Working ahead of Need: Christmas in July...
Most people begin preparing for Christmas in December but, as you probably already know, I prepare for Christmas all year round. My Gift and Craft Pantries are often bulging by the time winter arrives, which allows me to spend the bulk of my time during the holidays savoring the joy of organizing gift boxes and baskets, baking and putting the finishing touches on the gifts that I make. Why do I do this? To soothe the budget and to give thoughtful gifts that will impart that unique quality of things make by the human hand. My most recent project is a delicious, simple, budget~friendly granola/trail mix.
I washed and saved the jars from Mike's favorite salsa.
Painted the clean, dry lids with leftover white spray paint.
Then I made up a few batches of homemade granola adapting a basic recipe I found HERE. I didn't have all the ingredients on their list so I simplified by leaving out the wheat germ, oat bran and sesame seeds. Instead I used what I had on hand which were the rolled oats, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (aka Pepitos), snips of dried cranberry and ginger and substituted raw coconut oil (found at Sprouts or Whole Foods) for the vegetable oil. We like ours very spicy, so I added extra ground cinnamon and put in lots of ground nutmeg also. (Katie LOVES it!) I've already given a few jars away (note the gift bag in the collage!) So, truth be told, these probably won't be lasting until Christmas! That being said, it was so incredibly EASY to make, inexpensive (I bought the rolled oats in bulk for a song) and the whole thing took less than an hour for two batches, that I know I'll be whipping up variations on this recipe anytime I need a deliciously quick, pretty and practical gift! Include some specialty tea or a bag of gourmet coffee beans and you have a lovely hostess gift as well. I know we think alike regarding working ahead of need so I'd sure enjoy hearing what projects you're working on to stock your gift pantries!!! I'm always inspired by what you come up with. More soon my kind friends.
Sending love and good thoughts to all!
Tracey and Family x0x