Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Homemade Gifts

Heyyyy Everyone, 

Happy 13th of December!! 

I hope you are well and getting on with your Christmas shopping okay? I absolutely love present shopping, I love giving gifts and seeing their face when you've got it right, and there's nothing quite like giving personal, homemade gifts! 

This year my mum is throwing a Christmas party with her friends and they have set a theme of 'homemade gifts'. I have been given the challenge of getting busy in the kitchen! I looked through Pinterest for hours and decided to settle on some boozy presents. 

Firstly, Spiced Orange Vodka.. 

What you'll need

The pared zest of 5 large Oranges
1 vanilla pod
70cl bottle of vodka
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
500g caster sugar
1 muslin cloth 

This is so simple... 
Mix all the ingredients in a large jar that can be sealed. 
This jar now needs to be stored in a cool, dark cupboard for at least a week (the longer you leave it the better it tastes!). Every day or two get the jar out and give it a stir and shake so that the sugar is dissolving. 
How easy is that? 
When you're ready to jar and gift your vodka, run the liquid through a muslin cloth to get rid of the bits. Store in pretty jars and decorate. I've decorated mine with some dried orange and cinnamon sticks!

I found this recipe on theanamumdiary.co.uk

Secondly, Gin and Lime Marmalade.. 

What you'll need
675 g limes
1.75 litres water
1.4 kg granulated sugar
70 ml gin

Cut the limes in half and juice them all. Pour the juice along with the water into a large stainless steel plan. Scrape the membrane and pips out of the remaining lime halves and save it in a bowl.
Chop the membranes up either by hand or in a small food processor, then sit on top of a square of muslin and then gather up the edges and tie securely with string and pop it into the pan, tying it to the handle so it doesn’t bob about too much.
Next finely slice the lime halves into the thinnest strips you can manage and pop them into the pan to soak overnight – they’re pretty tough so it’s worth doing this to make your marmalade softer to eat.

The next day bring the pan to the boil with the lid on, then turn the hob down to the lowest setting and allow to simmer for two hours. Your kitchen will smell of zesty citrus.
Meanwhile, pop your sugar into an ovenproof bowl and warm up in a low oven. Wash your jam jars in hot soapy water, rinse with hot water then air dry in the oven.
Remove the muslin wrapped lime innards from the pan, squeezing gently to remove any excess juice. Add the warmed sugar and dissolve over a low heat, then turn the heat up until the liquid churns up into a rolling boil. Take your jars out of the oven and place onto a wooden board. Pour approx one teaspoon of gin into the bottom of each jar.
Keep the rolling boil up until you reach setting point. This can take 5 minutes, but always seems to take me more like 20 mins. Keep checking by plunging a wooden spoon into the marmalade, lifting out and twisting until the liquid runs off. If you’re left with a droplet that hangs stubbornly from the spoon like a flake without dripping, then you’ve reached setting point. Don’t fret, just keep boiling until it happens. Turn the heat off and push any scum that’s formed on the surface to the side with a metal spoon and then lift out and into a dish. (I like to spread this on toast later)
Ladle the marmalade into a jug and pour into the jars and fill to just under the brim and then seal with lids. Allow to cool completely before labelling.

I found this recipe on Feedingboys.co.uk 

Have you decided to gift and homemade presents this year? I'd love to know what you've been making in the comments!

Ciao EmmaJessica <3

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