Well, here it is. November. Already. The holidays are just weeks away. For me, it is definitely time to start making lists; a list of what I will be giving, a list of what I will be cooking, and maybe even a list of what I might want. The list of what I will be giving is always two-fold. There are the presents that I give to family and then there are the gifts for neighbors, friends, teachers, etc.
The gifts we give our neighbors and friends are homemade treats from the kitchen. They range from cookies and candies to home canned jams and chutneys. For this Make Your Own Monday, I thought I’d share some of our favorite gifts, so you can, in turn, have time to plan and make your own.
9 Bean Soup: (this is a delicious soup)
1 pound barley pearls
1 pound dried red beans
1 pound dried navy beans
1 pound dried lentils
1 pound dried black beans
1 pound dried black eyed peas
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 pound dried great Northern beans
1 pound dried split peas
Mix all the legumes and divide them into 10 pint jars.
Attach a tag with the following recipe and directions:
2 cups 9 Bean Soup Mix
2 quarts water
1 pound ham, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
Wash beans and place in a large pot. Cover with water to 2 inches above the beans. Cover and bring to boil reduce heat and simmer 2-3 hours or until beans are tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 8 cups soup.
Other yummy gift ideas include:
Mint Hot Chocolate Mix (with a tag, “to our friends who are so dear, we wish you all a cup of cheer!”
Hot Fudge Sauce (with a tag “fudge a little on the calories and enjoy the holiday season!”)
Homemade Wassail Mix (tag “Orange you glad it’s Christmas?”)
Popcorn Balls (tag, “hope you have a ball this holiday season”)
Sweetened Chex Mix with Almonds (remember Santa always “chex” his list twice, so be good!”)
Some non homemade, easy, and fun ideas:
Give a 2 liter bottle of Sprite with a tag saying “May your days be Merry and Sprite!”
Give a wire whisk filled with Hershey kisses with a tag saying, “We whisk you a Merry Kiss-mas!”
Give a bottle of sparkling cider with tag saying, “Wishing you a sparkling holiday season”
Give a log of cookie dough (uncooked) with a tag saying, “Rolling out a batch of Christmas cheer”
Give measuring cups or spoons with a tag saying, “Wishing you joy beyond measure!”
If you make homemade gifts, do you have a signature homemade treat you make every year or do you vary what you make?