Neighbor Gifts.





Our cozy brick house is in an older neighborhood with mostly older neighbors. Last year for neighbor gifts I distributed chocolate turtles. This year I got to thinking that some of our neighbors may be on special diets. That is when I decided to do a non food gift. Something useful, pretty and easy. I dried apple slices, oranges, and lemons with a friends food dehydrator and then found the following recipe to create a lovely Christmastime scent.

5 cinnamon sticks
1 dried lemon slice
1 dried orange slice
1/2 cup whole cloves
1 tbs. nutmeg
1/4 cup whole allspice
1 tbs. bay leaf pieces
3 dried apple slices

Combine ingredients. Add water to simmer on stovetop.



42 comments:

  1. oooh i love this. i love yummy smells!!! the funny thing about this on the stove is that it smells sooo good you could just drink it!!!
    kathryn

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  2. That is a great idea! I have a few friends on special diets too, and this would be perfect.

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  3. Those look so lovely! And packaged to perfection!

    Merry Christmas!

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  4. What a great idea! Can you tell me what the font is that you used for the "Merry Christmas"? I love it :)

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    Replies
    1. I think the font is Reisling

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  5. What a nice idea! Great for anyone!

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  6. What a great idea! Some Sisters that I visit teach are diabetic! Perfect!

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  7. that is a glorious thing! my mom used to do something similar and I am still transported back to my childhood every time I smell it.

    merry christmas to you and yours!

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  8. This "older" neighbor thanks you and appreciates your concern for my health and my waistline :)

    (the turtles were really good too though ;)

    I also LOVE my garden sign. It will help me get through this LONG winter non gardening season, but I am loving the snow.

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  9. I just bookmarked this idea- I might use it for the grandparents for valentine's day.

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  10. You these things, I have read twice, for me, this is a relatively rare phenomenon!
    handmade jewelry

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  11. Add a sprig of pine! Devine!

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  12. Did you dry the fruit slices or buy them that way? How would u dry them?

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  13. I don't have a dehydrator for the fruit (and no room to store even one more kitchen gadget!), so I found these directions I'll try: http://www.heathersdish.com/1/how-to-dry-fruit-without-a-dehydrator/

    Since my husband is a diabetic, I love the idea of a thoughtful and Christmassy gift that he can enjoy along with the rest of us. Thank you!

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  14. Thank you! I'm going to use it for parents that volunteer in my classroom, and neighbors. What a lovely, doable idea!
    Ginger

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  15. Is it really 1/2 cup whole cloves and 1/4 c whole allspice? That seems like a lot to me, and quite costly. Do you have a source for inexpensive cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Lois, it's a half cup of each. I know it sounds like a lot and would be expensive but we have a great grocer here called WINCO that sells spices in bulk. It's really quite affordable if you can find spices in bulk near you.

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  16. This is a great idea. I love something homemade and useful! I would love to receive a gift such as this myself.

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  17. Where did you buy and print the packaging?
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. The cellophane bags and kraft card stock paper were purchased at a local craft store. I did the printing myself. :)

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  18. I'd like to know where you bought the packaging as well. I have small cellophane bags, but what kind of paper did you use for the printed part?

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  19. Do you have a special program on your computer to print off the label so it can be folded over like it is and all the writing be the correct way?

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    Replies
    1. There is a way of highlighting sections of text & then flipping it. I would assume this is what she did in order to fold the card & still have printing correctly oriented on both halves.

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  20. Thanks for this recipe! I just learned how to dehydrate fruit in my oven, so I'm having a great time! I'm planning to give this as gifts to friends and family this year. Do you have a template for the label you used? Also, did you have to but the whole cloves and all-spice in a specialty store? Thanks!

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  21. This sounds absolutley wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I am going to try and do this and give to my neighbours and coworkes. I am wondering if you could confirm amounts. That does seem like a lot of cloves and would be quite expensive if making around 20 bags.

    Thanks

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  22. Is it really 1/2 cup whole cloves and 1/4 c whole allspice? That seems like a lot to me, and quite costly. Do you have a source for inexpensive cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice?

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    Replies
    1. The amount listed seems to be per bag as it is only 1 lemon, 1 orange, and 3 apple slices. There is a website called bulkfoods where I was able to find the spices at a really good price. Hopefully that helps :)

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  23. I just made these as Christmas gifts for my boy's teachers (I needed to make 14) and ordered the spices bulk from http://www.bulkfoods.com/ They had the best prices I could find and quick shipping. Hope this helps!

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  24. For those in the western US, I made 15 of these for Christmas neighbor gifts, and I bought my spices at Smart & Final. They packets were SO well received! Also, I kept one for myself, and I LOVED it!

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  25. Esta preparación es para aromatizar la casa o es para tomar? No entiendo.

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    1. Es por la casa. Es un popurrí que el calor en la estufa en agua hirviendo.

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  26. GREAT idea!!!!! I am going to use this as my party favors New Years Eve. (here via Pinterest)

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  27. If you look at the package it definitely looks like that much spices :) She's probably one busy lady!

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  28. What size cellophane bag did you use?

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  29. Did you only use the coffee filter to cover the jars or is that just decorative and you actually used the canning jar lids too?

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Can I use ground spices or just stick with the whole?

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  32. so bought everything but the spices & went to winco. sorry but at almost $17 per pound for cloves & allspice & $8.00 a pound for nutmeg this got EXPENSIVE. sounded great but had no clue how much this would cost, OUCH! great idea but a bit spendy

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  33. I'm so happy I found this page! I used this recipe as a base and did the cheap version. I used the same fruit but instead of allspice/nutmeg/cloves, I used mulling spice, with an added tablespoon or so of cloves. Mulling spice is under six bucks a pound here at Winco. It looks and smells great and costs way less. I put less stuff in each jar (jelly jars, peanut butter jars, spaghetti sauce jars....). I also added sprigs of fir from our tree, bought a bit of nice cinnamon, then used dollar store cinnamon as filler (it's hard to find it because the packaging is terrible and it's on the bottom shelf). The mulling spice has cinnamon flakes as well. I put in a bit of cardamom because I had it and it's amazing. The bay leaves are practically free. They're in bulk at Winco, or you can get a pouch in the Hispanic foods aisle of many stores for about fifty cents. (I used two.) If you go to "ethnic" grocery stores you can get cheap spices in huge bags. I bought a pound of star anise for $5 at an Indian grocery a couple of years ago, so I added that too. I couldn't have afforded the spices listed so these adaptations made it work for me. I put the result in jars I'd saved over the past few months. I made 20 jars and it cost probably $1 or $1.50 per jar. I got four cooling racks for $2 at the dollar store, and dried the fruit in my oven. I got brown coffee filters ($1.67) as in the "Christmas in a Jar" project, and tied them on as lids with embroidery floss (30 cents). Cut up brown paper bag to make tags. I love this project because if you plan ahead, you can buy a little each month and save materials, and it's cheap and planet-friendly.

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  34. what process did you use to dry the fruit ?

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