homemade and heartfelt gifts

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like having to tell people what I want for Christmas. I always hope that people know me enough to pick me surprise gifts. I’m not ungrateful, but as grown ups, we don’t get many (good) surprises do we?

That said, when someone gives me something that shows they get me, well, it makes me crumble. Read on for some things that you can make or buy will hopefully help you give someone that ‘they get me’ crumble.

Make something

If you’re fed up of being sent Amazon wish lists from people and want to inject a bit of old school Christmas makery and surprise, then you can’t go wrong with something homemade and edible.

My mum is the queen of the homemade hamper – I guess I’m the princess in training then. Every year she makes homemade chutneys, pickles, biscotti and limoncello or sloe gin to pack up for her friends. She’s the one who gave me the chilli jam recipe below. It is so blummin easy to make. I’d love you to have a bash. Lock yourself in the kitchen for a couple of hours, put on some good music and cook your way through some of these recipes. Most of them are a doddle to make with children too.

Here are the links to some of the goodies I make to give at Christmas…

Thai tomato and chilli jam

Peppermint bark

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Chocolate pretzels and almonds

lemon curd

Lemon or grapefruit curd

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A jar of dukkah

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Preserved lemons

blackberry bay infused gin

blackberry and bay infused gin

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Granola

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Salted apricot caramel truffles

Buy from a small business

When you buy something from a real person, who puts their heart and soul into their business, you’ll get a better gift and a warm feeling knowing that you’re helping someone feel that all their hard work is worth it. It can be a tough slog running a business – especially if you want to do things properly. These are some of my favourite online independent sellers…

Nikki Hill Apothecary

Nikki specialises in women’s hormonal health and her teas, body oils and tinctures are beautifully packaged and made from the best ingredients – perfect for any frazzled women in your life. I’m addicted to her Female Harmony and Sleeptime teas. Shop here.

Pur candles

Laura’s candles use soy rather than petroleum wax so my house is filled with lovely smells rather than fumes. My favourite is the Revive candle – perfect for hiding the smell of cooking and small boys. Shop here.

Hello Day Planner

These planners are the perfect way to keep life on track and leave other diaries in the shade. Since receiving mine in October I’m feeling so much more on top of things and that is the best gift of all. Shop here.

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A collection of perfect gifts for anyone who loves interiors. Shop here.

The Beeswax Wrap Co

It is amazing to see how many people are getting behind the move to ditch single use plastic. These food wraps are so useful and such a useful gift for anyone who cooks. Shop here.

A year free of worrying about what to cook

Maybe not the most glam gift, but one that will give the recipients a year of help in the kitchen. Shop here. 

Books

Some of my favourite cook books from the past year are:

Ottolenghi – Simple

Diana Henry – How to eat a peach

The Bake For Syria cookbook

Felicity Cloake – Completely Perfect

And whilst not a cookbook, this book has some brilliant recipes and writing about food and life at large. Every woman I know has loved it. Dolly Alderton – Everything I know about love

Super practical but useful (maybe balance out with something more frivolous)

You can buy the kitchen equipment I love through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools.

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