The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Monday 10 February 2014

Chocolate brownies and the gift of cooking.

Yesterday when I was making the macarons I also tried Adriano Zumbo's Brownie Mix. This was amazing. Quick, easy, delicious. Seriously an amazing desert or cut smaller something to go with coffee. Andy flipped over these. 

It would be a good thing to have in the pantry just in case. So I have to hand it to Adriano!

And thank you Elaine for getting me to try the Macaron mix in the first place or I never would have thought to. 

It has made me notice there are also Donna Hay mixes and I really like Doona Hay, so you never know....

Andy took a little packet of macarons and two brownies to the ladies in the nursing home. He said they were just so thrilled, both declaring they are NOT diabetics and are allowed to eat them. (we also checked to see if it was ok)

My supply of cellophane bags are so handy. Cheap shops often have them now and Spotlight does. They make little foodie gifts very easy to present and keep fresh.

I have a few sizes and they turn a lot of litlel things into gifts or just something thoughtful to send. 

In a local gourmet food store I notice the prices of ordinary home cooked food. A quiche is about $30 to $40, a small cake and I mean really small is $20 and Mimi saw a jar of biscuits for $30. Cupcakes are $4 plus each. I saw a packet of 6 gluten free biscuits for $16. 

Well, I am a fairly basic home cook. I am not interested in recipes with 20 ingredients, five ingredients will do me! When I cook I like to make double or triple so I have a meal to freeze  and something extra. But I have increasingly used cooking as gifts. People just seem to love it. Given the prices I'm seeing and how busy everyone is no wonder!

My fruit cake is a gift I often use. I can make a few ahead, make mini ones and they keep for ages. A good easy gift. Tins of shortbread or gingerbread or little packets of mixed biscuits.

A hamper made up of little jars of jam, some cake or biscuits, some herbs... or a whole birthday cake or basket of scones.... or a lasagne or meat pie, delivered, as a gift to someone unwell or busy. These seem to always go down well! I think if you cook value these things as wonderful gifts. Instead of trying to afford an expensive gift bake a wonderful cake or a tray of cupcakes. You might be surprised at the amazing reaction you get.

I have found making gifts for men and teenage boys trickier than for girls. They all seem to love food and be forever starving. A tray of brownies, or fudge or a chocolate cake would probably be a huge hit! It's good when we can get in on their secret loves and weaknesses... then we have insider knowledge! 

Funnily the gift of cooking can seem very touching and personal. It is a gift of care and love. More people than I would have imagined have never had a cake baked for them, never had a birthday cake... I found this out when I started making cakes and decorating them as birthday gifts. Now my decoration might be pink cream with a big pink rose on top (ie nothing hard to do) and still cause tears of joy. (I hope of joy...) So this can be a big thing for someone.

A pot of chicken soup when someone is unwell or a pie that is easy to heat up... really what could be nicer or more thoughtful. 

I am surprised how these things, simple and heartfelt, are loved. Like a hand written letter, cooking shows love and care, helpfulness. Don't underestimate the love your cooking shows to your family or friends. These are the things memories are made of.

1 comment:

  1. I so agree with you. My favourite childhood memories are about lovely home cooked food and also eating vegetables or fruit fresh from the garden. I remember one time we had guests and I made simple vegetable soup and home made sausage rolls for when they arrived and you would think I had put up a feast! It was a cold wintry day and they had travelled 7 hours, so I guess anything tastes good then ;) Home made food is definitely valued and appreciated in these busy times we live in.

    I'm sure those dear old ladies really have something to look forward to every week now.


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