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Christmas in July

Submitted by: wvhomecanner on July 11, 2010
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Christmas in July

It’s been reallllly hot in most places–at least here in the U.S. where it’s only a few weeks into summer. And I am thinking about Christmas? It’s not because I am trying to recall last December’s snowstorms here in WV (brrrrrr) in an attempt to stay cool. It’s about …

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Ingredients

Directions

It’s been reallllly hot in most places–at least here in the U.S. where it’s only a few weeks into summer. And I am thinking about Christmas? It’s not because I am trying to recall last December’s snowstorms here in WV (brrrrrr) in an attempt to stay cool. It’s about starting to prepare for Christmas while I am putting up summer’s gifts of fresh produce!


Whether you are a seasoned canner or you are planning to take the leap into canning as a newbie, you can start your Christmas ‘shopping’ now. How? Keep gifting in your planning.

When you are canning, purposely can some of your goodies for gifts! This may mean canning some of your current project in smaller jars, depending on what you want to use as gifts and who will be the lucky recipient. For example, when I am canning salsa, I can some in half-pint jars for those who I know will want to try it but likely won’t use a larger amount quickly. Or if it’s a quite spicy salsa you can do the same to share with the ‘pepperheads’ whose other family members don’t share their lust for breaking out in a sweat while munching. Small jars are also great gifts for those who live alone. Your gift jars don’t have to contain complicated gourmet delights–sometimes the simplest things are the most appreciated!

I stock my shelves with my canned goodies of all sizes and when December rolls around I literally shop my cellar room.

One part of my cellar room.


You can put together something as simple as a loaf of bread and a jar of your jam or jelly. You could wrap these together on a cutting board. A jar of salsa can be paired with some home-baked tortilla chips.

Cut flour tortillas and bake until lightly browned and crisp.


You can do as I do and shop for things that are related to a theme, and add your jars that are decorated to match for a basket that is the entire gift.

Nascar and Coke themed basket.


Grape themed basket for a kitchen decorated with grapes.


Speaking of decorated jars–I’ve gone from circles of fabric cut and held in place by the jar ring, to fluffs of tulle tied with ribbon and adorned with something useful–

Kiwi jam with a jam spreader.

–and then I discovered great little sheer bags with drawstring tops that I can order online to pop jars into, cello bags that I can fill with homemade candies and snack mixes and dipped pretzels …. and ….. and …..

Merry Christmas in July! Get those home shopping ideas going NOW!

You can also find Dede at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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Comments

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  1. 7-11
    4:30
    am

    Wow Dede! You’re SO organised :o) My Christmas gifts are always a last minute rush a week before :o( I really MUST do better.
    By the way, I’m sure the recipients are MORE than delighted when your gifts are received and enjoyed.

  2. 7-11
    6:25
    am

    Good idea! Make ahead now for christmas! I think I will do that this year.

    I make baskets for everyone too! Its a great gift and doesn’t have to cost much. Lots of the items come from the dollar store. Like you say, little and simple, but useful, things are the most appreciated. (I still have jams and sauces, that we won’t eat, under the cupboard from baskets people have given me years ago.)

  3. 7-11
    6:31
    am

    I used to make so much candy and cookies, but the last couple of years I’ve given canned goodies instead and they love, love, love them! Makes it much easier on me (all the hard work is done WAY ahead of time!) during the rush of the season 🙂

    Where’s the pic of your cute little bags? LOL!

  4. 7-11
    8:58
    am

    Dede, you are so talented and have it all together! I love your pantry. I used to can like that but over the years with moving several times, I got rid of my jars and canner. You’re right,though. Now’s the time to start Christmas shopping and getting that done. Keep those great ideas coming!

  5. 7-11
    8:59
    am

    Add me to your Christmas gift list.
    Great ideas you have there.
    Darlene

  6. 7-11
    9:41
    am

    How clever! I like the little tortilla trees. It was 106 degrees earlier last week. I can honestly say that Christmas never crossed my mind. It’s a good idea to give homemade goodies!

  7. 7-11
    2:37
    pm

    Dede,

    You always amaze me. Fantastic ideas all of them. I love your Christmas tree tortillas. Can’t wait to give this a try. I gave away lots of jars of your salsa last Christmas and will can some in 1/2 pints this year per your suggestion. Thanks for the nudge to think ahead. Wonderful

  8. 7-11
    8:03
    pm

    Last year was the first year in several decades that we had canned, and we, too, gave away a LOT of goodies in gift baskets. So many people seemed really to appreciate the home canned things, and this type basket can be expanded and personalized so easily.

    Great ideas, Dede!

    If you find garage sale baskets they can be touched up with spray paint to make them pretty. We even used some super cheap (as in FREE) gently worn baskets from a florist shop to hold three half pint jars and a few little extra goodies as hostess gifts during the party season.

  9. 7-11
    11:04
    pm

    Thanks everyone – and contrary to how it seems, I am NOT all that organized but stocking up on giftables really helps! And my baskets DO come together last minute more often than not! CindyP I will post pics of those little bags and where I get them in a couple of days. Remind me?

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