Food gifts that will actually get used
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.