A couple weeks ago, I posted about giving the gift of ferments. I was pretty excited to share that gift guide with you, and I do love all of the items on the list. However, while there are some ferments (mostly the not-as-healthy ones) that are fit for just about anyone on your list, I am definitely not giving ferments to everyone in my family. While I am lucky to have a ferment-loving husband (and dog), not everyone in my extended family shares our love for all things fermented. As Mr. Katz has said, these are powerful foods. Not everyone likes every ferment, and probably not everyone should eat every ferment. Sure, a couple people will be getting jars of my favorite lemon-ginger sauerkraut, a few dairy lovers will enjoy some cultured, compound butters (maple sea salt is a favorite), homemade feta and addictive creme fraiche. The spice lovers in my life will indeed be getting some six-month homemade sriracha hot sauce or kimchi.
As I mentioned, though, some people in my family will be getting nothing even remotely fermented. While I would love to share the gift of the food items that have made me happier, healthier and more engaged with my local food sources, my momma taught me a long time ago to be very careful to give gifts that the receiver would like rather than gifts I would like myself or, worse yet, gifts that I would like the recipient to have. This philosophy has paid off (I believe I have a pretty good reputation as a gift-giver), but it isn’t always easy to follow.
So this year, I decided to try my very best to find happy middle ground. My goal was to buy mostly stuff that I would normally be fine spending my money on. My parents are also on the list of people who aren’t crazy about ferments. They do, however, enjoy Bailey’s Irish Cream in their coffee sometimes around the holiday. So this year, I compromised: I made a homemade organic version of Bailey’s by adapting this Irish Cream recipe. I halved the almond extract and only used 2/3 cup of whiskey and cream from a local, organic creamery. I think it is spot on, and it doesn’t contain miscellaneous emulsifiers or vegetable oil; just pure organic ingredients (okay, the whiskey is not organic)! I’m very excited to share it with my parents and uncles.
My aunts will be getting some organic homemade body scrub. The wonderful recipe for this is from So…Let’s Hang out. I followed it to a tee and it smells delightful! No harmful additives, parabens or other chemicals that are par for the course in commercially available (and way pricier) scrubs. My aunts love bath and body products and I think they’ll really dig these.
Yes, in addition to my homemade goods many people on my list (especially my parents who are wonderful humans who deserve everything I could ever give them) I have purchased gifts. Some I feel wonderful about buying because the come from sources I admire and want to support. Others, I feel good about because I know they will be appreciated and loved by people I appreciate and love. And I don’t feel at all guilty about that.
Happy Holidays to you all, whether you give homemade, organic, hippy gifts, the very store-bought kind or whether you eschew gifts or don’t celebrate Christmas at all!