chocolate candy cane bark the herald angels sing
It’s less than ten days to Christmas and it’s times like these that one’s thoughts turn to…how it’s less than ten days till Christmas. There has been so much going on in my life and also in the lives of others that are plaited into mine and as such it has been a bit hard to blog with my usual aggression; or at least that’s what I assume it is that’s slowing me down? – every time I’ve sat down with my laptop and been all “hello old friend, we meet again, let’s tango” I’ve instead got really lethargic and rapidly blacked out with tiredness and woken up an hour later drooling lavishly into my own cleavage. Oh sure, it’s funny the first like, seven times! But now it’s nearly literal Christmas and I still haven’t got this blog post out. However, you are reading this, which I suspect means I have finally done it.
So anyway, every year with charming self-absorption I present you with a list of recipes I’ve blogged about over the years which would also make excellent Christmas presents. And it’s that time of that time of year again! Oh sure, material goods are an unmitigated delight, but unless you’re surrounded by brats I am supremely confident that there is an impressive number of people in your life who want nothing more than to be presented with something completely delicious that they can tuck into with impunity, rather than, say, a small cow figurine or an earnestly hideous vase which they then have to pretend to feel joy about when in fact it is an insult to their carefully curated personal aesthetic.
cornbread cookie squares with maple buttercream: aka found footage of heaven
Honestly though, say it with eat-y stuff. Whether or not Christmas is a thing that affects you or that you pay attention to, there’s no harm in having a delicious arsenal of ideas for things you can make for people at any old time to express your gratitude and selflessness. This is just a time of year where gift-giving is impressed upon us as being really important. And so, here I am to help. Okay, yes, the rise of the dawn of the planet of the Buzzfeed has rendered this entirely superfluous but what my list has that buzzfeed doesn’t is…me! So much me! It has actually been fairly unusual compiling all these old blog posts and reading through the million different people I have been, but the recipes still absolutely hold up (as does the writing, obviously) and there’s not one thing in this list that I wouldn’t love to be presented with, before presenting it directly into my own mouth.
So here goes: the hungryandfrozen edible gift idea round-up.
Category One: Things in Jars.
We are no longer quite at Peak Mason Jar, and thank goodness tbh, but: jars will never die. Jars are gonna save you this Christmas.
- orange confit (This is basically just slices of orange in syrup, but is surprisingly applicable to a variety of cake surfaces. And it’s so pretty. And so cheap.) (vg, gf)
- cranberry sauce (this is stupidly easy and you should make it to go with your main meal anyway) (vg, gf)
- bacon jam (Best made at the last minute, because it needs refrigerating) (gf)
- cashew butter (vg, gf) (just don’t drop your wooden spoon into the food processor)
- red chilli nahm jim (gf)
- cranberry (or any-berry) curd (it involves a lot of effort but it’s so pretty. Just like me.) (gf)
- rhubarb-fig jam (gf)
- salted caramel sauce (gf, has a vegan variant) (Salted caramel is kind of the cockroach of food trends, in that it could still be popular in a post-apocalyptic landscape where we all eat dust that has been milled into varying levels of granularity. Salted caramel in a jar is a double whammy.)
- apple cinnamon granola (vg)
- strawberry jam granola (vg)
- Marinated Tamarillos (vg, gf)
- taco pickles (vg, gf)
- pickled blueberries (vg, gf)
- peach balsamic barbecue sauce (vg, gf)
- berry chia seed jam (vg, gf)
berry chia seed jam: this is my jam
Peach Balsamic Barbecue Sauce: give a fusspot a pot of fussy stuff.
chocolate dipped brown sugar cookies: oooh
Category Two: Baked Goods.
Make your house smell glorious, eat some cake batter, wrap the baked things you haven’t eaten in rustic-looking brown paper and tie it all up with string, then toast to your own productivity and excellence.
Also first of all, my Christmas Cake is amazing. It just is: deal with my lack of coyness. Even if you decide at the last minute to make it on Christmas Day itself, it will still taste so great.
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 it’s dairy free.
secret centre mini-pavlovas
peanut butter chocolate caramel nut caramel chocolate peanut butter slice caramel
Category Three: Novelty!
This is mostly either homemade recreations of things you can buy from the corner dairy for fifty cents, or sticky-sweet things where you melt one ready-made thing into another. It’s frankly the best category and you know it.
- moonshine biffs (like homemade Milk Bottles!) (gf)
- raw vegan chocolate cookie dough truffles (vg, gf)
- lolly cake
- peppermint schnapps (vg, gf) (this is some harsh moonshine but also SO FUN. Weirdly, more fun the more you drink of it?)
- 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
- homemade cherry ripe
- mars bar cornflake slice
- chocolate cookie dough pretzel things
- brown sugar malteaser cardamom fudge
- peanut butter chocolate caramel nut slice
Delightful Bonus Category: Stuff to bring!
A brief list of things you could consider making and taking to the next seasonal party in which there are heavy implications that you need to bring a plate and that it should be something amazing that people will actually enjoy.
- roasted kumara with feta, walnuts, thyme and breadcrumbs
- very easy coffee ice cream
- fried tomatoes with garlic
- double cauliflower salad
- fried green beans with chilli and garlic
- pasta salad with broccoli pesto, mint, feta and olive oil
- fougasse bread
- earl grey and maple syrup cake
- cinnamon-golden syrup roasted butternut squash
- fried potato burghal wheat with walnuts and rocket
- wasabi cauliflower cheese
- peaches and cream
Whether or not this list is helpful, I’m honestly just so glad that I got this damn blog post done finally so I really am beyond caring. (Kidding, I care ever so much, like, in a completely uncool lacking-in-chill kind of way.) I’m working as much as I physically can over Christmas and new years, and will be spending the day with work family eating and drinking and eating and drinking and so on in that fashion. I can’t wait, and while it would be lovely to be going up home to my family, spending my one spare day with people I adore and cooking a ton of nice food for them is something I am super looking forward to. However! Were money something I felt irritatingly mellow about, my Christmas list would look a little like the following:
– a new leather bomber jacket (my current one is falling to pieces 100% literally)
– timberland boots (2003 called, and I’m ignoring it because I don’t care if they’re outdated)
– Marc Jacobs Lola perfume (am never not cursing myself for using up all my supplies last year by calling it “baller deodorant” when I could’ve just used nivea roll-on)
– a watch: either something very heavily masculine or something plasticky and stupid looking
– a set of pots and pans, preferably the kind that looks stupidly good in photos; I currently have very little in the way of anything
– a handbag: my last one basically dissolved into the air within less than a month and I’ve since been lugging my earthly possessions about in a grubby tote
– a candle that smells like cinnamon
– several bottles of fancy liquor so I can finally start my liquor cabinet: some nice gin, some sweet and dry vermouth, some fernet (it rhymes with cliche!), a campari and a bourbon…y’know, no biggie.
– A record player – nothing fancy, just something that I can literally play all my records on.
Whatever it is you want for Christmas, especially if it’s world peace, I hope you get it. I’m definitely going to be blogging again before Christmas and that all sounded a bit final, but nevertheless: get what you want! Get it! Go on, now!
title from: 2005’s plaintive Athlete song, Wires. It’s plaintive but it’s still got legs, I reckon.
Mariah Carey, Oh Holy Night
, from her Merry Christmas II You album. That’s right, she has other Christmas songs, and this one is classic Mimi. She sounds so good.
Idina Menzel’s Christmas album. She is my idol, and I am a completist.
Also: my dreamy summer playlist on spotify. Look, I could either list every song here or I could just link you directly to the playlist, but either way it’s very very good and feels like sunshine on your shoulders.
next time: no sleep allowed! I made some roasted asparagus with burned butter hollandaise which was amazing, however I also haven’t made ice cream in ages and am feeling the need.