The Gift Kitchen

Our kitchen was a bustling place this week!  I absolutely love giving gifts of food!  I love the process of planning what I’m going to make.  I love the actual making of it.  And I really love the packaging and making everything look nicely presentable.  This year, we gave gifts of four different types of jams: Blueberry Spoon Fruit, Apple Thyme Butter, Pomegranate Raspberry Thyme Jam, and Winter Spice Jelly.  (Just click on any of those names to go to the recipes.  I used an online converter to convert metric measurements to English.  And I eliminated the star anise from the Winter Spice Jelly recipe.)  This year, I really wanted to give people a little taste of New Hampshire, so to the greatest extent possible, I used ingredients found locally…blueberries I picked myself, raspberries Max and I picked, apples from a local farm, maple syrup from our town’s award-winning syrup producer, and thyme we grew ourselves.  I also did a lot of experimenting with making jams without pectin this year, in order to achieve a fresher and more flavorful jam, and I was really pleased with most of the results.
The kitchen island was completely taken over by the packaging process.  Each jar was covered with a scrap of linen, tied round with twine, and a homemade tag was attached.

I love how the Winter Spice Jelly sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine.

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