On the day and weekend after Thanksgiving, hordes of gift givers will stand in lines, battle crowds, and succumb to the madness of retail. Others of us like to take a quieter, and perhaps more gratifying, approach to the holiday weekend – it's time to begin making edible gifts! Homemade treats like cookies and candies can be tackled later in December but vinegars, liqueurs, and some condiments should be started now to give the flavors time to develop. To participate in "Craft Friday" you might need to step out for some ingredients but otherwise you get to stay home by yourself or with loved ones, enjoy the warmth and coziness of your kitchen, and eat leftover pie while you work ... sounds pretty ideal, no?
Here are a few projects that would make delicious, thoughtful gifts. They take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (mostly hands-off), and in many cases you can get as creative as you like with flavorings and invent your own fruit, herb, and spice combinations.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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