Clever Christmas Treats

I thought I had done pretty well making Apricot Chocolate Tidbits as Christmas gifts. I added loads of chocolate chips to the recipe. I printed my own labels for the jars with a photo featuring the troll I bought in Finland.

However, Nola (Grandma), still producing her legendary pavlovas at 91, pips me at the post.

Then the competition takes an upward curve. My sister and brother-in-law made these chocolate reindeer with edible eye balls and pretzel antlers. In a jar full of other yummy treats.

But wait! For sheer class, style and variety, my niece – engaging the help of her Mum – wins the prize! This is despite her busy life, not only working but graduating with a law degree last week. The treats bag includes raspberry jam (with homegrown raspberries), beetroot relish, wholegrain mustard, bagel seasoning, festive rocky road, and tiny dinosaur rose gummies. All homemade and beautifully labelled. Wow!

It doesn’t end there. Tiny iced Christmas trees, fruity chocolate clusters, and locally made muesli and panforte were further delights.

The muesli, with hot milk, rhubarb and yoghurt, was delicious for breakfast today. (I would have added a sprinkle of blueberries if I’d thought of it.)

Almost edible are these “smelly” treats. The Lush products are locally made and personalised with the name of the maker. The bath salts are from my sister’s sister-in-law (or my brother-in-law’s brother’s wife) who is a teacher and made homemade gifts with her students. I love the finishing touches: lace cover and antique spoon tied on with string.

I have to include some reference to chickens. My brother and sister-in-law gave Nola this delightful book. It is written by a celebrity NZ chef, who lives in Arrowtown with her family. From this central Otago town, she runs her business and has a large vegetable garden and a flock of chooks. This story is about the hatching of a little chicken whose egg had been abandoned.

There’s something very special and heart-warming about local and homemade treats!

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