June 22, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Christmas Planning

Yes, I said Christmas! We're almost half-way there to that holly-jolly season, you know! Only 101 days until Christmas music starts ringing through our home! I know, October 1st may seem a bit early to you but I absolutely adore Christmas and like to stretch it out! Just so you know I decorate for Fall Labor Day weekend and then decorate for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving. Also in the month of October when Christmas music is wafting about it's all instrumental (piano, guitar, hammered dulcimer, violin...). We don't start listening to music with voices until November. Just sayin'.

Anywho... Since Christmastime's a comin' I want ya'll to be ready for it! Start thinking now about who you'll need gifts for: friends, neighbors, Sunday School teachers, postal workers, hair stylists, co-workers, family, etc. I have a great idea for you. Try making home made goodies to give! I don't recommend baking anything just yet (can you say freezer burn?!) but jams and jellies are a hit! You can give a single jar all prettied up with fabric and ribbon or in a gift bag with biscuit mix and a mixing spoon. By making the jelly or jam now when produce is fresh and even inexpensive if you own them yourself (we have a cherry tree and grapevines) or pick them yourself.

Making jam or jelly can be really easy. I'm not a huge fan of freezer jam...it's too sweet. Yes, I know canned jams and jellies are quite sweet themselves, but they have a different flavor. I buy Kroger brand pectin and follow the recipe on the box. Did you know you don't have to process the canned jams and jellies in the canner pot if you follow all the steps and make sure your jam/jelly is hot enough and your jars and lids/bands are sterile and hot enough until canning. Just follow the directions on the box! I've done it that way for the past two years and I must say I enjoy canning more this way!
So...my tip is to get a step ahead in the gift process...give someone a lovely homemade gift of jam or jelly!

*pic. from www.dianephalen.com


Barbara said...

Yes, I agree 100%. I do the same thing, this year I just started, strawberries are in season, red and black currants are next on the calendar ;)

Sweet Apron said...

We make slow cooker apricot jam for gifts, too. Simply dried apricots, sugar & water cooked until thick. Excellent for shortbread thumbprints. Wonderful blog-linked from Raising Homemakers.

Suzanne said...

I am so glad someone else has Christmas on the brain, I don't feel so silly..LOL! I am going to try your blueberry bread,it sounds delish and this household looooves their blueberries:-)

Milk and Honey Mommy said...


I was almost ashamed to be thinking about Christmas so early, but I'm ready and wouldn't mind hearing a little Christmas music about right now. I have plans this year for making cookies and treat boxes w/my children. I received one from a friend of mine while in highschool and I never forgot about the kind and very thoughtful gift; plus everything was delicious. I may even try to come up w/a few handmade items too.

Anonymous said...

Came for a visit from Raising Homemakers- Yep, Christmas thoughts here too- with our budget I have too! About 2 weeks ago I purchased fabric for my girlies Christmas dresses, I want to do some English smocking on the one for our younger, which takes a little planning and time.

Great post! I've added you to my list- PS I love the "Homeschool Family" video, so funny!

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