The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Homemade Christmas or Anytime Gift Ideas
Sat 21-Nov-09
3:01 pm
Avatar
Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1343
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yesterday I was thinking about what I'm going to be putting under the tree this year.

In recent years I have been giving bar-b-que sauce, mustard, applebutter, and pickled brussle sprouts, all canned by me. (And I'd be happy to pass on any recipes if anyone is interested.)

But I was thinking since this is a wonderfully inventive croud here on the forum, that you all would have some great ideas to share.

So, what is your special christmas (or anytime!) gift that you make?

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sat 21-Nov-09
5:01 pm
Avatar
fn
Newmarket
Admin
Forum Posts: 321
Member Since:
Sat 12-Aug-06
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Oh Michelle I'd love your pickled brussels sprouts recipe and the one for mustard please Smile

As I'm not working atm it has to be homemade pressies this year:

I've made hot chili and apple jelly, pear butter, apple orange butter, mango chutney, bramble jelly, plum and tamarind chutney, quince jelly, crab apple butter, piccalilli and pickled nasturtium seeds. Whew!

I was going to do a Christmas fair but it fell through so I'm going to give some away and sell some at the garden gate.

All recipes available on the Cottage Smallholder blog.

Sat 21-Nov-09
5:06 pm
Avatar
shelley
Guest
Guests

me too!
I am selling some through work in xmas baskets:
I have made 3 different chutneys, tomato ketchup, onion 'jam', lots of fruit jams, lemon curd other curds, sweet chilli jelly, picalilli (wonder where I got that recipe from? !!) and finally some christmas mincemeat; though it is rather pale so I might use that myself and try some more...
we too will be using all or some of the above in xmas pressies

Sat 21-Nov-09
10:47 pm
Avatar
KateUK
uk

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1829
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I make cranberry sauce ( my niece does chutney, my sister jam so we cover all bases between us), biscuits ( savory and sweet), gingerbread,chocolate truffles. I also sew things- bags for the presents to go in that can be used for shopping after Christmas is over, fabric covered notebooks, knee quilts, knitting needle holders, table runners,table cloths, cushion covers...different things for different people each year. Then there is the knitting- scarves and gloves usually: I try to find either some really fun wool or an unusual pattern to make each year. And I make strings of beads and brooches. I also do paintings for people...and make christmas tree decorations... I do get a bit carried away, but it is much more fun making presents than buying them. Oh and lavendar bags...

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Sun 22-Nov-09
1:14 am
Avatar
Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1343
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Pickled Brussels Sprouts

6 c. (about 2 lbs) Brussels Sprouts
2 1/2 c. Vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
2 1/2 c. water
3T salt
1t cayenne pepper
4 dill heads or 2t dill seeds
4 cloves garlic (I have more on hand so I can stuff the extra space in the jars full. The garlic is just as good as the brussels sprouts!)

Trim the brussels sprouts and boil them untill tender. Drain off and pack into clean jars. I put the dill and garlic in at this point so I don’t burn myself later!

Mix the vinegar, water, pepper, and salt in a heavy sauce pan, boil for 5 minutes.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the sprouts, leaving 1/4″ of headspace.

Cap, seal, and process in a boiling water-bath canner for 15 minutes.
The yield is 4 pints according to the recipe, but I have ended up with as many as 6pints depending on the size of the sprouts.

Basil Shallot Mustard

2/3 cup apple juice

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 dry mustard

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup mustard seeds

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (dried works too, I'd use 1 1/2 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Combine apple juice, vinegar, dry mustard, water, and mustard seeds in a non-reactive bowl and mix well.

Cover the bowl and let stand for 4 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Process the mixture in a food processor till the seeds are coarsely ground.

Cook the mixture in a double boilerfor 25-30 minutes. The mustard will thicken as it cooks, and will continue to thicken as it sits.

Pour into sterile jars, cap and seal.

I process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. I have had jars sit on the shelf for 6 + months without a problem if you do the water bath processing.

I have done different flavor variations from Dill, Shallot and Sun Dried Tomato, to Herbs De Provonce. Use it in potato salad or deviled eggs, its very yummy!

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sun 22-Nov-09
1:16 am
Avatar
Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1343
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey KateUK, would you be willing to post your cranberry sauce recipe?

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Sun 22-Nov-09
7:59 pm
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Nice gift for little kids and sometimes not so little kids is to make up a craft bag. Basically all you need is a big zipped plastic bag that you fill with little bits of crafty items, some papers, plain and fancy and if you are hoarder there will be plenty to choose from. Somethings I have put in bags before now
Bits of ribbon
Bits of fabric
Cut out pictures from cards
Wobbly eyes
Small pieces of foam (the coloured sort as I had a big pack of it)
buttons
fancy string
glue stick
tissue paper
lentils/chickpeas
sequins
glitter

I have also made small rubber stamps from rubbers (erasers for our American friends before you get too worried) and then carved patterns into them or cut out shapes of leaves or flowers attached them to dowelling with a glue gun. They are great for decorating cards and that sort of thing

Sun 29-Nov-09
11:11 pm
Avatar
Danny
Scarborough, England
Admin
Forum Posts: 5516
Member Since:
Sat 12-Aug-06
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey, Michelle, do consider Fiona's Quck Cranberry Sauce recipe. It really does work very well.

Kate - please feel free to post your own favorites!

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 30-Nov-09
12:38 pm
Avatar
SOL
UK

Knowledegable
Members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am making short bread for all my team at work.  with my new fabulous clay mould that puts thistles on it in relief.  trying to save pennies where I can.

Tue 1-Dec-09
12:37 am
Avatar
Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1343
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for the recipe Danny!

Fiona, do you think if I processed your cranberry sauce in a water bath canner it would be safe on the shelf? 

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Tue 1-Dec-09
7:22 pm
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

All my suggestions are non-food. How about salt dough decorations? No good here as it is far too damp but worked okay in England and lasted quite a few years.

Wed 2-Dec-09
1:15 pm
Avatar
shelley
Guest
Guests

too damp to dry it?

If so you could cook it in a low oven to dry it out completely.

Thu 3-Dec-09
1:56 pm
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

No to keep it dry. I made a whole load whilst living in England and one year it was really wet rather like the summers they have had the past two years and a lot of my pieces disintegrated. Sealing them with varnish worked for quite a long time, and I found the cheaper the alternative the better as it penetrated better. Maybe if I had used an outdoor varnish to finish off with it might have worked but sometimes that just makes it look too artificial. Oh and it is no good going for the environmentally friendly water based stuff as the salt and the varnish react.

Thu 3-Dec-09
4:21 pm
Avatar
shelley
Guest
Guests

Oh sorry to hear that!

Thu 3-Dec-09
5:56 pm
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It was a shame as so many of them had lasted quite a while. Maybe they would have disintegrated anyway. I still have a few that have survived that only come out at Christmas time and are stored in plastic boxes.

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 509

Currently Online:
20 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

brightspark: 10485

danast: 10232

Aly: 9421

Sooliz: 7981

Hattie: 6920

Ambersparkle: 6665

JoannaS: 4800

Terrier: 4518

eileen54: 4396

Xahha: 4231

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 9

Members: 15396

Moderators: 2

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 6

Forums: 25

Topics: 2246

Posts: 122520

Newest Members:

SagironxNa, Kevinbiora, Anthonywem, MopinKr, Georgeboolf, Robertsuigh

Moderators: Toffeeapple: 16220, AdminTA: 10

Administrators: fn: 321, Danny: 5516


Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder