Let’s face it. Giving gifts that are useful and beautiful seems to me to be the height of giving. If they can eat it or  use it and you took the time and effort to think about what they would like, and made it yourself, you have given a bit of yourself.

I am not discounting the value of  the well chosen purchased gift. Not at all. It is just that love that giving wishes to communicate  might not be so well articulated with a pile of cheap plastic crap, random gift certificates and gadgets. 

The options are limitless - homemade pickles, pickled beets, mixes, spice blends, mulling spices, homemade jam, homegrown garlic,on  and on. Give of your bounty and your talents (or learn a new one). One thing to consider is whether your gift needs to be shelf stable for shipping or to endure a day out of the refrigerator if necessary. 

Homemade Chocolate syrup made with 4 simple ingredients

Does your friend love hot cocoa? How about a jar of homemade chocolate syrup

Why not just buy one? The reason is that  this recipe does not contain high fructose syrup which is bad for you or preservatives or hidden chemicals. It has four simple ingredients, you may already have on your pantry shelves. You can give it in glass and it’s one less plastic jug in the landfill. And because it just tastes better.

For a special  treat, use an upscale brand of cocoa. Add some mint extract for a twist, . Put it in an interesting jar. Make a bouquet of a half dozen candy canes and attach it to the jar of syrup. Watch Joyce make chocolate syrup with WCAX

Did you pick or grow a lot of berries last summer? Homemade freezer jam is a welcome treat that is all popular. It is not shelf stable, though, so make sure it can stay cold until your recipient can get it to the fridge or freezer. Watch Joyce make freezer jam with WCAX

Homemade raspberry jam

Who wouldn’t love a big pot of hearty soup by the fire when the January wind howls and blows. This delicious soup mix can be made as is, or is great with chicken, hot italian sausage, ham or other meat added to it. Watch here to see Joyce stir up a batch with WCAX.

Most people love chocolate. Your job is to determine what kind and what do they like with it. A fan of nuts? Dried fruit? Mint? You can add almost anything shelf stable to chocolate bark . Who doesn’t love chocolate? Watch Joyce make chocolate bark with WCAX

Spaghetti Sauce is a great gift, especially made from your own garden tomatoes. What a nice gift to receive.. Can it properly and attach a nice label.  Add a nicely wrapped box of pasta, maybe a little brick of parmesan, and the recipient has a nice dinner - fast food of the best kind.

Watch Joyce make a pot of spaghetti sauce with WCAX

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