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Quick Last Minute Gifts

December 22nd, 2010

This time of year it seems like you get invited to parties and last minute activities and you end up needing a quick hostess gift or a little something to take along. I like to have a few gifts ready for such occasions so I’m not scrambling or I don’t have to buy something.

Of course there are always my homemade jam, I always can some in nice jars just for giving. In addition to jams & jellies I like to have a few other options, each year I make something different. A few years ago I made pancake mixes in nice little bags and had little jars of maple syrup to go with them. Last year I made maple glazed pecans to hand out. This year I decided to make some little jars of mulling spices, I blogged the recipe over at Not Dabbling today if you’re interested. Next year I may make jars of Herbes de Provence with homegrown herbs.

I also like to bake a lot of fresh bread, because who doesn’t love receiving a loaf of ciabatta from a friend? A loaf a bread is also a great thing to go with that homemade jam.
Next year I may also think about buying a box of olives to cure myself, what a wonderful gift a jar of home cured olives would be! I’m always keeping my eye open for things I can make for quick gifts and I bookmark or try to write them down when I find them.

Do you keep things around for quick last minute gifts? Any great ideas for the rest of us?

27 Comments to “Quick Last Minute Gifts”
  1. Mulling Spice Gift Jars « Not Dabbling In Normal on December 22, 2010 at 6:47 am

    […] have a few other ideas for quick gifts over on my blog today in case you’re interested. Do you have any great quick last minutes gifts that you […]

    Reply to Mulling Spice Gift Jars « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment

  2. Corrie on December 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I made sachets of bouquet garnis with homegrown herbs. I gave these to my friends for flavorful additions to their soups, etc.

    Reply to Corrie's comment

  3. Denise on December 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

    making granola today for all the neighbors!!

    Reply to Denise's comment

    • Susy on December 23, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Granola is a great idea, who doesn’t love granola?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Laura Z. on December 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Your Cibatta looks amazing! Great ideas!

    Reply to Laura Z.'s comment

  5. Nancy on December 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Can I be your friend? :)

    Reply to Nancy's comment

  6. alecia on December 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

    forgot the question as soon as i saw your cibatta!!!

    Reply to alecia's comment

  7. TreeHugginMomma on December 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

    No but I should.

    Reply to TreeHugginMomma's comment

  8. Michelle on December 22, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I have in the past…strawberry jam, dilly beans (these were a big hit!)…and I’m hoping to learn the art of bread making this winter so that next winter I can gift beautiful loaves of bread. I think that would be an amazing gift.

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  9. Sincerely, Emily on December 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Your gift ideas are wonderful. In the past I have given fresh homemade salsa (not canned, just put in fridge). I have also made loaves of bread. I hope to add jam to that once our trees start bearing fruit. And there is always soap to give. I have tied herbs onto some packages for the recipient to use in their kitchen or soup – Like Corrie mentioned, that makes a great gift instead just a bit on a package – I will have to remember that one. Sincerely, Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  10. Canadian Doomer on December 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I have half-pint jars of Cranberry and Fruit Sauce sitting on the counter, ready to be given as quick gifts. It’s supposed to be a condiment with food, but my crew thinks it should be eaten from the jar with a spoon. :)

    Is the recipe for that ciabatta posted? It looks wonderful.

    Reply to Canadian Doomer's comment

  11. Mrs. Mac on December 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    hand knitted dish clothes and mini bars of homemade soaps.

    Reply to Mrs. Mac's comment

  12. Melanie G on December 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Great ideas! I’ve given jars of homemade granola, and my colleagues and a few friends request my jalapeño jelly every year :-)

    Another one of my favorites is that I always keep well-wrapped mini loaves of various quick breads in the freezer. They look so pretty with a ribbon tied around the middle, and thaw by the time you arrive at your destination! I usually have applesauce cake, pumpkin bread and zucchini bread in the freezer for just such an occassion.

    Reply to Melanie G's comment

  13. Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog on December 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    We make limoncello, starting back in October. And, happily, this year I managed to make enough for planned gifts, surprise invitations–and ourselves! Yes. Oh, and I’ll make some bread in the next few days, too. There are so many ideas, that I think I’ll adopt your idea of keeping a running list. Best kinds of gifts, in my book.

    Reply to Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog's comment

    • Susy on December 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      I’ve always thought of making liqueur but have never gotten around to it, must try it this coming year!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. annie on December 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    There are a few quick gifts I return to each year… The large stash of jam I make in spring and summer (I always make more jam than we eat), strings of paper cranes I fold, and cookies. This coming year I’ll be adding homemade soap to the stash (assuming I’m a successful soap maker!).

    Reply to annie's comment

  15. Mrs T-W on December 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve just spent the last few days making peanut butter balls, peanut brittle, peppermint creams, truffles, reindeer food and few other things to give out in our goodie parcels for the neighbours and friends. The easiest were the peppermint creams and truffles. Amazing what a little bit of time, caring and ingenuity can make. Happy Holidays Ya’ll

    Reply to Mrs T-W's comment

  16. Morgan G on December 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    This year I’ve given homemade vanilla extract, beeswax candles and rosemary sourdough bread boules. I’ve received homemade dog treats for Occy, a “CSA” basket from a friend’s garden and a knitted scarf. Homemade gifts really are the best.

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

    • Susy on December 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      I’ve been thinking of making vanilla extract as well, might have to add that to my list for next year. We also make dog treats some years for all of Lucy’s friends.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. dig this chick on December 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Ahhhh! That ciabatta! I want to host something and invite you!

    I made a pile of shrinky dink ornaments with my kids. I’ll have pics up soon…they turned out great.

    We’ve done dog treats, hot cocoa mix and homemade ‘Bailey’s’ in the past.

    Reply to dig this chick's comment

  18. Sophie on December 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Your mulling spices look lovely – I’d be really happy to get something like that as a gift!

    I’m not very good at actually making edible gifts but have spice rubs and muesli on my list for when I actually get round to it.

    Reply to Sophie's comment

  19. Jennifer Fisk on December 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I whipped up Tiger Butter yesterday and put 1/4 lb bags on the neighbors door knobs. It is 1lb white chocolate melted, stir in 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter. Spread on wax paper or foil covered cookie sheet. Swirl 6oz melted choc. chips in it. Chill for 2 hours. Break up or cut up.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

    • Susy on December 23, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Sounds fab, I’d love to find this on my doorknob!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. Mrs. Whimsy on December 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I love your blog! I discovered it looking for organic gardening and I’ve spent the last 2 days reading every post. I look forward to being a blog follower in the future!

    What a great idea to give homemade gifts straight from your garden. Unfortunately I’m a baby in the organic movement and I just started. It’s the middle of winter…but I’m all over it for next year, lol. I’m going to shop the farmers markets and can my tail off for next winter.

    You have a wonderful blog and wonderful spirit. Thank you and happy holidays!

    Reply to Mrs. Whimsy's comment

  21. Mrs. Whimsy on December 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I love your blog! I stumbled upon it a few days ago, and I’ve spent the last couple of days reading all the way back. I love your handmade gift ideas to have ready for hostess gifts. I’m brand new to the organic movement and I can’t wait to start gardening and canning next summer. For now I’m reading hard and I’ve got a winter CSA coming in. Happy holidays!

    Reply to Mrs. Whimsy's comment

  22. Charlene McGill on December 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I stumbled on your blog because of the beautiful photographs you have posted in Flickr. I have tried using your “Contact Me” to ask you about one of those images, but it keeps failing… I’m hoping you’ll now contact me! In the meantime, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your blog.. In my 60’s, I have been “tree hugging” since the 60’s and I love that our young people are now taking control of our embattled environment!

    Reply to Charlene McGill's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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