It’s canning time. Our focus is getting our harvest preserved for winter use. It’s also the perfect time to start thinking ahead for Christmas. Home canned gifts makes great items to give for Christmas. They can be offered by themselves. Even better, use them as a theme item in a Christmas basket.
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Thinking Ahead for Christmas – Home Canned Baskets
A gift basket is a great idea for any Christmas gift. You can make it even better by adding items that were handcrafted yourself. A wonderful place to start is with items you canned yourself.
Your basket ideas are limited only to your imagination and what you canned this summer. To fill out the basket, you can add other handmade items as well.
Use canning season for the basis of your baskets. Once the last canning jar has cooled, then consider other items that can go into the basket.
For instance, look in your herb garden. These make wonderful herb mixes. An Italian blend uses basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and garlic powder. Add a jar of home canned spaghetti sauce, a bag of homemade pasta and a brick of (store-bought) Parmesan cheese and you will have a delicious gift basket.
Dehydrating vegetables is also a consideration. You don’t have to grow it yourself. Dehydrated onions, bell peppers, and celery are a great start to a Red Beans and Rice spice mix.
Think ‘Home Canned’ Gifts when Canning
When you are faced with too much extra produce, start thinking about home canned gifts. Bushel baskets of squash can be turned into Squash Pickle. If the tomatoes are more than you can handle, think Spaghetti Sauce, Pizza Sauce, or Salsa.
When canning vegetables, such as corn, green beans, or carrots, I always seem to have some leftover. I put these in a big bowl. Once I have finished my other canning, the leftovers go into a pot to make Vegetable Beef Soup.
Peaches, apples, pears, and other fruits are sliced, then canned or frozen. But I also make pie fillings with some of them. They are also used for jams, jellies, and butters.
What Home Canned Gifts to Put in Your Baskets
To get an idea of what theme your basket should have, start with what you have canned. If you do jams and jellies, then consider a breakfast basket. If you put up plenty of soup, then consider a dinner basket.
You will only be limited by your imagination and what you canned over the summer. And when planning your summer canning, it helps to bring it full circle. If you start thinking ahead for Christmas during canning season, you will have the beginnings of some fun gifts!
When making home canned gifts, consider using decorative jars. There is a line of Vintage jars that are safe for canning. You can find them in pint and quart sizes in a variety of colors. Choose the color according to your theme. These just add a bit of festivity to your baskets.
You can also tie handmade cording to the jar tops. Add a label, and it takes your festivity to the next level!
Gift Baskets Using Home Canned Christmas Items
Here are a few basket ideas, and what canned or homemade items you can use in them:
- Cake Mix
- Cookie Mix
- Jams, Jellies, & Fruit Butters
- Pancake Mix
- Loaf of Bread (for toasting)
- Homemade Pasta
- Italian Seasoning Mix
Jams & Jellies
- Add a loaf of Bread
- Relishes & Pickles
- Corn Relish
- Steak Seasoning (also great for Hamburgers)
- Basic Cake or Cookie Mix
- Homemade Soup
- Loaf of Bread
A Focus basket is very similar to a Theme Basket. It just takes it to a new level. The basket is filled with items that ‘focus’ on one ingredient.
Here is an example of a Focus basket. If you know someone who loves apples, consider a basket filled with Applesauce, Apple Butter, Apple Peel Jelly, and other apple focused items. You may also want to add a jar of Apple Pie Filling. Dehydrated apples are a good addition if they love to cook and enjoy Fried Pies.
Your Focus can also be something simple. A Snack Basket can be filled with home canned gifts of Trail Mix, Cowboy Candy (home canned candied Jalapenos), Seasoned Crackers, and more.
The key to using home canned gifts in baskets is to think first of the recipient and second of the gifts
Don’t Forget the ‘Extras’
Any basket can use that little touch of ‘Lagniappe’. Depending on the basket, you can add things like:
- An apron
- Wooden Spoon
- Hot Pads
- Recipe card (on how to use the items)
- Handmade Dishcloth
- Handmade Pot Scrubber
- Wooden Spoon Butter
- Handmade napkins
Just take a look at your basket and use your imagination. What will work? There are plenty of small items you can use to fill out your basket!
The Joy of Home Canned Gifts in a Basket
Anyone can shop at a store to buy a gift. But giving them a basket filled with home canned gifts is so much better! These baskets can be personalized. They can be creative. And best of all, they can be fun and delicious!
Start your Christmas ‘shopping’ now! When canning your harvest, think home canned gifts. They are frugal, handmade, and sure to be enjoyed!