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Herbal Gifts To Make For Christmas

November 17 2008 at 10:41 AM

Debs Cook 
from IP address


Hi everyone happy.gif

At the MHG workshop the DIY lime and ginger body scrub recipe went down well as did the herbal bath bags, both of which make ideal homemade christmas gifts or pamper treats for yourself. This year I've also made some lavender and orange beeswax polish, which I'm putting in a herbal cleaning pack for a friend. She's allergic to some of the chemicals found in modern day cleaning products, the polish will go with some lavender vinegar, a copy of a book called "The Naturally Clean Home " by Karyn Siegel-Maier, some soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda, a bottle of white vinegar and some dried herbs and oils that are used in some of the recipes in the book.

I've made a lavender scented ink and paper writing set with a lovely fountain pen and blotting paper for my auntie who prefers to write to me snail mail rather than use email. She thinks letters are more personal and loves to write to people, she loves the scent of lavender to. She has such beautiful handwriting as well, I know this gift will go to good use. I've also scented some of my cards that I'll be sending this christmas with the scent of christmas spices and festive fruits.

Other friends and relatives will be getting a gift from an assortment of culinary herb foodie gifts I'm making which include, some of my own herb tea blends tailored to suit the person, a relaxing tea recipe for one friend who is always busy and needs to take time to smell the roses and the lavender wink.gif I've given the teas pretty labels, added a herb mug and a little book of calm and packed them all in a basket. You can make themed gifts with a selection of spices a pestle and mortar and an indian recipe book for a curry lover, or Italian herbs for the pizza and pasta lover. I have a few other ideas, but I wondered what everyone else made to give as gifts using herbs? Maybe we can give each other ideas for next year in the process?


This message has been edited by DebsCook from IP address on Nov 17, 2008 10:44 AM

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linda harrold

Re: Herbal Gifts To Make For Christmas

November 19 2008, 8:20 PM 

Hi Debs,
Those are some lovely ideas for gifts. Would you mind sharing with us how you do the scented paper--do you just put a few drops of lavender oil on to the paper? If so, how do you prevent the paper becoming stained?

As a family we have always liked to make up "kits" to give as presents, very much in the style of the ones which you describe. A popular gift was one of vouchers for a talent. Eg cake making, babysitting, etc. I suppose you could do some for doing some gardening.My father always got upset when we bought him presents because he said he did not like us spending our money on him. So one year i gave him a number of postcards with a picture of some of his favourite dishes on eg Dundee cake, cornish pasties,home made bread and told him that when he fancied one of them , he had to put it in the post to me and I would make it for him. He loved it and I felt happy that I could give him something he enjoyed. I have to add that we didn't live too far apart! Perhaps that could work as a gift using some herbal recipes.

The other thing that I have done sometimes is to buy some packets of seeds, working on a theme and adding with it some recipe cards utilizing the herb seeds i had chosen. If you have harvested any of your own seeds during the year, you could package them up as well.

Last year i made herbal bath bags for everyone at the clinic and I also made a necklace from elder wood, as Sarah described on this forum a while ago.

Given the difficult financial times we are living in at the moment, I think more and more people are exploring different ways to help them see their way through. It is reported that the sales of veg seeds went up dramatically earlier this year. What starts off as a way of saving money can turn into a an enjoyable hobby. Thats another thought --possibly give someone lessons in a skill you have (as apposed to doing it for them )

What have you all been doing?


Sarah Head

Spiced Hedgerow Cordial

November 30 2008, 1:52 PM 

At the last meeting of Solihull Writers Group we were talking about our Christmas "party" on 10 December. In past years I've brought bottles of Bottle Green's Spiced Berry Cordial to use as a mulled wine since we're not allowed to bring alcohol onto Methodist Church premises.

Last year Tesco's didn't have any Spiced Berry Cordial, so we had to make do with cold soft drinks. Yesterday I decided to be adventurous and created my own Spiced Hedgerow cordial. It was very simple to make, so I thought I'd share the recipe.

Spiced Hedgerow Cordial
1-2lbs of blackberries
1/2lb rosehips
1 large orange (sliced)
1 and a half inches of root ginger (grated)
1 nutmeg (grated)
2 large quills of cinnamon
6 cloves
3 lbs honey

Place everything in a large pan and cover with cold water (I used about 5 pints). Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for about an hour. Strain the liquid and push any juicy bits you can through the seive. Discard the debris and wash the saucepan. Measure the liquid and put on a low heat to evaporate for an hour or so, depending on how thick you want your cordial to be. I had 4 3/4 pints liquid, so I evaporated it down to around 3 pints as I need enough for the party and a residential home demonstration and Christmas. A film will form on the top of the liquid, mix this back into the cordial before you add the honey. Heat very gently until the honey is dissolved. Steralise bottles in the oven for ten minutes, then pour cordial into bottles, seal, label and date. To make the drink, add 1 tablespoon of cordial to a small cup/goblet of boiling water. Sip and enjoy.

You could use half elderberries and half blackberries and more rosehips. I had a box of blackberries I'd picked several weeks ago in the freezer and used a mixture of fresh rosehips which had been in the fridge for a while and dried rosehips from last year.




Re: Spiced Hedgerow Cordial

December 2 2008, 2:29 PM 

Hi Sarah happy.gif

That cordial sounds delicious, I have some left over blackberries in the freezer and plenty of dried rosehips everything else I have plenty of to, so I think I'll use up the berries to make your cordial. It sounds a little like the Belvoir Winter Cordial that we tried last year, which is lovely served hot. I think I'd be tempted to add a dash or two of brandy to cordial when serving purely for the medicinal warming properties of course wink.gif


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