Saturday, September 25, 2010

spread the love

Gift giving is a tangible expression of care and love. For me a homemade food gift packed into tins, jars, boxes or cellophane bags tied with ribbon represents creative energy and time spent in the kitchen-a homemade hug. It’s a personal connection of sharing a homemade gift and wrapping it up in some special way that brings joy and delivers goodness and cheer.

I made a promise to myself after the holidays last year that I was going to get a good jump on my holiday gift giving projects. And to that end I have been canning and preserving quite a bit over that last few weeks.

Figs have been in abundance this season; I’ve made some fig jam laced with cognac, as well as a fig and balsamic conserve. Rainier and Bing cherries have been potted with rum and vanilla and with summer winding down the bargain-priced, end of season green tomatoes at the farmers’ market are so good when preserved and turned into green tomato chutney. Concord grapes have been slowly making their way into the markets lately and I have a recipe for a compote of Concord grapes and walnuts I’ve been wanting to try.

This is also a great time to grab the last of those vine ripened tomatoes and turn them into spicy tomato ketchup, and when preserved into a flask-style bottle paired with a homemade smoky BBQ rub it makes a delightful and incredibly useful gift for those friends who like to grill.

Over the next few weeks I thought I might share with you some of my favorite recipes old and new, as well as some tips, notes and packaging details with the hopes that you will enjoy creating these gifts for those you love. After all, giving a gift, especially a food gift comes from the heart.


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