Author Topic: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!  (Read 23202 times)

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« on: December 30, 2014, 09:49:52 PM »
As per several posters request - an early start to planning 2015 handmade gifty goodness :)

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 384
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 03:13:23 PM »
Replying to subscribe and to thank Swick.  While I am at it, let me thank everyone for the inspiration.

Happy 2015 all!

KaleidoscopeHarmony

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: Suburbia, United States
  • Harmony Smith
    • Creating My Kaleidoscope
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 01:33:53 PM »
These were my homemade Christmas presents for 2014.  Looking forward to new ideas for next year. 

http://creatingmykaleidoscope.com/2014/12/22/diy-christmas-presents/


swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 02:11:28 PM »
Love the homemade books! Hubby did these a while ago and came up with a faster way of cutting them. I'll have to ask, I don't remember the details.

I'm in the process of getting all of our "Holiday" stuff in one place - we moved recently and nothing was packed together - I'm not sure if it started together :P

I have TONS of  blank Christmas cards that I inherited from my Grandparents. we have been slowly using them but I don't really enjoy doing the card thing. A couple of years ago I turned some of the pretty designs into boxes and gave out homemade ferraro roche in them.

Still have lots left over so if anyone has any ideas for things that won't just get opened, put on the mantel and thrown outcome January, I'd be super grateful!

Joggernot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Gulf Coast, TX
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 03:05:19 PM »
I do woodcarving, so everyone gets a wood carving (sample attached).  DIL collects Santas so she is easy.  For you, walking sticks are easy to do for your local people.  Cut a limb about 6 feet long and slightly larger than comfortable for your hand (because you are going to remove the bark) NOW.  Next let it dry about 6 months.  Then just clean the bark and sharp points off with a sharp pocket knife; sand it from 60 grit to 400 grit; and spray it with Spar Varathane (for outdoor use).  Add a leather loop; maybe some twine closely wrapped for a hand hold area (cover with Spar Varathane or Shellac to hold in place) and whatever else you want to do to personalize it for the giftee.  Cheap, easy, and will be used by anyone who likes to walk/hike or to just look good.

Write Thyme

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • I will get there one day.
    • Simple Living. Saving + Frugality. Meal Planning.
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 01:31:11 PM »
Yay! I love this thread already.

I might make some marble magnets for the grandparents. Cool idea, KaleidoscopeHarmony.

I'm making another batch of Cinnamon Honey Butter. Recipe here:
http://tidymom.net/2010/cinnamon-honey-butter-gifts-in-a-jar/

I want to make soap, and I found this website that sells melt and pour soap. Super easy and customizable! I requested two books at the library for melt and pour recipes.
http://www.brambleberry.com/

I'm going to do vanilla extract this year. I need to order the beans off Ebay soon.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 01:58:44 PM »
I was just thinking this morning "hmm...should probably start a 2015 Christmas thread, nope it is too early! Isn't it?" totally forgetting that I already had (opps!) and here it shows up :)

My only concrete plans so far are to make some fabric gift bags in all sorts of sizes and some Furoshiki cloths out of classy Christmas/winter material I got on a huge discount. I want to make all the gifts we give wrapping free. I have my mom and sister on board, they bought a bunch of material too so we are going to all get together and make them. Hubby's mom has been doing this for a while and we all think it is great.

I have a ton of assorted funky glass jars and bottles which I would like to use this year. So I'm thinking liquid stuff...infused liqueurs..and umm...I have to think in it!

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8566
  • Location: Australia
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 05:56:16 PM »
Posting to follow, but definitely not committing to a 100% homemade Christmas this year.

somecobwebs

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 11:08:50 PM »
Subscribing for sure :)

Lanthiriel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 782
  • Location: Portlandia
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 05:02:16 PM »
Any suggestions of good patterns for knit or crochet ornaments or other Christmas decorations? I bought some Red Heart at the end of the year but never found any patterns that tickled my fancy.

Joggernot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Gulf Coast, TX
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 05:29:38 PM »
Any suggestions of good patterns for knit or crochet ornaments or other Christmas decorations? I bought some Red Heart at the end of the year but never found any patterns that tickled my fancy.

The simple crochet ball would work for an ornament.  I suspect you're looking for something more complex, but these work for me.  They can be made in any size.  Do a search for small size to large size.  These, I think, are the large size directions.
http://www.craftdesigns4you.com/freecrochetball.htm

Secretly Saving

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 418
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2015, 06:33:04 PM »
I'm looking forward to what everyone shares this year!

Write Thyme

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • I will get there one day.
    • Simple Living. Saving + Frugality. Meal Planning.
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 02:23:57 PM »
Any suggestions of good patterns for knit or crochet ornaments or other Christmas decorations? I bought some Red Heart at the end of the year but never found any patterns that tickled my fancy.

Check out Ravelry. They sell and offer free knitting and crochet patterns. Also you could check Etsy. Sometimes "hookers" will sell their own patterns.

Joshin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 11:43:08 AM »
Replying to subscribe :)

I know we need to come up with a new "alternative" tree. Our trash-picked 10 years ago tree is pretty ugly. The mister and I have been discussing a few rustic alternatives. (Don't want a real tree -- not even potted -- for a multitude of reason.)

I caught myself looking on Ravelry yesterday for ideas. I need to find some holiday knitting ideas so I can work on them around the campfire when backpacking this summer. That's the extent of my planning thus far!

ejw001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 08:16:14 PM »
Last year I made sugar scrub in gingerbread and peppermint varieties (reused random bottles/jars I had collected).  Both of them smelled pretty delicious and I'm still enjoying a gingerbread bottle I kept for myself.  For the peppermint ones, I actually ground up some candy canes in a coffee grinder and threw it in there to give it color (the link recommends raspberry juice).

I also made vanilla extract which was incredibly easy, but ideally you want to let it seep for at least 2 or 3 months so you have to remember to do it early enough.  If I remember correctly, I got both the vanilla beans and some little bottles for pretty cheap on Amazon.

Both were a big hit!

AlwaysBeenASaver

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2015, 08:43:35 PM »
I love the idea of home made Christmas gifts, I hope I finally have time this year. I'll be following this thread closely for ideas.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7548
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 01:21:21 PM »
I've been thinking about doing extract--have to remind myself to buy beans and pick up the liquor at some point mid-year. I like the sugar scrub too....

aetherie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 772
  • Age: 27
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 02:01:28 PM »
Posting to follow. I don't have any plans yet, but there will probably be knitting involved.

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 384
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2015, 03:14:26 PM »
I should be thinking about those holiday knitting projects now.  Last year I found that my ideas were good individually but collectively overly ambitious. 


swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2015, 03:34:33 PM »
I should be thinking about those holiday knitting projects now.  Last year I found that my ideas were good individually but collectively overly ambitious.

This is me every year! My main goal this year will be stating my perfumes early enough this year - they got axed last year because I didn't have enough time to start them the ideal 6-8 weeks ahead of time. 

wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2015, 11:31:12 AM »
I want to do vanilla extract but am not sure where to get bottles. Do the bottles need to be dark?

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2015, 11:37:09 AM »
Is making vanilla extract significantly cheaper than buying it? 

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3300
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2015, 04:37:39 PM »
I needlepoint. Years ago, I made coasters and gave them to various friends. All my friends still have them, and they're in pretty bad shape. So I was inspired to make new ones. I've made somewhere around 50 think?

Materials: plastic canvas, each sheet is cut into 4 coasters, and is $1 per sheet I think.
Yarn - I got a needlepoint kit for Christmas, I will totally do the canvas but didn't want to use the included yarn. So I used that yarn, and also got a bunch more from my mom (who has 3 large bags of yarns).
Felt backing - bought at Joanns, on sale. $10-15 I think.
Patterns - all free. I had a few, found some online, created some from pictures and graph paper, went through my mom's pattern binders.
I already have all the tools needed - needles, scissors, thread.

These will be gifts for all my friends for Christmas. I'm basically done with the needlepoint part and need to sew on the felt backing. Then will probably take pictures and let friends rank ones that they like. There's a ton of patterns and colors to pick from.


If you knit/crotchet - dish cloths sound like a wonderful idea to me. And even better you can probably use up odd yarn.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2015, 04:41:59 PM »
Neat Idea Sibley!

I was cleaning up and found a whole bunch of labels we had gotten for free from an online promotion, fancy ones meant to make your homemade food look professional. I think I'll be using some this Christmas :)

RunHappy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2015, 09:02:58 PM »
Subscribing to this thread.

I love crochet so most of mine are yarn related. For kids I like making cartoon pillows, 12-16 inch round.  The  kids love them because they are cute and can lay or sit on them. The parents love them because each kid has their own.

This year I'm trying to figure it out. I want to make something cute but not time consuming because of a lot of life changes.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2015, 04:23:41 AM »
Subscribing to this thread.

I love crochet so most of mine are yarn related. For kids I like making cartoon pillows, 12-16 inch round.  The  kids love them because they are cute and can lay or sit on them. The parents love them because each kid has their own.

This year I'm trying to figure it out. I want to make something cute but not time consuming because of a lot of life changes.

I love crochet but I leave it to the professionals. If you want some fun inspiration here is the facebook page of one of my besties: https://www.facebook.com/courtchet?fref=ts Actually she did a lot of my homemade gifts last year, I come up with the ideas and she turns them into reality :)

LmoArk

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2015, 01:22:31 PM »
Replying to subscribe.  I'm a somewhat new knitter, but caught on quickly and I love making things with my kids.  Tightening of the budget due to sudden job loss has inspired me to do a homemade Christmas this year.

Write Thyme

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • I will get there one day.
    • Simple Living. Saving + Frugality. Meal Planning.
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2015, 02:23:43 PM »
I want to do vanilla extract but am not sure where to get bottles. Do the bottles need to be dark?

You can get a pack of 8 bottles on Amazon for about $11 (free prime shipping) I don't think it matters if you get dark bottles.

Write Thyme

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
  • I will get there one day.
    • Simple Living. Saving + Frugality. Meal Planning.
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2015, 02:24:13 PM »
Is making vanilla extract significantly cheaper than buying it?

This post is 5 years old, but at that time Trent claims to have made a cup of vanilla extract for $2.
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/homemade-gift-series-1-vanilla-extract/


This post is also 5 years old, and they claim it cost $0.95/oz to make:
http://www.dangerouscrayon.com/2010/08/homemade-vanilla-extract.html

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2015, 09:41:03 PM »
Is making vanilla extract significantly cheaper than buying it?

This post is 5 years old, but at that time Trent claims to have made a cup of vanilla extract for $2.
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/homemade-gift-series-1-vanilla-extract/


This post is also 5 years old, and they claim it cost $0.95/oz to make:
http://www.dangerouscrayon.com/2010/08/homemade-vanilla-extract.html

Wow!  I think I might be making ALL my vanilla extract from here on out, not just for gifts! 

choppingwood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 531
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2015, 08:17:36 AM »
Is making vanilla extract significantly cheaper than buying it?

No, according to Erica at www.nwedible.com. Just cooler. You can use alcohol other than vodka to give a different taste. She uses bourbon.

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2015, 10:37:26 AM »
Is making vanilla extract significantly cheaper than buying it?

No, according to Erica at www.nwedible.com. Just cooler. You can use alcohol other than vodka to give a different taste. She uses bourbon.

Not cheaper, but I use Cruzon black strap rum - makes the most incredible extract ever.

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1822
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2015, 12:32:21 PM »
I made a liter of vanilla over a year ago.  I either need to start baking more or give some away!

An interesting, yet dangerous, place to browse for bottles, tins, and other containers is specialtybottle.com. 

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2015, 01:15:56 PM »
I FINALLY started vanilla in January 2015 and it tastes AMAZING! I will give it away in tiny canning jars -- rustic! haha! A little raffia and call it good.

I saw "arm knitting" wool at Michael's yesterday and thought that maybe that is something I could make, such as infinity scarves or throw blankets. Might be fun, and hopefully easy. I don't knit in the original sense of the word. 

ETA: I would for sure use a 40% off coupon at Michael's and LOVE that I can pull one up on my phone and the clerk scans the barcode! Easy peasy!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 03:37:26 PM by 1967mama »

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2015, 01:23:54 PM »
An interesting, yet dangerous, place to browse for bottles, tins, and other containers is specialtybottle.com.

Totally! - learn from my mistakes...only peruse Specialty Bottle if you have a specific need in mind! They are the cheapest I have found anywhere.

hunniebun

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 544
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2015, 02:46:12 PM »
Smart to start thinking about this now. I used to knit dish cloths and they were a big hit. If I start now and do one a week I will have enough for teachers etc. I like to give 3 of them wrapped in twine with a bottle of hand soap of lotion.

RunHappy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2015, 01:15:17 AM »
Smart to start thinking about this now. I used to knit dish cloths and they were a big hit. If I start now and do one a week I will have enough for teachers etc. I like to give 3 of them wrapped in twine with a bottle of hand soap of lotion.

I like this idea!

handsnhearts

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2015, 02:06:16 AM »

ETA: I would for sure use a 40% off coupon at Michael's and LOVE that I can pull one up on my phone and the clerk scans the barcode! Easy peasy!

I'm almost scared to ask, but how do you get these coupons? 

Love all the delicious, alternative vanilla ideas here. I made homemade Kahlua one year and it was a big hit.

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2015, 02:11:21 AM »

ETA: I would for sure use a 40% off coupon at Michael's and LOVE that I can pull one up on my phone and the clerk scans the barcode! Easy peasy!

I'm almost scared to ask, but how do you get these coupons? 


Right on their website!

Cut and pasted one below, but not sure if formatting will work:

CURRENT COUPONS: APR 3 - APR 9 PRINT PREVIEW or TEXT TO PHONE
SELECT ALL DESELECT ALL
40% OFF 60% Off

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7548
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2015, 07:58:33 AM »
How do you make homemade kahlua??

handsnhearts

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2015, 02:08:20 PM »
How do you make homemade kahlua??

It was a long time ago, but a quick internet search revealed a bunch of recipes. The one that is closest to the one I made ( I have the recipe, but it's in storage. If I find it when I move, I will post it then. )

https://www.beanilla.com/blog/homemade-Kahlua-recipe

I used medaglia d'oro instant espresso coffee and I just put it all in a gallon mason jar. I split it later when batching it up. Also, I didn't cut the vanilla bean into thirds, I cut it open length wise and scraped the seeds out into the mix along with the pods.

Yum!

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2015, 02:19:30 PM »
Following for inspiration. I am so not crafty and I don't give a ton of Christmas gifts to begin with (just boyfriend and immediate family pretty much) so the ones I give are pretty specific, but I'd love to hear what you all are doing and maybe I'll get some ideas!

wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2015, 11:38:08 AM »
Thanks Write Thyme.  I think I may use 1967Mama's idea of tiny canning jars.  I don't want to pay for shipping. 

I was thinking of using rum miniatures, perhaps befriending a few rummies to get their leftovers, but then I got worried about safety issues. 

AllieVaulter, I happen to have vanilla beans already so it will be pretty cheap for me to make. 

Swick, Cruzon Blackstrap Rum? I will investigate this.

I spent a lot on Christmas last year and would like to stop the haemorrhaging this year by being prepared.  Do you guys do other things in advance like making cards, printing your own wrapping paper or sewing reusable gift bags?

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2015, 12:10:58 PM »
wintersun - you totally don't have to worry about reusing mini bottles, as long as they are clean. if you have any doubts you can grab some of that bottle washing chemical/powder sterilizer that they use in brew shops - but the alcohol content is going to be so high that I wouldn't worry about it.

The only thing I know for sure I am doing this year is making a bunch of cloth gift bags that we can reuse within the family (I think I mention it earlier up thread) If you have kids though, making some wrapping out of fruit and veggie stamping always goes over really well with the kids. A celery heard looks like a rose, apples cut crosswise reveal a star.

A couple of years ago I made some all spice dram and packaged it in the brown apothecary bottles. It went over really well with everyone I gave it to, a splash in hot chocolate, eggnog, coffee, coke...really good! Think I might experiment with making my own bitters this year. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/02/diy-allspice-dram-make-your-own-st-elizabeths-pimento-dram-recipe.html

James!

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Location: PDX
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2015, 12:21:13 PM »
Hey All!

Love the thread idea.

For everyone talking about making homemade vanilla. May I suggest you just give people this article instead? :-D
http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/12/taste-test-is-better-vanilla-extract-worth-the-price.html

From an extremely reputable author (MIT grad, Cook's Illustrated Alum, James Beard nominee for 2015)

The TL:DR is basically that in anything cooked/heated (which is what almost all vanilla is used for) you can't taste ANY difference.


For another food related option, last year we made home-made hot chocolate mix in mason jars. It's incredibly cheap compared to fancy hot chocolate mixes and is delicious. We'll be doing this regularly for sure. For some, we bought locally made ceramic mugs to go along with it. Handmade, just not by us.

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/12/decadent-hot-chocolate-mix/


Cheers,
James

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2015, 01:00:59 PM »
James!

As a bit of a vanilla snob, I far FAR prefer real vanilla to artificial but dislike the higher cost. Thus, homemade vanilla is a real bargain for me, and makes a unique gift as well :-) Thanks for the article -- YMMV -- fairly anecdotal, unfortunately.

James!

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Location: PDX
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2015, 01:59:07 PM »
James!

As a bit of a vanilla snob, I far FAR prefer real vanilla to artificial but dislike the higher cost. Thus, homemade vanilla is a real bargain for me, and makes a unique gift as well :-) Thanks for the article -- YMMV -- fairly anecdotal, unfortunately.

Well, unless you're eating it raw, I think you're fooling yourself. It's not at all anecdotal. They follow scientific methods for determining preference. Did you read the whole article?


swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2015, 02:11:33 PM »
James!

As a bit of a vanilla snob, I far FAR prefer real vanilla to artificial but dislike the higher cost. Thus, homemade vanilla is a real bargain for me, and makes a unique gift as well :-) Thanks for the article -- YMMV -- fairly anecdotal, unfortunately.

Well, unless you're eating it raw, I think you're fooling yourself. It's not at all anecdotal. They follow scientific methods for determining preference. Did you read the whole article?

I appreciated another point of view, thanks for sharing! - but this is what gets me every single time:
Quote
while the vanillin is chemically identical to that found in real vanilla, it's extracted from coal tar or wood pulp as a by-product of paper production and is thus extremely inexpensive to produce.

My hubby works in a pulp mill, and there is no way I will put artificial vanilla in my body. There is also the argument that vanillin is only ONE of the thousands of chemical constituents in real vanilla. There is a synergy in the whole that doesn't exist when you isolate the individual elements.

I also tend to use a lot of vanilla in raw desserts/smoothies/drinks so the taste is important to me :)

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Canada
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2015, 03:13:52 PM »
Yes, I did read the whole article and my conclusion is that 4 people tasting homemade cookies around a kitchen table (as pictured) does not a scientific proof make.

Like Swick, I'm much fonder of homemade vanilla. Have you ever tasted it? Its divine!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled "Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!"


FiTech

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Tucson AZ
    • Think Save Retire
Re: Homemade Christmas 2015 Edition!!
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2015, 03:22:35 PM »
I'm planning to knit some fingerless gloves for relatives this year but haven't come up with other ideas yet.

I did vanilla extract last year. My sister made some awesome personalized photo coasters as well.

I know someone who made their own bacon salt as a gift and a friend who infused liquor and gave that out. Limoncello is pretty easy to make apparently. As is strawberry vodka.