Food gifts in a jar is a simple but elegant homemade gift idea. Gifting with food goes back to ancient cultures when food and varieties of foods were scarce. A gift of food symbolized life, sacrifice and abundance. It was a most honored gift. Today giving a gift of food is often a surprise "thoughtful" gift, especially if it's a easy to prepare mix with your secret ingredients so that it's an easy convenience for the giftee.
Why Give Food Gifts in a Jar?
It's easy to walk into the grocery store and buy packaged food mixes but read ingredients and you may not to! Our household rule of thumb is if you can't pronounce it after two tries you probably don't want to eat it and if you've heard it chokes your arteries as in hydrogenated, stay the heck away from it!..
How To Do It
When giving a mix always list the ingredients (in case someone has allergies) and always provide "how to make it/how to mix it instructions" It takes less than 5 minutes. You can type them up and print them out or hand print on an index card. You can even dress up the card (see some examples below)
What Does It Cost?
For less than $3 you can give a great gift of pancakes or waffles in a jar. The mix won't be as "exciting" as a layered gift but it sure will be delicious and appreciated by most giftees. Add a how to mix it instruction card and if you like a small jar of maple syrup, fruit syrup or favorite jam and you have one great gift for less than $7-10...
Pancake and waffle mix unless is pretty much one color. To add a little contrast and color you can add dried fruits and/or nuts (dried blueberries, strawberries, bananas make the most delicious contribution as do walnuts and pecans)
How to Make a Mix
Think of food gifts in a jar as a starter for baked goods. Tom make yours, add all the dry ingredients and seal tight, label and make a "How To" card. If you want to dress up your food gifts in a jar you can do that easily with a piece of fabric glued to the top and tied with a ribbon or raffia
Perfection Pancake Mix - Makes about a dozen midsized golden fluffy pancakes or 2 breakfasts worth you can double the recipe if you like. Fits in a medium sized jar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (recommend unbleached white)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Add all these together in your jar and shake well. Seal jar tightly label and add directions
Before sealing, here's the part where you can layer in some color with a 1/2 cup to 1 cup dried blueberries, strawberries or dried bananas and/or pecans or walnuts.
Get ready for great pancakes!Directions: Shake up MixIn a separate bowl combine
1 cup milk (any kind skim, 2% or regular)
2 Tablespoons oil (we recommend olive oil for a nutty, fruity flavor that's healthful too)
To avoid lumpy batter add 1/4 of dry mix into the liquid mixture, stir, add a little more and stir until mixed- Look Ma no lumps!
Food gifts in a jar can be done for cookies, muffins and most baked goods. You can also do this with pea and bean based soups. Find your favorite recipes, get creative and have some fun.
You can also give someone a theme gift based on a cookie jar or a snack jar. For example, nothing goes better than coffee and biscotti. How about coffee, a coffee cup, some biscotti and a Barnes and Noble Gift card for the person who loves to curl up with a good book. You get the idea.