Homemade hostess gifts

October 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Homemade hostess gifts perfect for the holiday party season. MeMe Pederson of Taste Catering?shows you how to create affordable presents with a personal touch.

HOMEMADE GIFT BASKET IDEAS

1) Homemade Peach Chutney: If you want to give something more than just your homemade chutney add a cheese and nuts placed in a nice gift box. The box can be recycled from something in your home. If you want to dress it up then simply use wrapping paper.

2) Blackberry Syrup: Make your own Fruit Syrup, place in a interesting bottle to use in for a specialty cocktail or simply add it to sparkling water for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage. Buy a few cute glasses and package with the syrup as a gift.

3) Small basket filled with herbs that can be planted. Prior to planting can be used as a centerpiece.

- The Peach Chutney and Blackberry syrup make perfect hostess gifts by themselves. They are easy to store and are also great presents for those last minute unexpected guest. A small investment in time can provide you with lots of return: gifts that are unique and say you care enough to give of yourself.

PEACH CHUTNEY RECIPE
Makes approximately 2 quarts

  • 1 ½ cups Yellow Onions peeled and diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger peeled and minced
  • 6 Tablespoons Currants
  • 6 Tablespoons Golden Raisins
  • ½ Lb. Dates chopped
  • 10 Peaches peel, pit and finely chop
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Orange, Juice and Zest
  • 2 Cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Cup Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Teaspoons Allspice, Freshly Ground

Sauté onions garlic, jalapeño peppers and ginger until soft. Combine all ingredients in a non aluminum pot and cook over medium heat until thick, approximately 30-45 minutes.

Will keep for 2 months refrigerated

RIPE BLACKBERRY SYRUP:

  • 2 Pound (450g) Ripe Blackberries (can be frozen ahead of time)
  • 7 Ounces (200g) Sugar
  • 2 Lemon Verbena Leaves or 1 Tahitian Vanilla Bean (Optional)

Double Boiler Method: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and cover 3x with plastic wrap. Place over a medium-low simmering water bath, just until the berries start to release their juices, approximately 2 hours. Keep refrigerated over night, and the next day strain through a chinois or fine cheese cloth, don't press down.

This syrup can be processed in heat seal jars or frozen in plastic containers for up to 6 months.

FEATURED VENDERS FROM THE FERRY BUILDING FARMER'S MARKET
- Peaches from Blossom Bluff Orchards
- Blackberries from Yerena
- Herbs from Kingdom of Herbs

ABOUT TASTE CATERING:
Established in 1978, Taste is women-owned and operated and has provided the very best in catering and event planning services for private and corporate clients in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 30 years. From an elaborate and very private rock-star wedding in Napa to a Fortune 500 company picnic for 4,000 in Silicon Valley to an elegant, high security sit-down dinner for the President of the United States, our client list speaks for itself. Taste is committed to making your unique event the best that you or your guests have ever attended.

For more information, visit www.tastecatering.com.


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