Christmas Gifts from My Kitchen–I have a plan!

After a busy week of Christmas events, the low-level angst about Christmas gifts burst into a full-blown plan yesterday. Phew! Just having a plan makes all the difference to my stress level. It also helped me generate a shopping list. So I spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon gathering all my supplies from various stores around town. (Do you know how hard it is to find little 4 ounce canning jars in December? My fave market, Ingles, came through for me. They carry canning jars all year long in my town!) I think I’m ready! Want to hear my plan? (If you think you might be on my gift list for these things, you should either stop reading now so you’ll be surprised or you should develop temporary amnesia once you’ve read it!)

Gathering supplies for gifts from the kitchen

Here I have about 1/3 of my supplies on the kitchen table.

I am planning to make sampler baskets of some of my favorite treats  (a few of which I’ve discovered this year and will be new stars in my Christmas gift-giving.

Each basket will include

Four types of sauce for ice cream:

Four types of Fudge:
Two types of breads:
Two types of homemade marshmallows

Depending on whether the gift baskets are being shipped or hand-delivered, some of them will also include:

Now that I have a plan, it all seems doable. And if you’re looking at that list and thinking, “No WAY can I get that all done….” have no fear, it really IS possible.

Here are a couple of general tips:

  • Plan ahead! This means making a shopping list and getting EVERYTHING you need ahead of time. Nothing messes with momentum like needing to drive out at the last minute to the grocery store to get an essential ingredient.
  • Give small portions of each item. This is a SAMPLER basket. So the sauces will be in 4 ounce canning jars.
  • Make all the sauces on one day. The pans and ingredients and already out, so just go for it.
  • Make all the fudge on one day. Again, it’s out already. You might be able to get both fudge and sauce done in a single day.
  • Enlist your kids to help. Even really young kids can make the Dark Chocolate Fudge. Anything requiring a candy thermometer is probably not a great independent activity for small children though.
  • Make and freeze your little loaves of bread ahead of time. OR make double batches and just knock it all out at once.
  • Wrap things as you go.
  • Set a few treats aside for the family to sample or you’ll be needing a light saber to keep them away from the gifts!

The more you can get made in one day, the more efficient this process will be. IF you are inclined to clean up your kitchen to within an inch of its sparkly shine, this is especially important. I’ve only read about people like you, but I do know that even modest kitchen clean-up can take a lot of time. The fewer days that I need to do that, the better.  the tree is decorated

Any questions? Ready, set……GO!  (And remember to have fun! Turn on the Christmas music, heat up some cider, and settle in to your kitchen!)

Adding: I’m sneaking back to add something to this post. I just want to say that I’m describing a SAMPLER of Christmas treats. People LOVE homemade goodies and if you give ONE type of fudge or one type of ice cream topping, that’s a nice gift. Don’t feel, in any way, bound to making piles and piles of goodies.

Barb

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4 thoughts on “Christmas Gifts from My Kitchen–I have a plan!

  1. So, I know this is super late from this post (currently, I’m reading most of your website as a way of a. getting new recipes-I love to bake and b. avoiding writing my paper) but I was wondering if you somehow preserved (water bath or pressure canned) or just poured them into jars? If you just jarred them, what kind of storage conditions are needed? I think this sounds like a great gift (especially since I’m graduating college this year and will be needing to save money!)

    • Abby, I didn’t water bath any of the ice cream sauces. I know my own family and I know that none of the sauce will last long enough for that to be necessary. If you knew the sauce was going to sit on a pantry shelf for a couple of months, it would be wise to water-bath can them.

      Barbara

  2. Does it work to “just” water bath the sauces? I love making those sauces, but just wonder.

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