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).
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.
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?