I love homemade gifts! Whether it’s for a holiday, birthday or just something to say “hey pal, I was thinking of you today,” when someone gives me something that I know required them to spend their time and talents making it, it means so very much to me. I feel so loved and cared about when I receive homemade gifts!
At the start of this year, I made a goal to be more thoughtful like this to the people who are closest to me. I decided that I would try to be the type of person who would just drop something by to a friend just to show that I was thinking of them. I wanted to think of something fun and homemade that I could drop by, as I love receiving homemade gifts, and this year I am all about sustainable living. That’s where my nutty little gift from the garden comes in.
Because I wanted to really share a piece of myself, I decided that that yummy gift should be made of as many of my homegrown goods as possible. By doing this, I feel that the gift represents the hours that I spend with my kids, in one of my favorite places, our garden! Gardens represent the spring days that we have recently been spending hoeing, weeding, fertilizing and preparing the earth for new growth. It represents the warm summer evenings that we will spend watering our trees and keeping them well nourished. It represents the crisp autumn mornings that my kids and I will spend picking nuts and drying grapes. And it represents the cold winter evenings that I will spend shelling walnuts by the fire with my husband. These are some of my favorite moments in life, and these are the pieces of my heart that I want to share with my friends when I share a thoughtful homemade gift with them.
To incorporate my home-grown produce into my gifts, I came up with this beautiful and very delicious trail mix made up of hand-cracked walnuts from our walnut tree (if you have ever hand-cracked walnuts, you know that this is a true labor of love), sun-dried raisins from our grape vines and a few white chocolate chips. The combination of these 3 ingredients, tossed and poured into a cute mason jar, looks gorgeous and has such a rich, decadent taste. I added this cute and funny little tag to the jars to hopefully bring a smile to the faces of my friends, and to let them know that they are loved today.
To make this gift for your neighbors or friends: in a mixing bowl toss 1/3 cup of walnuts, 1/3 cup of raisins or other dried fruit, 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips. Pour into a 8 oz (half pint) mason jar, close lid and add printed tag. No matter what you have growing in your garden, be thinking of ways to turn that labor of love into a gift to those you love. Whether it be homemade lemon curd from your lemon trees, salsa from your tomatoes, or plum syrup, everyone loves something homemade from the garden! Be ready for smiles from your friends for this thoughtful gift.