Homemade Holiday Gifts + How to Sew a Button
Learn to give homemade gifts, barter your skills and make gravy like the best old-school grandma you know. These and other keys to modern life below.
Homemade holiday gift deep thoughts
A lot goes through a girl’s head while she’s pouring eight-plus pounds of homemade granola into a legion of tiny cellophane gift bags. There are optimistic thoughts, like Happy Holidays and The Joy of Giving and If One More Dried Cranberry Hits the Floor, I Won’t Have to Feed the Toddler or the Cat Breakfast Tomorrow.
There are pessimistic thoughts, like Another Year Gone? and Dwindling Numbers at the Family Holiday Table and Why is There No Cheese in Granola.
There are practical thoughts, like The Inappropriateness of Scratching Certain Itches While Handling Foodstuffs.
And as the bags appear to multiply before her bleary, wondering eyes, there are the inevitable deep thoughts, like At What Point Tonight Will I Have Birthed Enough Granola to Qualify as a Grandmother?
How to Sew a Button by Erin Bried
I’m still working on an answer to that last question. But in the meantime, the charming new book How to Sew a Button by Erin Bried goes a long way toward imparting the wisdom of the world’s grandmothers to those of us younger folks making an earnest attempt to fit homemade granola (and maybe a homegrown tomato and a real live neighbor or two) into our modern lives.
I received a review copy of this little gem when my friend Daphne and I were already busy scheming our homemade holiday gifts for this year: a breakfast basket of granola, lemon curd and hot cocoa mix and a cocktail medley of ginger-infused vodka, spiced nuts and little pots of cheese spread. On top of that, we Umamis have now done several seasons worth of canning and even have a semi-legit compost pile of our very own. In other words, I am already a crazy-ass grandma in training, so I wondered whether the book would have much to add to my old lady savvy. It totally does, my dearies. It totally does, in the most accessible and entertaining of ways.
Looking to make gravy? Step one: pour yourself a glass of wine while you wait for the fat to rise to the top of the meat drippings. This is the kind of project I could really see you getting into. Want to barter your old crap or your services instead of spending money on the things you want? Step one: open your pie hole. Making introductions? Let new friends know what they have in common, but keep it flattering. “Jo, have you met Blair? I think you both have hemorrhoids,” is less good than “You both went to the same boarding school.” See? You can do this. And with How to Sew in hand, you’ll want to.