It’s a Wrap!
Part of the fun of homemade food gifts is wrapping them for giving. Here are some of the foods we’ve cooked and baked recently, and how we packaged them for presents.
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First the food gifts, all taking no more than 30 minutes of prep time (except for the sugar cookies):
- Sweet 'n Spicy Roasted Almonds is a deliciously addictive nibble.
- Freshest Strawberry Jam is super-easy. I made the recipe in the summer when strawberries were plentiful and stored the jars in my freezer (be sure to use jars that can withstand the cold). In the winter, you can make Spiced Fruit Chutney instead.
- Sugar cookies are festive and fun, especially when they are iced decoratively.
- Dip apricots in chocolate or make Chocolate-Covered Sugar Plums for delectable confections.
Now some tips for packaging:
- Save pretty ribbon from gifts you get throughout the year to repurpose –especially pricey wired ribbon.
- Save boxes and tins.
- When you gift wrap, have on hand decorative holiday trims from the crafts store, like artificial holly and evergreen sprigs, small Christmas balls, pine cones and small ornaments to decorate packages.
- Or use fresh holly and greens snipped from discarded Christmas tree branches.
And finally, the wraps:
- For chocolate-dipped dried fruit or homemade candies, make your own candy cups by cutting out parchment circles and crimping them around the bottom of a shot glass or small jar.
- Seasoned nuts can be packed in a zipper top plastic bag, and then tucked in an envelope wrap. To make the envelope wrap, carefully open an envelope at the seams, glue to gift wrap using a heavy-duty glue stick, then cut the envelope out of the gift wrap and re-assemble using more glue. For larger bags, disassemble larger mailing envelopes or small paper bags.
- For cookies, bag big ones individually in food-safe cellophane bags or put smaller ones in a plastic bag and into a purchased Chinese takeout container; tie with a bow.
- For jam or chutney, top the bottle with a square of fabric cut with pinking shears and secure the square with a rubber band, adding a small bouquet of artificial fruit to match the contents. (I used a strawberry with leaves and flowers for my strawberry jam). Wrap raffia over the rubber band to conceal.
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