup, some bottles of San Pellegrino, a couple of cute glasses and some long handled spoons to stir. But she'd probably just complain that I didn't send pictures of the babies.

I made a bunch of sour cherry jam this summer with the intent of giving it as gifts, but it's so good I'm keeping it for myself :laugh:.

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Well, the first big batch of caramel corn is done and successful for us, but maybe not for others...

I used Jaymes recipe. But, I was "short" on Karo syrup. So, I used what I had and made up the difference with Lyle's Golden Syrup. It wasn't much, maybe a tablespoon more of Lyle's to make up the half-cup of corn syrup and then another 2 T of Lyle's in place of the molasses.

I think it's really good! But, it's a little more "crystallized" than usual. It is very crunchy and DH thinks it is GREAT! Gotta go buy more supplies to do another batch tomorrow night.

I have a big old speckle-ware turkey roaster that is the perfect size vessel for one batch of this recipe. I don't use it for turkey, only for caramel corn and Chex mix? :smile:

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These hot cocoa squares are crazy easy and crazy good. Probably the best hot cocoa I've ever made. Not to mention that if you don't use them for hot chocolate, they are then some of the best chocolate fudge I've had. And the flavoring possibilities are endless -- peppermint extract, espresso powder, frangelico, etc. But they are so good straight up as hot cocoa that its hard for me to mess with them...

King Arthur Hot Cocoa Squares

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I forgot about the vanilla extract! Egads. I have to get some bottles as the ones I purchased earlier in the year and put in a "safe" place are now on the missing list. I can't remember where I put them. I have way too many places to tuck things away that this is an ongoing problem.

At least they will still be good for use whenever I do stumble across them in the future. Probably while hunting for something else.

I'm not sure I mentioned it in the vanilla extract thread but I started a batch last spring with some old tequila that I later learned was a fairly expensive bottle. The vanilla flavor is terrific because the tequila is apparently much sweeter than other liquors. The aroma, when the jar is opened, is heavenly.

"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

 

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The Humane Society in Moab is one of my favorites to help. Besides making lollipops for these weekend's Dog Adoption Day, I have also offered to make 30...30? what was I thinking?...boxes of something for their volunteers.

What to make? Chocolate-coated toffee is just a tad too expensive to make. And 1/4 pound boxes might seem a bit ungenerous. What should I make in 1/2 pound boxes which will not strain the bank account?

I've never made Caramel Corn (Jaymes' recipe). And could it pack into 1/2 pound boxes? Or would I be better buying 'seasonal' plastic bags?

A nut/seed brittle? Not fudge. Haven't made fudge in decades. Truffles are too much work. Caramels just a bit iffy. They can end up sticky (well, for me every now and then.) Plus I am cooking at 4000 feet and that's not my usual sea level. Plus, plus, plus.

Seasoned nuts are easy but I think too expensive...haven't priced them out.

Speaking of 'giving'. This Saturday I am to teach a newly professional candymaker how to make the Enstrom toffee. Hers always separates or something else. O the folly of my teaching this. Her parents were candymakers back in the small regional candymaking times and right now she is whipping off fudge as a pro. All paws crossed for this one.

Please some help with my donation problem!!! Thanks. :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Caramel corn, drizzled with chocolate, Darienne. More than 8 oz would be tooooo much.

Marshmallows.

Bark.

popular flavor this time of year is 'candycane' - dark chocolate base, white chocolate w peppermint top, sprinkle w crushed red&white candies.

Brittle.

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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