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HOMEGROWN Holiday gifts - Are you making any of your gifts?

There are so many amazing DIY gift ideas out there - what are you making? Matt here in the Farm Aid office made and bottled infused boozes, then crafted a personalized and FUNNY cocktail "cookbook" to accompany them. Horseradish vodka for the most kickin' bloody Mary ever - brilliant!

What are YOU making this holiday season?

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I made peppermint creams and chilli jam this week, haven't made the chutney or marmalade yet though!
Well, it looks like I might be giving some Spiced Apple Cider Vodka! I just have to try that! I have crocheted a few items and will be giving some homemade jams and baking. Every year I make a scrapbook for my Mom that uses photos from the whole year, a kind of yearbook. This year, I just didn't have the time because we will be moving soon and have been so busy. So I went out and bought a couple of scrapbooking calendar kits and yesterday I was able to make an entire calendar for my Mom, it turned out really nice. I will put together the other one for my husbands mother, she will appreciate it as well. I really love looking at everyones ideas for homemade gifts, I am always interested in finding something out of the ordinary. I just wish that I wasn't the only one that gave homemade things, I would love for someone to give something homemade to me!
I made apple chutney this week, boiled down the peel and cores to make liquid pectin and then made marrow and ginger jam with it. Also made some strawberry and orange creams (to be mixed up in jars with the previously made peppermint creams).  Getting there...
I made fleece gaiters and headbands and also some cloth book covers. I felt so good about homemade gifts!! Also for some folks, did a home-cooked goody bag - bean soup mix, jellies, breads, the like. Already contemplating what to do for 2011.
Cornelia ~ I am intrigued by the "infused boozes" concept. Any references for looking up?

Hi Shellie,

Matt here has a some instructions for infusing boozes, but it's pretty easy. Simply steep whatever your flavoring is (fruit, vanilla beans, bacon, etc.) in a strong liquor like vodka, rum or tequila for 3-5 weeks, strain and put in a pretty bottle!

Shellie A. Gades said:

Cornelia ~ I am intrigued by the "infused boozes" concept. Any references for looking up?

I made some dough ornaments for our Christmas tree this year. I was inspired from some old pictures at my boyfriend's parents' house and remembered making dough ornaments as a child. Used a basic recipe (4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1.5 cups warm water), painted them and then hung them up on the tree. I'm quite happy with the results. I think they'd be great for gifts but I just need to figure out who I could give them too!

@ Annie - at what kind of temp do you bake them?

I baked them at 180 C / 350 F for about 30 minutes. The pretzels have become hard but the hearts and trees are still a bit soft. If I were to do it again, I'd bake them at 200 C / about 400 F for a bit longer. I don't think it is going to be a problem, however, that they are still a bit soft because they are still very sturdy. I've also read that using warm water and kneading the dough for at least ten minutes can help to work out the gluten and help prevent puffy/soft "cookies".

@ Annie - thank you!!!

Cowboy candy for my nephews.

I made a few of my gifts this year! With the cold setting in and winter just days away, I'm longing for sunny days, warmer temperatures, and fresh flowers. So, I got inspired with a little bit of wire and some colorful beads. I made bouquets of wire flowers, and strung beads on the petals and used buttons as the centers. I'll post some photos soon! Looking forward to making some ornaments and jewelry, too.

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