Saturday, 23 January 2010
What I made for people's Christmas baskets this year:
- Ginger and Carrot pickle
- Ginger syrup
- Fruit cake bars
- spiced nuts
- baked muesli/granola
My father has a passion for ginger. He loves ginger so much, I think you could put ginger on a piece of cardboard, and he'd eat it with a smile. That somewhat themed the baskets, which I gave to my father, my brother, my father-in-law, and my brother-in-law.
I tweaked a few of the above recipes, naturally.
The fruitcake bars, I had to add four eggs to instead of just the one, even though I was doubling the recipe and should have had to use two. And, as I made it several times over three weeks, I ended up with a really Christmassy version- with dried cranberries in it as well as apricots and dates (I did half of each), and a generous couple of tablespoons of quatre-epices. I also was up to 1.5 tbs of vanilla syrup.
These went down so well, I must make them again.
The spiced nuts I found very disappointing, nowhere near as spicy as I'd hoped. Next time, I'll double the spices, and add some more chili powder. My sister-in-law liked them very much as they were, however. I didn't put pretzels in- maybe that would have made the right sort of difference.
The baked muesli my brother liked so much that I had to make him some more about a week after Christmas- by which time I was using flaked almonds instead of whole ones (too big for muesli, in my opinion- they should be chopped a bit), and putting in dried cranberries instead of raisins. And I used sunflower oil instead of canola, as I have no idea what canola oil is. I used about 2 tbs of vanilla syrup. My other sister-in-law ate my father-in-law's box as a snack, without milk, and liked it very much.
I've also had to make the ginger syrup again for my father. As there is so much sugar in it, I've bought a sugar substitute suitable for cooking, and will try that next time, which will be soon. He told me that he's out, and I'm a dutiful daughter!
As for the ginger and carrot pickle, this was the disappointment of the bunch- I don't think anybody knew what to do with it, and I'm pretty sure that my parents just threw it out last week (as they gave me the empty jar back! They also gave me the empty tin which had the cake bars in it- I wonder if that's a hint too?).
All in all, however, it was a great success. People were very appreciative- and I'll definitely be doing this again. Although I'll have to find different recipes for next year!