We Love Gifts in Jars!

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are all too familiar with jamming things into jars (pun intended). We’ve traditionally stuffed them full of rhubarb, berries, pickles, rabbit. Today, we’ve figured out how to preserve and bottle a few non-traditional condiments – recipes originating from much farther south such as mango chutney, BBQ sauce, salsa…

Not sure where to start? Root Cellars Rock has a wonderful resource for community organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador to help promote traditional food skills. Check out the Food Skills Workshop on Preserving: Canning/Bottling.

So, the fact is, we’re not the only ones fascinated by putting things in jars – just Google it.

One year, long before Pinterest, I did make culinary gifts for everyone on my list. I’ve put all sorts of things in jars – rice mixes, coffee mixes, bbq sauce, salsa, popcorn seasonings and soups. Another year I made oodles of cookies as gifts. And last year I made natural room fresheners.

While I have a few new ideas up my sleeve – I did really like the natural room scent jar. I’m really not a fan of chemical fragrances so I will be making these again this year. I found my inspiration for these from The Yummy Life.

So this year, I’ve tried yet again, a new gift in a jar – homemade body scrubs! You wouldn’t believe how much of this stuff my husband goes through! And there‘s something about beauty products that not only SMELL good enough to eat but ARE good enough to eat.

The Peppermint Sugar Scrub is based on the Easy Peasy Sugar Scrub recipe from Glue and Glitter. I substituted organic sunflower oil, as that’s what I had on hand and peppermint essential oil. Go easy on the essential oil drops – start with 5 and do the nose test. Mine is pretty good for the sinuses as well as the skin.
The Coco-Gingersnap Scrub is based on the Vanilla Coconut Brown Sugar Scrub from TreeHugger. I used organic Fairtrade brown sugar but I was out of vanilla so instead I added a pinch of ground ginger, clove, and all spice. Just one caution: I did use organic coconut oil BUT it keeps its solid form below 24 degrees Celsius. We keep a fairly cool house (it’s barely 18 degrees at its warmest). I melted the oil to mix up the scrub but the finished product is a little hard – I’d suggest rewarming it in the bath water or shower.Coco-Gingersnap-Scrub

Finally, I made a Lemon-Rosemary Salt Scrub based on the Lemon and Thyme Salt Scrub from Food + Words. I used sea salt, again what was in my cupboard and the organic sunflower oil. A little lemon zest and some fresh rosemary and Voila! Now, will my husband use it?

More Things You Can Put In A Jar:

• Cookies, that is all.
• Layered cookie mixes. Google it
TRY: Merry Christmas Cookies from the Creative Junkie
• Bulk candy can cut down on waste and fulfill someone’s sweet tooth and really, what says “I love you” like a jar mints? Google it
• Hot cocoa mixes – I never write down recipes (or follow them very well) but try layering organic cocoa, cane sugar, skim milk powder and marshmallows with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Make it mocha with a few chocolate chips or top it off with, my favourite – crushed candy canes for a peppermint twist! Google it
• Straight pins or bobbins for the seamstress in your life. Google it
• Layered soup mixes look super cool. Google it
TRY:Patchwork Soup Mix from Waking up Vegan
TRY: Five Bean Soup from Back to Her Roots
• For the hostess, bring along homemade party mix. Google it
• Try a homemade trail mix for the adventurous type on your list. Google it

What can you gift in a jar?

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