Growing up, my mother encouraged us to make our own gifts and thank you cards all year long. But, let's be honest... anything a kid makes and gives to a parent is a masterpiece. I'll never forget the time Mom was sick and I made her a special salad. Lettuce with chopped up hot dogs and barbecue sauce. Voila!
|All the ingredients needed for|
hot dog salad
I see why teenagers and young adults audition for American Idol and actually think they can sing. Sweet old Mom has been clapping for them for years!
A botched cross-stitch piece or poorly constructed card is precious when you are young. Here the thought really does count. Once you are an adult, well... My first adult-made gift: a homemade recipe book for my new sister-in-law.
I knew my sister-in-law loved cooking, and my husband and I didn't have a lot of money for Christmas presents, so I decided to cut recipes out of magazines for a few months leading up to Christmas. Then I bought a small scrapbook and glued them in. On the front cover, I made a title and glued on a wooden spoon. Sounds wonderful, right? Problem is I didn't know what kinds of foods she liked, so it was a hodgepodge of recipes. Add to that my complete lack of skill with creative projects, and it was pitiful. I tried, and I hope that counted for something.
Come to think of it, she never did mention the recipe book. And I didn't have the guts to ask. I'll assume it still has a place of honor among her other loved recipe books. It makes me feel better.
I feel my best homemade gifts are behind me. But, I do make a mean chocolate chip banana bread that lots of neighbors will receive this holiday season. That counts as homemade, and I guarantee grandmother's recipe will make people happy.
My gift to readers, trust me you will love this:
Grandma's Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup AP flour (Mom swears by King Arthur flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, well beaten
3 ripe bananas, broken into pieces
1/2 bag of mini chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat again. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and beat again. Pour half a bag of mini chocolate chips (big ones will fall to the bottom) into the batter and stir. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/4 hours.
Gluten-free version: Substitute King Arthur Gluten-free flour for AP flour (same amount). It's wonderful!
When was the last time you made a gift? Was it a success?