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Isn’t this miniature food ring so cute?!  I love this one with its tiny cup of tea and mini chocolate chip scone – so sweet.  You can find them here at the SouZouCreations shop on Etsy.

some of our edible Christmas gifts

some of our edible Christmas gifts

Over the weekend we have started to put together our Christmas presents for our family.  For a couple of weeks now we have been building up a box of bits and pieces, that on their own look pretty odd – jars of coconut oil, garlic powder, jars of every shape and size.  Now we have embarked on the exciting process of making gifts out of them. 

The weekend has seen us marinating olives, mixing popcorn and potato wedge seasonings, and melting all kinds of oils and butter to create some delicious smelling hand balms.  Other than eating and growing food, this is when I seem to be most in my element.  Last Christmas staying at N’s family, I disappeared into their workshop, spread myself out over a stunning old wooden workbench and busied myself arranging  baskets with tissue paper, gifts, and weaving in ivy and berries. 

homemade Christmas hampers :: Christmas 2007 ::

So back to the weekend.  We made two types of marinated olives (ideal for an olive-loving family member) – Lemon Fennel Olives and Thyme & Chilli Olives.  I’ve filled two medium-sized kilner jars with these delicious concoctions and will later tie raffia round them and a label to say what they are.  Recipes below for anyone interested in having a go.

Lemon Fennel Olives

Approx 400g green olives (not pitted)
1-2 tsp fennel seeds
1 lemon
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
Nice glass jar

Be sure to sterilize your glass jar first.  We washed ours in soapy water, rinsed, and placed in a low oven (50ºC) for about 20-30 mins until dry.

Slice the garlic into thin slivers.  Carefully peel the lemon.  In a bowl combine the sliced garlic, lemon peel, a squeeze of lemon juice, and the peppercorns.

Drain the olives and rinse.  Combine the olives in the bowl with the other ingredients and spoon into the sterilized jar.

Cover with olive oil and seal tightly.  Leave for about a week to let the flavours infuse.

homemade marinated olives

homemade marinated olives

Thyme & Chilli Olives

Approx 400g black olives (not pitted)
Couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
1-2 tsp crushed chilli flakes
Glug of red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, in their skins
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
Nice glass jar

Sterilize the glass jar first (see above).

Crush the garlic cloves in their skins, and bung in a bowl with the chilli flakes, red wine vinegar, thyme and a glug of extra virgin olive oil.

Drain the olives and rinse.  Combine the olives in the bowl with the other ingredients and spoon into the sterilized jar.

Cover with olive oil and seal tightly.  Leave for about a week to let the flavours infuse.

This recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater’s Real Food.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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