Early winter birds have the best gifts!

3 Nov

Between writing, preparing everything for my upcoming birthday party (“Monster Movie Magic”, yes!!!) and enjoying my time off, I have started thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Sorry if that is a tad early for you, but if you are like me and constantly trying to find wonderful homemade gifts for your loved ones, sometimes you have to start a little early.

Since we are at the Knusperhaus, some of my favorite things to give away come from the kitchen and are for the kitchen – or beauty products (sometimes both). Did you know that you can make your own organic real-vanilla sugar for baking with nothing more than, well, sugar and a vanilla bean? I always have a jar of that stuff in my kitchen and use it in my coffee, baked goods and even hearty dishes. Other things you could make include flavored coffee, vanilla extract, spice mixtures, baking mixtures, teas, … – the list goes on and on.

Over the next few weeks I will show you several homemade gifts that are out of the ordinary and will not cost you an arm and a leg – promise!

Right now, I want you to write a grocery list and, the next time you go grocery shopping, remember to bring the following ingredients:

  • A bunch of organic oranges and lemons
  • 3-4 vanilla beans, organic if possible
  • Coffee beans
  • One or two kinds of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecan, macadamia, … )
  • Neutral taste honey
  • Sugar – raw organic cane sugar would be best, but really, anything might work.
  • Cardamom, ground
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried ginger, ground
  • Good-quality (but not too expensive) neutral clear alcohol such as vodka
  • Good-quality neutral oil, e.g. sunflower or canola

You should also start looking out for nice jars (I collect empty nut butter jars) and a few bigger (500-1,000ml) as well as many small (50-100ml) bottles. We will commence by making flavored extracts and oils (vanilla, nuts, orange and lemon peel), for these take longest. Another great gift that needs some time to absorb and mix the flavors is a jar of roasted nuts covered in honey. Sounds good? I told you so! (The other things on the grocery list can either be stored in cool/dry places – I freeze my coffee beans until I use them – or bought later. It’s just easier to have everything on hand and make a little something everytime we have a few spare minutes on our hands.)


4 Responses to “Early winter birds have the best gifts!”

  1. Georgina aka greekwitch November 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Oh my Goddess you are a genious! Please follow through with this! I want to make homemade gifts too and these are excellent ideas!!! I will go take the nuts today, and try not to consume them!!!

  2. petoskeystone November 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm #


  3. magalyguerrero November 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    It is NEVER to early. And what Petoskeystone said, Yum!


  1. More (improvised) gifts | Knusperhaus - December 19, 2014

    […] have to wait a little longer for the last few recipes I promised you, for tonight I’ll be whipping up a storm in the kitchen. My favorite guy in the world is […]

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