Sunday, December 16, 2012

Edible Gifts

I don't give a lot of holiday gifts.  I'm Jewish, and when I was growing up Chanukah was never a gift-giving extravaganza the way Christmas seems to be.  These days I buy Chanukah gifts for three people -- my mom and my two little cousins -- and those were all shipped out a week ago or more.  But I do believe in playing well with others, so I try to give a little edible gift to my coworkers every year.

Last year I made the candy cane variation of this fudge, and it was a huge hit.  But I don't eat stuff like that any more, and I didn't want the ingredients in my house.  I also read an article about food gifts that spoke to me -- it said everyone is already inundated with junk food at Christmas, and would appreciate something healthy.  So I hit on soup mix in a jar.

It's not so easy to find a soup-in-a-jar recipe that is both vegan and delicious-sounding, but I finally hit on this one, courtesy of Glue and Glitter.  It sounds yummy, and I had a lot of the supplies in the house, including some leftover pint canning jars. And  G and G even provides cute little recipe tags to print out! My girlfriend and I decided we would both give these to our coworkers.  We are going to include a can of coconut milk with the jar of soup mix, since that's an ingredient a lot of people don't have lying around in their pantries (if people don't have olive oil, onions, and garlic lying around, they are never going to cook anything and I give up).  Yesterday we replenished our supply of canning jars and lids, and got some cute little gift bags that are NOT Christmas themed.  We also made the spice mix, which included removing a huge pile of cardamom seeds from their pods and grinding them, because that's how we roll around here.  That was probably the most time consuming aspect of the whole project.

This morning I made up a prototype, with stuff I happened to have in the house:

Cute, right?  The layers of lentils and rice didn't come out as even as I would like.  I'll have to work on that.  Maybe I'll go ahead and cook this one for us -- we talked about doing a taste test.

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