Paper, Flowers, Twine & Jam
Jam might just be the perfect food gift. It’s sweet and something that doesn’t always make it into the cart so it feels like a splurge. And because it’s self-contained and shelf stable, you don’t need a gift box and it’s easy to keep some on hand for whenever (less work – yay). So when I needed a little something to thank a friend who’d done me a favor, jam was the obvious choice.
I’m a food dork so I went on a jam-making bender this summer and stocked my shelves, but most people don’t do this. They pop into specialty shops to find interesting flavors or seek the classics at their local farmers market. If making your own sounds fun, check out GET CHEFFY – CANNING for ways to get started.
For my friend, I pulled a jar of fig preserves, but I really didn’t want to get out of my pajamas to go buy wrapping paper. I poked around the house for inspiration. Oddly, the recycling bin came through. I picked wrinkled brown paper from one of the zillion shipping boxes piled in there and made sure it was clean. It was then that I realized I’d embarked on a DIY gift wrap mission.
Getting dressed was still out of the question, so I peeked outside. Seedpods cast long shadows in the strong horizontal light that washes everything early winter white. I snipped a few and went for some feathery brown lily leaves that tumbled from the top of a small pot. A few sprigs of weathered oregano blooms completed the scene. Everything pulled together with twine, rustic and imperfect, natural, gorgeous. No need for straight edges or crisp folds, not even tape. I just wrapped the paper around the jar, tied a knot to hold it in place, and tied another one around the dried plants. Simple, unfussy, ready to go wait for my friend on her doorstep. Here’s how to accomplish your own DIY gift wrap mission.
Cut a piece of packing paper that is large enough to fold over the entire jar with some leftover at the top. Perfect edges completely unnecessary.
DIY gift wrap mission accomplished.
GET CHEFFY – CANNING
Canning your own jam seems like an art unto itself, but it’s really not that complicated. Generations before us did all the time so there’s a lot of info out there. You do have to follow some simple rules. If you are interested, the USDA spells everything out in this giant recipe collection. We also love the easy technique and modern flavor combos in Canning for a New Generation and Preserving by the Pint (which is perfect if you want to start small).