Christmas Hampers, Food Gifts & Nibbles
Who’s up for a Christmas hamper of homemade foodie gifts? You won’t find many people that will turn one down. Here you’ll find a few ideas for what you might like to put in your Christmas hampers should you feel like creating some.
This post featuring foodie gifts may seem a little late, or even very premature, but the Christmas festivities are never over for us until my mother has had her Christmas dinner. This always features a locally reared free range goose and something special for me. Sometimes this happens on Christmas Day, sometimes on New Year’s Eve, which happens to be her birthday. And sometimes it doesn’t happen until the new year.
For Christmas 2012, we were all away on a big family gathering at one of my aunts near Cambridge. My mother decided to extend her stay for a couple of weeks so she’s not had a chance to have her dinner until today.
Usually, it’s my prerogative to bring along a dessert to complement my mother’s famous Christmas pudding. It’s the only one CT will ever eat. However, this year, she has that already sorted so I’m bringing the pre-dinner nibbles instead. As well as various nuts, I’ve marinated some olives, originating from a friend’s place in Liguria, with olive oil and oregano. They are so good.
Parmesan Shortbread Biscuits
I’ve also made some of Nigella’s Parmesan shortbreads that look so very tempting on the BBC food site, but look completely different here. Luckily, they taste wonderfully naughty and I’ve found it very difficult to keep CT at bay and save the majority to take with me today.
One of the guests is gluten sensitive, so although these are not completely gluten free, I made them with half gluten free flour and half wholemeal spelt, so the gluten level is very low. Spelt flour can often be tolerated when standard wheat flour cannot. In making the mix, I found it was far too dry, perhaps because these flours absorb more liquid than plain white wheat flour. I ended up adding the white of the egg as well as the yolk and a tablespoon of water. When I cut the rounds (43 in total), they flattened out into rectangles and ended up looking like mini slices of toast I thought – quite cute really.
As these are a Nigella special I am entering them into Forever Nigella, a monthly blog event from Maison Cupcake. This month is being hosted by Recipe Junkie and the Attack of the Custard Creams and the theme is Food to Cherish Your Loved Ones. Making these virtually gluten free is a loving touch I reckon and they will also be shared out lovingly amongst our friends.
Every year I try and make up a few homemade food hampers for friends and family. So what were in my Christmas hampers in 2012? Quite a lot as it turns out.
|Chewy Apricot & White Chocolate Cookies|
|Ginger Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies|
|Chocolate Spoons & Dinosaurs|
|Peppermint Bark – yet to be posted|
|Almond and Cinnamon Balls from Belleau Kitchen|