November 21, 2009 by currbell
Between building a house and building twins, we are trying to save as much money around here as we can these days. So with my slowed down schedule I have been busy chipping away at homemade gifts.
Canned goods are high on the list this year: homemade apple pie filling, organic jelly (made from the peels and core left over from the apple sauce- stuff you might otherwise throw away- here’s the recipe I used), and sugar free apple sauce (which is so sweet and amazing- we let the apples cook down for forever in the crock pot; it tastes something like liquid fruit leather). A neighbor of my parents had three high producing apple trees with the fruit just rotting away on the ground, so we asked if we could pick up anything that fell. You might think that we just happened to luck out with all this free fruit, but you could probably find a similar source next year, if you live in fruit producing country, if you just look. That’s the key part, looking! I drove past the same places for years before I realized that there was a grove of pecan trees…that were going completely to waste, or a pear tree that year after year no one seemed to care about at all. You just have to get up the guts to knock one someone’s door and ask if you can use what is going to waste. You can also look for gleaning opportunities. One year my mom and I were able to glean, for free, at the end of the strawberry season, before they tilled in the fields and planted something else. The fruit was all either over ripe or under ripe, but we picked away, and I have to tell you it made some of the most amazing strawberry preserves I’ve ever tasted.Knitted objects are high on the list too. Shawls, fingerless gloves, baby sweaters…all sorts of projects have been flying off the needles these days.
Used books and new from amazon and a magazine subscription also made the list. One gift that particularly stumped me was for my mother…she’s always a little tricky. But I heard her saying how much she could use a binder full of those clear pockets that will hold a standard size piece of paper, to hold all the recipes she clips and prints from different places. So while she was out of town I made this (I used family pics with us eating in the collage too…copies of course not the originals) and gathered up all the stray recipes I could find in the kitchen and popped them into her lovely new book. So this one is an early Christmas present, waiting for her when she gets home.
There are a LOT of things in these links… I can get lost looking at all the good ideas in these links!