“A Weck of a Gift that keeps on Giving” – Holiday Gift Idea e.a.t. #14

Black Eyed Peas

This gift requires no hectic runs to the mall, nor crazy lines for paying…it can be used over and over for all sorts of fun things cooks like to do…no plastic parts or batteries needed. It is reusable, handy, very smart-looking and everyone needs glass jars! Right?

Canning JarsLast December,a few of my friends got “Wecked”!  I gifted these lovers of cooking & gardening a box of Weck Canning Jars, 6 to a case, which cost around $16.50 from their website. I filled each jar with a small token, a little surprise. It is as “easy as this”.

One jar was filled with black-eyed peas for cooking on New Year’s Day for good luck, a little art piece I had made went into another, some very nice Vanilla beans, jar labels, a packet of seeds for Spring gardening & a story written by Rick Bragg  gardening & memories in other jars. I did not give empty jars, but jars filled with things that were special that I wanted to share…. small tokens, little something-somethings.

Rick Bragg Story, Vanilla, Little Art Pieces

A pile of little tokens of my esteem all ready to be tucked down into the jars.

art in a Weck Jar

I had to often gently bend, fold and push to make things fit!

Weck Jars filled with little giftsJars filled, tucked back into their box, ready to be given. I wrapped the boxes in brown Kraft paper,  tied each with some colorful twine and added a little handmade tag.

This same idea can be done with “Ball” canning jars as well. Have fun filling the jars with some of your favorite “something-somethings”.

Brown Paper & Twine Wrapping

 I hope this gift did indeed “Shine” for the receivers. It was as “easy as that”.

Happy Holidays all year-long.

“Pear Infused Vodka” Holiday Gift Idea / E.A.T. #11

Homemade Pear Infused Vodka

I don’t want to bring this up while you are out shopping for Trick or Treat candy,  but I feel I must. It is getting close to the Holidays…Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa….all those gift-giving celebrations. This week is Halloween, one month from now is Thanksgiving and in two months it will be Christmas. Dios Mios!

For my November & December blog posts I am going to share some of my ideas for making gifts for friends & family who really love all things homemade…comestibles, libations & gifts with a personal touch that are easily made with just a bit of kitchen & crafting know-how. This “Pear Infused Vodka” is an easy one for friends who like to show off their bar tending skills.

If you get started this week you can have bottles capped, labeled & beribboned for gift-giving within 1 month. Subtle hint of pears for martinis, cocktails or over ice…Holiday perfect!

Pear Cocktail Recipe

Pear Infused Vodka over ice

Let’s get busy, it’s as Easy As This……

A large bottle of your favorite Vodka…is this case it matters!

A 1/2 gallon jar with a tight-fitting lid & just enough smallish pears to fill jar. The markets are full of pears right now. (These were the last pears from my backyard tree in August.)

fresh pearsPears & Vodka

Fill jar with rinsed & patted dry pears. Add vodka to cover pears.

Pears in glass jarPears & vodka

Place the lid on the jar, store in a cool place such as closet floor,  and wait…..2 weeks to 1 month will be fine. Label jar with the date you start just to easily keep up with it. Every now and them turn the jar upside down a few times. You will notice the vodka will start to turn a very delicate pale pink color. There may be a bit of sediment in the jar. That is okay as you will strain the vodka right before bottling. This is what it looks like after a month.

DSC_2894

While the vodka is melding with the pears, hunt & gather your bottling needs. You will need small glass bottles which can be ones you have recycled, or you can order from the internet, purchase at craft supply stores, or if you live in Nashville from All Season’s Gardening & Brewing Supply Company. I have talked about their store in other posts where I have shown how to make & bottle Limoncello or Orangecello, which by the way would make fantastic gifts. They are a great source for bottles, caps, inexpensive cappers, corks,  and all things gardening & brewing. My bright red bottle capper is one of my favorite tools for making and storing homemade liqueurs or flavored liquors.

Pear Vodka Bottling

Strain Vodka through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup. Toss out pears & sediment. Use a funnel to fill bottles. Cork or cap to seal.

Simple Bottle CapperCapping bottles

You will also want tags/labels, ribbon or twine, decorative stamps or pens for embellishments. Use what you have or make what you need!

Tags, stamps & ink

Keep your Holidays as “Easy As This”.