Tuesday, August 10, 2010

STOP. Hamper Time! (Almost.)

Once again the year is flying by and I cannot believe that I have to start thinking about Christmas hampers already.

For those of you who don't know, each year I spend most of my pre-Christmas December in A's kitchen making hampers for all my family and friends. It's painful and stressful - I actually cried one Christmas Eve two years ago purely because I hadn't finished and was up until all hours wrapping packets of biscuits and putting Nana hats* on jars of relish. But we have a love/hate relationship, me and my hampers. Stress and crying aside, I get the greatest satisfaction from giving presents that I have made myself. That's probably why I continue to do it.

Onion & Thyme Relish from last years hampers. Terrible photo, but its all I have!

Each year is a lesson, I learn something that works well, or something I will never repeat. Something I will NEVER EVER repeat is parmesan and rosemary grissini sticks. A and I made these the first year we decided to make hampers. The recipe seemed simple, "Just pop the dough through the fettuccine setting on your pasta machine" it said. "Just lay them on a baking tray and bake them" it said. Four days later we were still making these fiddly-pain-in-the-behind grissini sticks!

So now it's August and I need to start thinking about what I want to do this year. I did a clean out of my fridge on the weekend and managed to get a good little collection of jars just from throwing stuff out. So that's a start. This year I really want to blog the progress of my hampers, so there will be more to read on this come December! I might try and persuade A to guest blog too!

*Nana Hats - The name A and I gave to the little fabric "hats"  that we put on top of homemade jams and relishes (see photo for example).


  1. I still shudder when I think about the hours spent trying to pull apart those stuck together grissini sticks... and trying to get the burnt tomato relish* out of the pan. I have a huge collection of jars at home, can't wait! I think I'll start reading through my CWA book for some inspiration.

    *with dijon mustard dumplings ;)

  2. love the post title... i was thinking about making home made jam too.. if i'm successful, i'll let you know