Gifts of food at Christmas are traditional in many families, and for good reason.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
This year, give homemade Christmas food recipes, presents as warm and personal as the aroma of your own holiday kitchen. (See the homemade Christmas recipes in the image gallery.)
Homemade Christmas Food Recipes
This year, give presents as warm and personal as the aroma of your own holiday kitchen.
Gifts of food at Christmas are traditional in many
families, and for good reason. Since almost everyone loves
to eat, the giver can rest assured that such presents will
be welcomed—not stored in the attic until the next
garage sale. Furthermore, preparing home-cooked gifts in a
snug, fragrant kitchen is at least as much fun as coping
with crowded malls and slushy streets. And best of all, a
homemade gift embodies the warmth and affection that are
among the loveliest ornaments of the Christmas
The only problem is, when a number of gifts of perishable
food all arrive in the same week, there's often more than
anyone can use. So why not add a measure of flexibility to
this year's culinary offerings? Choose a recipe that you
like . . . measure out the herbs and spices that provide
its distinctive flavor . . . wrap them up with a festive
ribbon . . . attach a copy of the recipe . . . and present
your holiday-harried friends with a gift they can enjoy at
their convenience. All they have to do is add a few of
their own ingredients, follow your simple directions, and
savor your (almost) home cooking.
If you have dried, homegrown herbs from last summer's
garden, your gift will be even more personal and
flavorful—and very economical, too. If not, you may
the necessary store-bought ingredients in your pantry.
(Keep in mind, though, that herbs and spices lose much of
their flavor after a few months; if your tarragon has been
hanging around since last Easter, get a new jar.) And even
if you do have to purchase the makings for your seasoning
packets, you'll still wind up with relatively inexpensive
gifts—especially when you consider the prices of many
of the made-for-Christmas trinkets that litter the store
shelves and lure last-minute shoppers.
You may have some favorite homemade Christmas food recipes that would lend
themselves to seasoning packets. But, to get you started,
here are five suggestions from MOTHER's staff.
Mulled Wine is a wonderful Christmas beverage; as it heats,
it fills the house with the aromas of cinnamon and cloves.
You can give the spice packet alone or tie one on a gift
bottle of wine. Our Herb and Fruit Stuffing mix will please
any busy holiday cook, either by itself or if given in the
company of a loaf of homemade bread. Herbed Rice is a fine
accompaniment to chicken or leftover turkey; one packet
will flavor enough rice for several meals, and you can even
premix the seasonings with portions of uncooked rice for
just-add-water-and-serve preparation. MOM's Super Seasoning
is an all-purpose blend of herbs and Parmesan cheese for
sprinkling on steamed vegetables, tossed salads, and baked
potatoes (in place of fat-laden butter and sour cream). And,
finally, the Herb Salad Dressing mix, when added to oil and
vinegar, will liven up wintertime greens.
So put on some Christmas music . . . pour yourself a cup of
hot cider . . . and start mixing!