Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Gifts from a faraway Christmas kitchen...

From a vintage coffee ad in my collection

I have great hopes of spending time here in the Christmas kitchen much more often in 2008, but we will see how well we do. I know better than to make rash promises -- to myself or anyone else!

For today, I wanted to share some kitchen gifts which came to us from a kitchen far away -- in Nevada, to be specific. Our daughter lives there with her husband and little boy. They are building a house, but home for now is a small and cozy apartment. I have spent time cooking in her kitchen, and it is fun for me to picture her producing these kitchen gifts there.

The first is this lovely shortbread sampler.

She found the idea online and did a wonderful job of making it her own. Many family members received one of these round tins packed with shortbread wedges and a few candies. The shortbread flavors include cranberry clementine, chocolate coconut almond, classic butter, dark chocolate peppermint, and maple/toasted pecan. What an array! In the lid of each tin she has taped a recipe card containing a key to the different flavors. Each kind is marked by a different color ribbon. She said it was a lot of fun coming up with the different flavor variations.

She also made “mini shortbread bites” of each flavor from the shortbread trimmings, and wrapped up small assortments of these for the grandparents. A very nice idea for older folks.

The other “kitchen gifts” Joanna sent were these boxes of “ribbon candy”.

If you look closely, you can see they are actually ornaments made of real ribbon stiffened and shaped to resemble ribbon candy. I’ve seen instructions for these online -- Wrights, I think, is one site that has them -- but I thought it was so clever of her to package the ornaments in real candy boxes. When I first opened the package, I thought it was real candy. Cute!

It’s such fun to make and give kitchen gifts... but every bit as much fun to be on the receiving end of gifts from a faraway kitchen!

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