Forget the Cookies & Ornaments…Round 2

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about holiday gifts for teachers, the boys and I have been doing this for 11+ years, and I don’t think we’ve ever repeated a project.  Several people have mentioned having teachers who were diabetic, and as a diabetic, I can relate.  We are inundated by sugary sweets during the holidays.  Sooo here are a few more ideas that aren’t your typical sugary sweet cookies, candies, brownies, cakes, etc.

20141211_062755-2_resizedEli’s Citrus Jelly

*Yes, even the little ones can help make jelly.  Eli helped/took over when he was in kindergarten.

32 oz. citrus juice (he used a mix of lemon, navel orange, and red grapefruit)

4 ½ c. sugar

1 ¾ oz. powdered fruit pectin

Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

In a soup pot, combine juice and pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, add sugar and return to a simmer, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam using a metal spoon.

Pour jelly into hot, sterilized jars, filling to ½ inch from the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any jelly. Top with lids and rings.

Place the jars in the bottom of a large stockpot or canning pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil (process) for 5 minutes. Remove the jars with jar tongs and place onto a towel covered surface. Allow jars to cool. As the jars cool, the lids will pop as they seal. Once the jars are cool, press each lid to be sure that the seal is tight.

Add a gift tag and some shortbread cookies!

cranberry orange jellyEan’s Cranberry-Apple Jelly

*this is the only near repeat.  Ean made it one year and Eli, the next.

4 c. store bought, unsweetened apple juice

1 box  powdered fruit pectin

1/2 tsp Butter or margarine

5 cups granulated sugar

1 bag fresh whole cranberries

Measure juice into 6- or 8-qt. sauce pot.
Stir pectin into juice in sauce pot. Add cranberries. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. *You will hear cranberries popping; it’s OK!  Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constatnly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.) **Sure-Jell Recipe

Pumpkin Butter

2-15 oz. cans pumpkin puree

1/2 c. apple juice

1 c. sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 TBSP lemon juice

In a sauce pan, stir together all ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Spoon into sterilized jars.  Allow to cool.
*Attach a gift tag that reminds teachers that it must be refrigerated.

Bath Salts…DO NOT EAT!

3 c. Epsom salt

2 c. table or sea salt (I use table salt, because it cheaper)

1 c. baking soda

1 1/2 oz. essential oil (we used lavender)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Stir in essential oil.  Scoop into bags or mason jars.  Add a gift tag and enjoy!


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