Learn this lesson well: if you start a new job and also move house and suddenly have no internet all within the same week, your chances of blogging, no matter how much you want to, are really slight. So with that slight chance comes a slight blog post, more a round up than anything else, but a marginally exciting one, I hope. I’m typing it in a cafe on my lunchbreak. I don’t know if it’s going to really come together, but…Behold!
THE HUNGRYANDFROZEN 2012 COMPENDIUM OF HOMEMADE GIFTS THAT AREN’T TERRIBLE, AT BEST, PROBABLY.
It’s pretty much last year’s one but with a few more things added in that I’ve made over this strange, long year – because why not make people food as a gift? Sure it’s ephemeral, but so many good things are. Like a satisfyingly large…sneeze. Whether or not you’re a Christmas-goer – and so many people aren’t – frankly I’m mostly in it for the food, the intoxicating scent of pine, and old-timey Hollywood stars’ Christmas albums – this list might be of use to you should you ever want to give someone something but don’t know what, or better yet, want to give them something but don’t want to be presumptuous about what it is they’d like hanging on their walls or tchotchke-ing up their shelves.
Jams and Sauces and Things In Jars But Are Actually Pretty Easy Despite Looking Fancy:
Orange Confit (This is just slices of orange in syrup, but is surprisingly applicable to a variety of surfaces. And pretty. And cheap.) (vg, gf)
Cranberry Sauce (Impossibly easy to make.) (vg, gf)
Bacon Jam (Best made at the last minute, because it needs refrigerating) (vg – kidding! – but yes, gf)
Cashew Butter (vg, gf)
Red Chilli Nahm Jim (gf)
Cranberry (or any-berry) Curd (slightly more effort, so I’d do this before midnight – but so pretty.) (gf)
Rhubarb-Fig Jam (gf)
Salted Caramel Sauce (gf, has a vegan variant)
Apple Cinnamon Granola (vg)
Marinated Tamarillos (vg, gf)
Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
Vegan Chocolate Cake (It’s good! It’s easy!) (vg)
Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
Coconut Macaroons (gf)
Chocolate Macaroons (gf)
Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies (vg)
Coconut Condensed Milk Brownies
Salted Caramel Slice
Fancy Tea Cookies
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Homemade Cherry Ripe
Also, if you click on the link to the Orange Confit above, you’ll see a recipe for the easiest, fastest fruitcake loaf. It makes an excellent present, for the sort of person who’d like to receive fruitcake. And ’tis dairy free.
Moonshine Biffs (like homemade Milk Bottles!) (gf)
Raw Vegan Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles Candy (vg, gf)
Peppermint Schnapps (vg, gf) (Pictured above)
I Am Already Asleep But Need A Present For That Person Who Needs A Present Because They Just Showed Up NOW.
Candy Cane Chocolate Bark (No effort, vegan – well, I think candy canes are vegan – gluten free, amazingly delicious, just store it carefully so it doesn’t melt)
White Chocolate Coco Pops Slice (Even less effort! Maybe try adding a little oil to the white chocolate so it doesn’t sieze up like mine did.)
SO that’s that.
I have three minutes left on my lunch break.
So I will keep this swift like Taylor and be more talkative next time.
We adore our new house. We also, uh, spontaneously bought a christmas tree in the middle of moving day. It just felt like the right choice, although admittedly our choice-making faculties were a little worn down given the circumstances.
Baubles from our dear friend Jo, three handmade laser-cut decorations from dear friend Kim (who is BACK FROM JAPAN *high kick*) 40 metres of solar powered fairy lights from Tim’s and my excellent choice-making faculties, and apparently some more decorations are on their way from Mum. We’ve had visitors and I’ve made a cake and it smells like pine needles, so even though there are still boxes everywhere…sorry to get gross…it’s not just a house anymore, but a home!
Well, it is nearly Christmas. Can’t be grumpycat alllllll the time.
Title via: RENT. It all starts and ends with RENT. This is from Christmas Bells, a syncopated mess that I can’t get enough of.
Still so obsessed with Royals, by Lorde, and because of the no-internet thing, have been cruelly, cruelly kept from listening to it. So you should listen to it twice as much for both of us!
Nina Simone, Suzanne. Too, too beautiful.
Mariah Carey, Oh Santa. I know, not the obvious Mariah xmas choice. All I Want For Christmas Is You is actual perfection, but you know what? I flipping love this song. Mariah = flawless, even when she’s not really.
Next time: A real blog post! With real recipes! From our new kitchen! Maybe I’ll throw sanity to the wind and try to perfect that xmas pulled pork recipe I’ve been formulating in my brain.
11 thoughts on “hush your mouth, it’s christmas”
Oh gosh that grumpy cat pic made me laugh so much! Love the solar powered fairy lights! Thanks for this post – very very useful, I'm going home next week and planning to do exactly this sort of baking with my 13 year old sister 🙂 x x
I'm going to endeavour to make 4-5 of these recipes in the days leading up to Christmas. Why? Because I think I've gone a bit mad after watching the River Cottage Christmas Special with Stephen Mangan and Mark Heap and I'm determined to get into the festive spirit. Also, have you ever made egg nog and could perhaps suggest any good recipes? – Rose
I am doing almost entirely home made food presents this year. I have time and not a lot of cash so why not?
Hah, swift like Taylor. Nerd!
Just kidding:D Happy holidays with your sweet and stately little tree and your new home and your Tim and your choice-making faculties! xox
Hey so, I've already said this before… but I think you're ace.
Also, I want to tell you something! I just learnt about this super quick technique for infusing vodka – all you do is pop the full bottle, with all added ingredients, into the dishwasher and let it go through a normal cycle. The heat magically speeds up the entire process and within hours it is delicious!
That's all 🙂
You should most definitely look up more Grumpycat pictures then, she's really the most endearingly annoyed thing. Hope you enjoy the baking times with your sister! x
OOH need to find this xmas special. Stephen Mangan! I find him charmingly charmless.
Likewise! Happy holidays with your soon-to-be-chocolate-empire and your antlers and your lovely self!
Hey, thanks Mirabel!
And that is a bloody exciting idea. Now that we've moved house, we finally have a dishwasher! I think that's almost more thrilling that I can make vodka in it, than the thought of washing dishes more speedily…
I thought there was a way you could download Lorde's songs legally from her Soundcloud? Unless you didn't get around to doing that before you moved in which case I hope you have downloaded the songs now. All of that Christmas food looks great but I probably won't get around to making it myself.