Food gifts that will ac­tu­ally get used

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents -

food gifts have got­ten a bad rap. Ma­son jar muf­fin mixes are cute, but they re­quire ex­tra in­gre­di­ents, time to bake and just plain work. So we set out to find some­thing that has that made-with-love spirit, re­quires no prep from your re­cip­i­ent and takes lit­tle time or money to cre­ate.

The so­lu­tion: “Gifts any­one can use in­stantly, and made with sim­ple in­gre­di­ents like salts and sug­ars,” says Elaina New­ton, food blog­ger at The Ris­ing Spoon (theris­ingspoon.com). Try three of her charm­ing food gifts for any­one on your list.

Es­presso sugar Add this caf­feinated good­ness to tea or cof­fee, sprin­kle it over oats, or use it in­stead of sugar in treats. Lasts three months.

What you’ll need 4 cups gran­u­lated sugar 1 cup finely ground cof­fee

The how-to Stir sugar and cof­fee in a bowl un­til com­bined. Trans­fer to an air­tight con­tainer. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavour will be. Pep­per­mint sim­ple syrup Use this sweet liq­uid to spice up tea and cock­tails. Store in the fridge for the best flavour. Lasts two weeks.

What you’ll need 3 cups gran­u­lated sugar 3 cups wa­ter 2 cups mint leaves, washed

and dried, stems re­moved 1 tsp pep­per­mint or spearmint ex­tract

The how-to Heat sugar and wa­ter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir con­stantly un­til sugar is dis­solved, for three to five min­utes. Boil un­til slightly thick­ened, for about 10 min­utes. Re­move from heat. Stir in mint. Cover and let the mix­ture steep for 30 min­utes. Pour syrup through strainer or cheese­cloth to re­move leaves. Stir in ex­tract. Let cool, and trans­fer to glass jar. Rose­mary, thyme and orange salt A great fin­isher for fish or chicken dishes – or on a mar­garita glass. Lasts three months.

What you’ll need 2 cups coarse sea salt 3 tbsp rose­mary leaves, finely chopped 1 tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped 6 or­anges, washed and dried

The how-to Pre­heat oven to 100˚C. Stir rose­mary, salt and thyme in a bowl to com­bine. Zest four or­anges, avoid­ing the white pith. Juice two or­anges over a small bowl, and re­move seeds. Stir juice and the zest into the salt mix­ture un­til in­cor­po­rated. Spread on a large bak­ing sheet. Bake for about 30 min­utes, un­til salt is dry, stir­ring half­way through. Break apart any clumps. Store in an air­tight con­tainer.

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