Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gift Bags and Snow

This last week I was finishing up the holiday bags for my neighbors. For the first time I have a dog in the house for the holidays, so of course I made some dog treats.

The rest of the contents was just for the humans. The first thing in the basket that I made was the strawberry jam last summer. All the strawberries came from my yard. Since I was making so much of one thing I made the jars small little jam jars. The other canned items varied. Some got Rhubarb Butter from my rhubarb plants. Some got Plum Chutney. Some got Plum Syrup. The plums came from a friend's tree. I don't know who got what as I randomly put them in the bags, but whoever got the Plum Syrup won the draw I think. There is nothing like plum syrup on a waffle. Yum. I wish I could have it for dinner tonight. The reason for the difference was that I didn't have enough of any of those to give everyone one. So I went through the pantry and picked ones I thought I had too much of.

On top of the jam you see two jars of mustard. Sadly two people only got one jar. But that jar, the Beer Mustard, was from my mustard plants. The other was a sweet mustard made from purchased powdered mustard but it did have some Italian seasonings from the garden. As with the other things, I haven't a clue who is missing the two as I just put them in randomly. The other jar is my homemade granola with a baggie of dried fruit. I find keeping the fruit separate makes the granola stay fresher longer. So I've started not adding it after cooking.

Then the sweet treats start. I have two types of fudge. There is chocolate fudge. And penuche fudge. The penuche is my favorite. It is harder and very crystalline, but still a favorite. This year the only cookie I made was a chocolate and cinnamon chip cookie. It was a new combination. I think I like chocolate and butterscotch better though. And last but not least doggie treats in the front for the two neighbors with dogs. Though those aren't sweet. My daughter tasted them and said they needed more beef bullion as they tasted just like crackers.

Last night it was snowing but we delivered half of the bags. My husband had had enough at the point as he has a cold. Tonight I'm sure we will try to deliver the rest. Last year we couldn't do one as they had left already for the holidays. So this year we are delivering them earlier. You would think that delivering to your neighbors would be very fast. But my neighbors don't all live on my street some are on the other side of my fence. In fact most of them are as our street is so tiny. There aren't even houses on one side of the street. Their driveways all go off of another street. So I have a lot of over the fence neighbors.

Since it had snowed yet again I had to shovel a path to the compost pile. Sadly I forgot to prop open the fence door. My townhouse mates use that to get to the compost pile. Usually I remember to do. It has to be done late enough that the remaining plants won't be eaten by the rodents and the soil won't be rototilled by the skunks. But early enough that the door isn't iced in by the storms. Well it was too late. I had to chip the ice off to pry open the door. Hopefully I'll be better at my timing next year.


  1. Boy! Wish I was your neighbor ! lol Could you share your recipe for dog cookies? And where'd you get the cookie cutter ?

    1. I used a recipe from Their Dog Treats 1. Though I left out the sugar, because I doubt the dogs would care. Kronos, my daughter's dog, certainly doesn't. The cookie cutter came from Micheals Arts and Crafts.

  2. You have some lucky neighbours! It's funny though, a lot of people would see items like those, home-made, home-grown, put together with care and love as being somehow less attractive than "proper" items from a shop. Sad, isn't it? I hope your neighbours really appreciate those lovely gifts!

  3. I made homemade dog treats once and unfortunately, it have my dogs the worst runs! LOL. I don't think I'll be trying again for a while.

  4. That is a lovely selection of homemade goodies. I've never tried rhubarb butter. I checked out your post on how you made it and it sounds delicious. I hope I get enough next year to make some.

    I used to make dogs bones for my Brittany, and she always loved them. Though the recipe I used smelled terrible while baking. It was thoughtful of you to make something for the neighbors dogs too!

  5. What lucky neighbors you have! Even though it is fun I hope they appreciate all your hard work and the lovely homemade things! I give a few cookies or something to a couple of neighbors but nothing to the extent you do! That is a wonderful thing that you do and those dog treats look good enough to eat! Nancy

  6. Your neighbors must love you and I love the dog treats! I thought of you when I saw this Nomato Sauce recipe on Facebook from How We Flourish and wanted to share the link: