This is the first year that I’m being hard-core about homemade gifts.
I’m totally going to toot my own horn right now: I’ve eaten enough of my own canned goods to know that they’re pretty tasty. There are some talented canning bloggers out there who have yet to steer me wrong. I’ve also not hospitalized anyone, and the few “test” jars I’ve given to friends and family have received great reviews, so I’m going bigger. Almost everyone who receives a gift from me this year will receive at least one jar of something I’ve canned this year.
Like so many other bloggers, including Ring Finger Tan Line, who gave me a box of her goodies a couple weeks ago, I’m sending boxes of goodies to college buddies and family members. Those lucky people will get an assortment of sweet and spicy roasted almonds, jams, pickled peppers, and candied clementines.
I haven’t published posts about everything I’ve canned this year, but here is a round-up of the various jars my friends and family will be receiving, just in case you’re wondering which recipes I wound up deeming “gift-worthy.” Enjoy!
- Small Batch Fig Jam with mission figs, from The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
- Bourbon Peach Jam (made with brown sugar), from Serious Eats
- Peach Rosemary Jam, adapted from Apricot Rosemary Jam by Food in Jars
- Peach Preserves, from Country Living
- Strawberry Peach Jam, from Kraft
- Strawberry Vanilla Jam, from Food in Jars
- Strawberry Thyme Jam, from The Kitchn (I did some jars with basil, but used the same recipe.)
- Pickled Peppers
- Candied Clementines, from Saveur
- Yellow Tomato Jam, adapted from Food in Jars (I left out the basil)
- Sweet and spicy roasted almonds
(recipe coming soon!)
As you can see, things are pretty heavy on the peach-strawberry side this year. I may try to get in a batch of something with apple or pear before the weekend, to mix things up a bit, but it’s also nice to have the taste of summer when it’s cold outside. (If you’re not in Austin, that is.)
Now, let’s talk about packaging. I went pretty simple with my jars this year. I tried the whole “fabric under the ring” thing, but it just isn’t me. Instead, I got craft paper gift tags, plus a stamp, from a craft store, and stamped each label with the “Homemade for the Holidays” stamp. On the back of the tag, I either signed my name or suggested ways to use this particular preserve. Then, I tied a bow around the ring with raffia and attached the gift tag. For the lids, I wasn’t a fan of my Sharpie scrawl on metal, so I cut out circles out of craft paper (tedious, but pretty) and used adhesive spray to attach the paper to the lid. Then, I labeled the jar with the contents and the month/ year I packed the jar.
Maybe next year I’ll get even braver and there will be a Christmas giveaway!