Every year the “last-minute holiday gifts!” emails start rolling in around December 10th, and every year my eye-roll gets a little more slow-mo, a little more epic. Last-minute? Please.
I know a thing or two about last-minute, and kiddos, let me tell you that today through Thursday night is when last-minute happens. You still have plenty of time to get busy with homemade gifts, and these two are totally achievable at any point before the big guy with long white beard makes all our impossible dreams come true. This might be a little too crazy since mason jars are widely available everywhere, but at the moment of publication many of you actually still have time to order your jars on Amazon (through my affiliate links here if you like — thank you!) and fill them with beautiful homemade salts and sugars on Christmas Eve. Now we’re talkin’ last-minute.
The best part, though, is that last-minute or no, these gifts are thoughtful and lovely, and almost everyone will like them. The sugar is a new addition to my repertoire this year, but the salt has been a staple over several years, and I always get requests for more that border on showing signs of addiction. No judgment, believe me.
I’ll leave you to finish your holiday prep with warm wishes for the holidays and the rest of 2015. I am so grateful for each of you and your support of Umami Girl this year. Love, peace and umami to all. See you in 2016.
P.S. Here’s a little holiday gift for you: printable labels. Buy Avery Labels 22830 and print:
- 3 pounds sugar (about 7 cups)
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Pour the sugar into in a large bowl. Slit the vanilla beans lengthwise with a small, sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the bowl. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg and stir well to distribute all the spices evenly. If there are any clumps, break them up and pass the mixture through a sieve.
Divide spiced sugar among 12 small jars such as these wide-mouth half pint jars -- about 6 heaping tablespoons per jar plus a little extra for good luck.
This salt sprinkles beautifully over a wide variety of savory foods, from avocado toast to risotto to roast chicken.
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh sage
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh thyme
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 3-pound box kosher salt