I don’t know why I ever go to stores looking for “just the right thing.” Any time I give a gift of homemade food, the entire experience is satisfying—the making, the presentation, the giving, and often the sharing. And I always make sure there are leftovers. In this case three extra jars of jam and eight stray pieces of shortbread, which I gave to my dad—who ate all of the shortbread (except half a piece he gave to my mom) and most of a jar of jam in one sitting!
Rather than posting a new recipe (and I do have a couple good ones I’ll soon share), I’m including links below to my favorite recipes for giving as gifts, just in case you need something for a wedding shower, birthday, or simply “I’m glad you’re my friend” present.
The strawberry jam mentioned above is based on the raspberry pear jam recipe that this links to. Just substitute strawberries for the raspberries and pears. I also suggest cutting back on the sugar, depending on how sweet the strawberries are.
This recipe comes from Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking. It’s one of the first foods I learned how to make for myself as an adult after college out in the “real world.” I’m re-reading the book again, and all I have to say is … buy it, read it, remind yourself how easy it can be to be to create happiness in your life. As for the shortbread recipe: this time around I made it in an 8x8 pan and scored it in squares, rather than the wedges suggested in the blog post.
Red Onion Marmalade
For friends who like savory foods, this is a never-fail gift. Served with a sharp, hard cheese, it’s the best appetizer ever!