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Gifts from Your Kitchen?

 
master steward
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As a young homemaker, I sometimes did not have a lot of money at Christmas to buy gifts.

One year I spent most of November and December picking up pecans. That year everyone got glazed pecans for Christmas.


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Another year, I made instant soup mixes, if I remember correctly the mixes were for tortilla soup, cream chicken soup, and potato soup:

Here is a recipe for Potato Soup mix:

2 cups dehydrated potato flakes for mashed potatoes

2 cups nonfat powdered milk

2 tablespoons chicken bouillion granules

2 teaspoons dried chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Mix all ingredients.  Assemble jars with tight-fitting lids that will hold 1/2 cup soup mix or more for more than one serving.

Fill the jars and tighten the lids.

For gifting add a colorful piece of material with a ribbon and attach a label or tag with directions:

"To prepare 1 serving of soup, add 1/2 cup soup mix to 1 cup boiling water.  Let stand 2 minutes for the water to be absorbed, then stir well and add any topping as desired, such as bacon bits, grated cheese, or chives."


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I was really close to my aunts who lived in other states so I always made cookies and mailed them.  To keep the cookies from crumbling, I popped popcorn and put that in among the cookies.

This looks like a good way to send cookies:


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Popcorn balls were always a hit with the kids on my list:


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What have you made from your kitchen for gifts?
 
gardener
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I'm a huge fan of the soup mixes! Not only are they a great 'emergency preparedness' meal but they are a great option for taking into the back country.

A friend of mine has been making dog treats from organ meat that they had left over from hunting. I thought that was such a great use of resources and a great gift for dog owners!

This year a lot of my gifts were "extras" from food preservation or harvest ( pickles, canned peaches, whole chickens).

Honestly, anything that comes in packaged a mason jar makes me so happy!
 
gardener
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Ah, many have been the year that I've joked with family that I hope they wanted something that could be made out of pumpkins, sticks and/or leaves of some kind because that's all I have to work with. This year, I'm giving pumpkin gingersnap cookies, hopefully find the time to make some pumpkin bread to gift too. In years past, I got a bunch of half price apples from an orchard I used to work at and made lots of apple butter to gift. That was a real hit! Other times, I got bulk nuts and made fancy nut butters for people.

The holidays are the one time of year we usually get oranges. An idea I had a little too late to implement for gifts this year is to make a tasty bitters/digestive tincture out of the leftover orange peels and some ginger. Hopefully next year I can step my game up and make some herbal teas and such to gift as well!
 
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My friend's Bantum Chickens had to come to live at my farm when her last landlord died. She had ended up with a surplus of Bantum eggs, so I suggested that a few people who'd helped her out with those chickens, might deserve the gift of pickled Bantum eggs. My friend boiled them and over tea the two of us shelled them. Later I made up the pickling juice and divided the haul into suitably-sized bottles and got the brine over them. Pickled Bantum eggs sliced over a pretty salad over the holidays will hopefully remind the recipients of the sunny weather to come!
 
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We give the neighbors home-baked bread for Christmas. Two loaves for the people with kids, 1 for the families without. We've been doing this for 20+ years now, so it's a tradition. We bake a single-rise yogurt bread. Takes about 1.5 hours start to finish, usually takes 3 rounds of 4 loaves each round.
 
gardener
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where I live cookies can't take the Christmas heat and humidity, so it's often a fresh baked bread or hot cross buns or something. Or, often enough, candied peanuts. you could conceivably use whatever nuts you have on hand. it's easy and cheap and in a jar with a ribbon, it's cute, but once it's open they are GONE in a flash!
(I like to make them with coarse Korean pepper flakes and smoked salt, but you could spice them however you please).
https://www.davidlebovitz.com/candied-peanut/
 
pollinator
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The past two years I have mailed out small stollen loaves and homemade candies.  Last year it was caramels, but this year they came out too hard, so we smashed them into toffee bits and made chocolate toffee candies.
 
pollinator
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I have done gluten free shortbreads, jams, and cordials as gifts. if someone gave us things cookies or sweets would be welcome along with cakes, jams eggs, meat or fish etc. Soup mixes would just go directly into the bin bread would be either eaten or end up in the freezer or the bin, depending on if it was better or worse than my own and how much I already had in the house!
 
Jennie Little
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This year, we're baking bread again, as usual. I'm low on garlic salt too, so I may just make a double or triple batch and give some of that away as well. It takes next to no time, it's cheap, and oh boy does it show up the supermarket tasteless junk!
 
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If one has the luxury of a dehydrator, try black garlic- one head plus some salt, ground up, makes some amazingly umami-rich salt that your gifts' recipients will find themselves putting on everything :) Expensive in stores, much more doable for me if I make it by hand! But the main way requires a dehydrator/proofing drawer, or other device for constant high temperature, as far as I know.

To get around that requirement, gift seasoning salt that uses sun/air-dried herbs!

I also give pies around this time of year. 9-inch potato-veggie-sausage-gravy pies in an all-butter crust are kind of a specialty, but I make different kinds sometimes.
IMG_7060.jpg
potato-veggie-sausage-gravy-pie-in-an-all-butter-crust
 
pollinator
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This year I'm giving quick breads -- acorn squash gingerbread, sweet potato pecan, and banana cardamom.
In past years, I've given homemade bread with pear sauce from my family's pear trees, seasoning blends with homegrown herbs, and a variety of cookies.

My husband's favorite was the year that I surprised him with a bunch of freezer meals. I cooked some at my in-laws and stored them in their freezers to hide until Christmas. His love language is definitely food, especially when it's something convenient that he can simply grab, heat, and eat.

Not kitchen related, but a few years ago, I grew luffa and it produced SO much more than I expected. I felt like a frugal version of Oprah Winfrey - "you get a luffa, you get a luffa, everybody gets a luffa!!"
 
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It's not exactly "kitchen" but I made it in the kitchen, so....everybody gets goat milk soap. I also made some little rope baskets with embroidery floss, crochet washcloths, and I made quince preserves for the first time from fruit from my own tree. Gifting my family with homemade chevre and, if they are brave enough to try, pickled eggs.  It's more work but more fun to do homemade gifts but, I only have a few folks to do it for so that makes it manageable!
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gifties
gifties
 
gardener
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I always make home made chocolate truffles (adults only) for our best shop customers. If I say so myself, I'm getting quite good at these now. The trick is plenty of beating at the blending stage to get a really fluffy centre.
This year I was so pleased with my first trials of making apple cider vinegar, that I decanted some for my parents and sister in law's hampers that we send.
 
gardener
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My dad often gives homemade specialty wine .. wait a second,I didn't get my bottle this year! Hmm....

I often give candy - toffee and fudge and popcorn balls and nut cookies and  taffy and.... Changes every year based on my ambition.

Or jams, apple sauce, etc.

I made homemade hand cream one year, and have had requests for a repeat of that.

Also homemade aftershave- an awesome gift to myself to make it, because I was regularly having migraines from the aftershave of someone I regularly rode in the car with! He liked mine better than the store bought stuff, too.
 
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I give dehydrated vegetables/fruits/powders etc. ( in variety of jars or sometimes smaller, vacuumed sealed jars) to those I know will appreciate, ask for and actually use them.
With mutual understanding of returning jars for refills
The photo is one of  few samples.
From-the-left-side-dehydrated-garlic-oranges-powdered-cauliflower-cauliflower-florets-October-2019.JPG
dehydrated-garlic-oranges-powdered-cauliflower-cauliflower-florets-October-2019
 
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Last year, my clients all got spiced medlar jam. Made from medlars picked from our neighborhood Commons garden. This year some of them gave me homemade gifts, like spiced nuts (which I appreciated even more than the $100 bills tucked in the card).

I am experimenting with a microgreen CSA. I wanted to try and get some experience with production and distribution, without giving up any precious garden space (I am in an apartment with ~350ft squared outdoor growing space).

This year, clients got 1 month's worth of weekly microgreen delivery. It helps me iron out kinks and they get some fresh greens in January. The greens are grown in my living room, not my kitchen, but close enough.

Various other friends got Christmas kraut (with leek and black pepper), sourdough loaves, spruce-tip shortbread, and fermented cranberry relish (that recipe and the kraut are from Kirsten Shockey's Fermented Vegetables book).
 
I'm not dead! I feel happy! I'd like to go for a walk! I'll even read a tiny ad:
Pre-order Certified Garden Master course - LIVE Stream
https://permies.com/wiki/170833/Pre-order-Certified-Garden-Master
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