Life is busy and expensive. This time of year seems to hold a seemingly endless list of end-of-year-parties and gift lists for acquaintances, distant family members, teachers and co-workers. When I was growing up, the go-to gift was a plate of home-baked cookies or shortbread (usually sent on a charmingly kitsch plate complete with paper doily). This is my homemade gift list updated for 2019.
1. Use seasonal fruits and vegetables
Cherries are in season for most of November and December. Bottle them with brandy for a boozy ice-cream topping. Double up the fun and take a trip to Ceres to pick your own! Lemons are also in season, and there’s nothing better than a pot of lemon curd. Here’s an easy microwave recipe.
2. Make a homemade pesto, which is like summer in a bottle.
3. The unholy trinity: chocolate, coffee and vanilla
4. A box of these adorable hot chocolate balls would make a perfect gift for the chocolate lover.
5. For the serious coffee drinker, there’s this cinnamon syrup (or really any flavour that works well with coffee) for an at-home coffee shop experience.
6. Make a homemade vanilla extract. All you need is some vanilla pods (sliced open) in a pretty bottle. Cover with vodka and shake occasionally to mix.
7. Homemade nut butter is great on crackers.
8. A beautifully packed bag of grain-free granola.
9. A batch of rusks is always popular.
Whatever you decide to make, everyone loves receiving a homemade gift. What will you be making this year?