Homemade Christmas Gifts

As promised, here is another super simple idea for a stocking filler this Christmas. As you know we have a fabulous herb garden here at the Hundred House, and this recipe is an unusual way of preserving them. The fragrance is delightful and will bring a hint of spring to those dark February days. It’s an unusual idea and a change from more traditional edible gifts.

Fragrant and vibrant herb salts bring freshness to darker days . Use it as a finishing salt, a rub for meats or to flavour homemade stocks.

You can use any herbs you like for this recipe. I’ve created one in a Mediterranean style (basil,parsley) and one with a nod to Morocco, brimming with the freshness of mint and coriander. Anything that you have in your garden will work well, just think about what flavours you enjoy. It’s a lovely way to preserve the very last memories of summer eating .

What you need

  • 3 cups of fresh herbs.
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt ( I used Maldon Smoked Sea salt, but any coarse salt will do)

What to do 

Wash your chosen herbs and dry them thoroughly.

Remove any discoloured leaves

Place the herbs and salt in a food processor and pulse until they are blended together. Go steadily, if you go too far you will end up with a mushy mess !

Place the herbs in a sterilised jar, and store in the fridge. The herb salt will be ready in around 7 days, and will keep for up to six months.

I use this as a finishing salt, or as a rub for my favourite meats. It’ll be a real boon when barbecue season rolls around .

Any herbs can be used, I chose to create two blends based on cuisine of Morocco and the Mediterranean.

Three cups of  your chosen herbs…….

………blended with half a cup of coarse grain salt.

Blend to a coarse grind. Use the pulse setting to make sure you don’t blend the mixture too much.

A pretty ribbon and a handwritten label transform this simple idea into an unusual gift.

This is such a simple make, and a smashing alternative to the swathes of shortbread and chocolates that we are used to. Combine it with a voucher for  lunch or dinner at the Hundred House and you have a perfect gift for any lover of great food.

I hope you enjoy making and giving this lovely gift, remember to subscribe to get our regular updates and recipes. Liking  and following our Facebook page will make sure you never miss a post from our blog.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Christmas is the ultimate feast for the senses.twinkling lights, frost on your favourite tree, the air suffused with the scent of cinnamon, nut meg and cloves. It is a time to treasure, and a time to spend with those you care about.

Preparation for all your celebrations are well underway here at the Hundred House, menus have been finalised, bookings are flooding in for our famous party nights and the restaurant has a distinctly festive feel. Next week is our big decorating party, it’s a magical time which shows off the unique style of the Hundred House. I’ll be writing about our new decorations next week, but today I wanted to tell you about some gorgeous homemade gifts.

Sweet, fragrant and delicious served with a spoonful of cream.

 

Imagine , if you will, little jars of clementines bathed in brandy and scented with Christmas spices, a warming ginger liqueur just made for sipping by the fire after a crisp winter walk and little jars of preserved herbs that will be perfect in February when we all crave a hint of spring.  These are simple gifts that are straightforward to make, none of them need to mature for months so there is still time to get creative in the kitchen.

Clementines Soused in Brandy

Makes two generous jars.

You will need

  • 8 to 12 clementines
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 300mls water
  • 150mls brandy or cognac
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

You will also need two clean sterilised jars

What to do

Peel the clementines, taking care to remove the pith. Pack them into your jars, nestling the cinnamon and star anise around them.

To make the brandy syrup:dissolve the sugar in the water and bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat. When the syrup is cool add the brandy.

Pour the syrup over the clementines and seal the jars.

These will keep in a cool dark place for one month. They are delicious  served warm (just heat them through on the stove), or cold with lick of velvety cream.

Peel the clementines and pack them into your sterilised jars along with Cinnamon and Star Anise.

 

 

Dissolve the sugar in the water, bring to the boil, then remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool before adding the brandy.

Pour the brandy syrup over the clementines and store in a cool dark place for up to a month.

Making these takes around half an hour. I think they’re a fabulous twist on the Christmas tradition of putting an orange in your festive stocking !

I’ll be posting more ideas for homemade goodies over the next week so keep an eye on your inbox, or just like and follow us on Facebook.

 

Please follow and like us: