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Top Tips for Homemade Holiday Gifts

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say. But shopping for Christmas can become quite stressful. It's also getting cold out there! In the interest of staying warm and relaxed, why not make some homemade gifts? You can put the kettle on and have a look at our ideas for Christmas treats, cakes, preserves, chutneys, and spice mixes that will bring joy to all your loved ones.

And if you don't have time for that, the cookery school can make your life easier with some terrific gifts from our shop. We have cookery course gift vouchers available 24/7, cook books, utensils, and a very special Indian spice box all ready to go. But do try to make some time for yourself and enjoy all that winter has to offer, especially cake!

Orange and Almond Cake

Christmas Treats

Cake

Preserves

  • Do visions of sugared plums dance in your head? Try making our Plum Jam or Spiced Plums.
  • Seville Orange Marmalade has a special place in my heart as I used to make it with my family. Perhaps this could become a family tradition for you as well? A sunny orange marmalade brightens up any cold winter day.

Seville Dark & Light Marmalade

Chutneys

  • A homemade chutney can take anywhere from a few months to a year to reach maximum flavour, so make some now for gifts throughout the year or for next holiday season. At the cookery school we often use Coriander and Mint ChutneyTamarind Chutney, and Fresh Mango Chuntney to add interest to a dish. 
  • Homemade chutney and a really special cheese would make a great gift combination. If the recipient has been especially good this year you could present your gifts on a nice new cheeseboard!

Spice Mixes

  • Ras-el-HanoutCurry PowderZaatarDukkahJerk Spice Rub...there are so many fantastic options for homemade spice mixes. They don't take very long to make but are sure to wow your friends and family.
  • Choose really fresh spices to make your homemade spice mix. Only the best for your loved ones!
  • Generally, the spice mixes should be used within a month, or you can make a paste to preserve them longer.

Spice Mix Paste Method:

  1. Mix the spice blend with a little vinegar and water until it resembles a paste. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan and add the paste. Gently stir fry for about 5 minutes until the paste start to make a bubbling noise.
  3. Remove from heat and leave to cool. The oil should rise to the surface.
  4. Store in sterilized jars. The layer of oil on top adds to the storing process. Keep in the fridge.

Did we miss anything? What gifts do you make for friends and family over the holidays? Let us know in the comments or on  Facebook or Twitter!

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