Home-Made Christmas Food Gifts

We decided this year to give family and friends 'real' home-made food gifts for Christmas. I use the word 'real' because some of the so-called 'home-made' festive foods found in farm shops and garden centres at this time of year are far from made at home. I'm talking about gifts that have been prepared and cooked in our little kitchen - Christmas cakes, mince pies, chicken pate, applet tarts, turkey and cranberry pies to name but a few. Our food gifts already presented have gone down a storm with friends - ''so special'', one friend said. ''A gift with a difference'' said another. One family are taking our mince pies and cake gifts with them to celebrate Christmas in Florida!

Why not copy our idea this Christmas and make family and friends some 'real' home-made food, they will appreciate it more than just another pair of gloves or a scarf or a box of chocolates. However, don't forget to package the food beautifully to give your gift that extra 'Wow' factor. A nice individual label, cellophane wrapping, festive ribbon, yuletide tins and rustic glass jars are just some of added extras we have used for our gifts.

As for our mince pies, freshly baked pastry generously filled with mincemeat have been lovingly packed into tins, wrapped and labelled, like so...

Festive Chicken pate is very cheap to make, as chicken livers are only 50p a packet from Sainsbury's supermarket and makes-up to three jars of pate of the size below. Just fry two shallots, a clove of garlic, a touch of pepper and the livers and add a drop of brandy, until lightly brown. Then food process the mixture until smooth. Then taste and season and place in the jars and pour a little melted butter on top. Place the jars in the fridge to set overnight. Easy!!

Go on, make those special Christmas gifts this weekend for those special friends. They'll really value all your effort and delight in your 'real' home-made food this festive season!  


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