I love making up little hampers or jars of treats at Christmas and I've already been nosing around for gourmet foodie bits to fill them with. One of the best ways to find little bits for these is at your local farm shop, farmers' market or at a Christmas food fair. I'll be going to the New Forest Christmas Fair on 8-9 December and I'll bet there's something like that going on where you live - have a look in local papers, noticeboards or council websites for ideas.
If you prefer to pick up foodie bits online you'll obviously want to pick things that will travel well and keep until Christmas, so consider jams, chutneys, ales and ciders, chocolate and sweets or teas and coffees etc. Here are some ideas...
|img credit: sugar and twine|
- Sugar and Twine make confectionary and preserves (put me down for some apple, caramel and hazelnut jam!)
- Cranfields for chutneys, jellies, preserves and marmalades
- The Artisan Kitchen for jams, pickles and marmalades
- Drury's Finest Teas and Coffees
- A Quarter of for retro sweets
- Smokey Joe Sauces for Carribean spices and marinades
- Womersley for fruit and herb vinegars
Gourmet Britain also have a whole listings section on their website for mail order/online gourmet food companies.
I have been bookmarking lots of recipes over the last couple of weeks in anticipation of whipping up some treats for my own homemade hampers. We have a lot of onions and beetroots from the garden so lots of people will be receiving chutneys! Here are my favourite recipes;
|img credit: bbc good food (recipe below)|
Savoury Christmas hamper recipesChristmas clementine chutney
Beetroot and orange chutney
Red onion marmalade
Sweet chilli jam
Baked camembert kit
English Ale mustard
Sweet Christmas hamper recipesMincemeat Christmas trees
Chocolate truffle egg box
Baileys and white chocolate fudge
Panforte (Italian Christmas cake)
BBC Good Food have collections of recipes for hampers - such as a collection of recipes for a chocoholics hamper, a spice lover's hamper etc.
Lakeland have a section dedicated to jars, moulds, bags, ribbons and all sorts of other lovely ways to make and present homemade gifts.
Your hamper doesn't necessarily need to be... a hamper! I've bought a vintage wine box from eBay to fill with gourmet food goodies as a present for someone ;)
Just a few more ideas for gifts for the food lovers in your life...