Get a jump start on your Christmas gifts by taking a creative look at your backyard garden or find great deals on local produce at your local farmers market!
Gather a quantity of garlic and start making some wonderful homemade gifts to bring as a hostess gift to any number of holiday parties or save for Christmas gifts. Garlic is an inexpensive plant to grow; for each clove you plant, you can expect to produce a bulb with as many as twenty cloves. It is a self sustaining crop.
Decorative Garlic Bundles
Garlic bundles make a lovely gift that can be hung in the kitchen. Combine with herbs and fasten the whole lot with a raffia bow for a natural, inexpensive homemade gift.
Start by gathering sprigs of garlic. Remove any dirt, excess skin or debris. Leave the stems intact.
Trim the roots of garlic head. Place 3 or 4 heads of garlic together. Form a small bouquet. Fill in with sprigs of fresh rosemary, oregano and sage.
Use a piece of raffia to tie them all together. Make a large bow with another piece of raffia.
Make your own garlic salt to give as an inexpensive homemade gift that will be much appreciated by any food lover.
Peel garlic. Cut off the tough ends of the cloves. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
Add rock sea salt and mix until it is the consistency of a garlic paste. You can continue to add small amounts of sea salt until it is thick.
Place the garlic paste mixture in a plastic container. Spread it along the bottom, patting it down to press out any air pockets.
Pour 1/2-inch of table salt over the garlic paste mixture. Put the lid on the container and set in a dark cupboard for 2-3 weeks. Then remove the lid and dump out the salt covering. The bottom mixture will still be damp and smell very garlicky.
Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet and bake at 225 degrees for a half hour. Turn off the oven and let the pan sit inside for 3-4 hours.
The mixture will be hard and dry. Crumble it with your fingers and place in individual glass jars to give as a thoughtful homemade Christmas gift from your garden. If you want a finer garlic salt, place in a food processor to crumble.
Roasted Garlic in Oil
You will need a lot of garlic for this homemade gift idea. Because once you give a jar of roasted garlic way, you will be expected to keep your friends supplied!
To make roasted garlic, cut off the top of each garlic bulb. Place on a baking sheet. Pour olive oil over each bulb. Bake at 400 degrees for about a half hour. They will be soft. Let them cool and then peel the garlic. Place the cloves in a jar and fill with olive oil to cover. Store in the refrigerator. Several small jars can be filled and embellished with peppercorns and rosemary to give as gifts.
All of these inexpensive homemade gift ideas needed only a few ingredients, but will produce lovely gifts that are as unexpected as they are appreciated.
Remember, garlic is planted in the fall….for instructions on how to cultivate a crop, if you haven’t already, read this article; How to Grow Garlic