When do you start getting ready for Christmas?
In general, I start thinking about gifts in September but then do nothing until the last ten days beforehand. I want to make all sorts of cutesy crafts with the kids and get into that holiday spirit, but we’re lucky if we get some paper snowflakes cut out and taped to the window. I plan handmade gifts for everyone I know, and then end up with none.
This year, I’m going to get it all done in a timely manner. And trim my expectations to be a little more realistic.
Now, however, is a good time to start thinking about handmade gifts. If you feel intimidated by the idea, it can actually be quite simple They don’t have to be fancy, you don’t have to be crafty.
Something small, to show you thought of someone and put in the time to put it into matter (by which I mean, you know, matter and form, for any philosophy geeks out there, or in other words, put in the time to make something).
When we were kids, we always asked our parents what they wanted as a gift, be it Christmas or birthday. They always said that wanted something we ourselves made, to which we groaned, because of course anything we made was pretty sad looking.
As an adult, I now feel the same way. I love any diy gift, no matter how simple.
This little gift, nuts in honey, is something that many Slovaks make and give around the Christmas season. It tastes good, it can be prettied up, and it is super simple to put together. (The instructions look long, but it’s only because there are a couple ways you can do it.)
If you wanted it to be nut free, you could also use pumpkin seeds and other seeds instead.
Stay tuned for some more simple handmade gifts, and check out so many amazing ideas from the blog party put on by Homegrown and Healthy.
- Various nuts or pumpkin seeds
- Prepare nuts by on of three methods
- Method one: soak nuts for 8+ hrs in water and dehydrate them to minimize phytic acid and maximize available nutrition. If you do this, you're a rock star.
- Method two: toast nuts. They each need a different time, so I would advise at least toasting walnuts separately from other nuts. Toast walnuts for 2 min at 350F/180C, hazelnuts for 5-7 min. Almonds and cashews can roast longer. Just watch any nuts closely and take them out when lightly browned and fragrant. Rub skins off hazelnuts.
- Method three: ain't no one got time for that. It's also fine if you don't do anything.
- Find small jars. Fill jars with nuts, to the bottom of the lid screw part. I alternated types of nuts so they weren't in bunches.
- With a large spoon or small ladle, pour honey over nuts. If your honey is hard, you will need to warm it in hot water for 20 min or so.
- Gently tap the side of the jar to help the honey settle between the nuts. Continue to put in honey and tap until all the spaces around the nuts are filled with honey.
- Close with lid, wash any stickiness off, and decorate according to fantasy. I used the top of a small bowl to draw circles in pretty paper, then wrapped it around with that leaf string stuff (sorry, I don't even know what it is, I just pointed to it at the flower shop).
- Will keep forever at room temperature.
- To use, eat by the spoonful, add to salads or smoothies, or use to decorate Christmas goodies.