A Home-Made Christmas

Sixty Seconds with Judi

Every year I make that promise to myself that I won’t get crazy over buying gifts for everyone. This year I am sticking to my promise! It has become so difficult to buy the perfect gift for everyone and let’s face it the last thing you need is another coffee cup. Why not give something from your heart? Something made with your own hands. You don’t need to be an artist or some crafty wizard; there are many simple things you can do that require little effort, time or money.

Let’s start in the kitchen. I love giving food baskets. No need to be elaborate. Something as simple as a plate of cookies, a loaf of bread or a little jar of jam or jelly can lift any spirit.  Put on some holiday music and dance your way through a recipe. Everyone appreciates a little something to eat.

If you don’t know where the kitchen is or find that cooking isn’t your bag, we have lots of other options for you. Some even come in the form of an instructional class. How about building your own Terrarium? Bring a friend to a class and you each can build your own. Or maybe make a Holiday Wreath? How about a lovely jar of Coconut Sea Salt Scrub? These classes offer not only a lovely gift but time spent with a friend or family member. Plus, you get to take one home for yourself!

If a child is on your list, may I suggest the Children’s Holiday Centerpiece Class. This again offers your child the perfect opportunity to make something nice for the holiday table or to share with Grand mom.

So, let us help you make your very own home-made Christmas. You can start with the two jam recipes listed below…

Cranberry Apple Jam

  • 8 Cups of Linvilla’s Own Apples, cut into ¾” chunks
  • 4 Cups of fresh Cranberries
  • 4 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 tsp. of Cinnamon
  • ½ cup of Lemon Juice

Prepare a boiling hot water bath for your lids and canning jars.  For this recipe, we used 2 pint jars and 4 half-pint jars.  You can select and sterilize whatever sized jars you prefer.  Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and water into a large pot.  Bring combination to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Stir ingredients frequently to avoid scorching, while breaking apart apples.  When your berries open and your apples are just soft, Add your lemon juice and cinnamon.  Continue cooking for another 7 to 8 minutes, until jam thickens.  Cooking time will depend on the variety of apple you choose.  You will know your jam is ready when a wooden spoon is pulled straight out of the pot and only some just remains on the spoon.  Ladle into hot jars and process in your hot water bath for 10 minutes.   

Raspberry & Linvilla’s Sparkling Cider Jam

  • 3 Cups of bottled raspberry juice
  • 1-1/4 cups of Linvilla’s Sparkling Cider
  • 3 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
  • 6 Ball® (8oz) half pt. glass jars with lids and bands
  • ¼ cup of Lemon Juice
  • 4 Cups of Sugar

Prepare a boiling hot water bath for your lids and canning jars. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.  Combine raspberry juice and lemon juice in a large sauce pan.  Gradually stir in pectin.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Add sugar and return to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in your Sparkling Cider and skim off the foam if necessary.  Ladle hot Sparkling Cider jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch head space.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar and apply band until fit is fingertip tight.  Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and let cool.  Check lids for seal after 24 hours.  Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Join us in the Garden Center for some of our favorite home-made Christmas Classes:

Fresh Wreath Making Classes-  Join us every Saturday and Sunday morning at 11 am from now until Saturday December 23rd for this hands-on class.  Make an elegant wreath and fill your home with the scent of fresh pine. Let our talented Garden Center Staff guide you through making your own beautiful wreath for the holidays. Greens and frame are included in cost.  Please call to register 610-876-7116.  Fee $30

Build your own Terrarium or Fairy Garden Class is Saturday, December 9th, 2017 at 10am-   This class is the perfect gift! Bring a friend and enjoy the time together. We supply everything you need to build your own beautiful terrarium. You can choose from a variety of containers and plants. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through the entire process.   Fairy Garden pieces are sold extra.  Call 610-876-7116 to register for class.  Fee $35

Smokin’ with the Boys will return Saturday, December 9th 2017 at 10am- Our resident smoker, Steve is back and this month he will be demonstrating how to smoke the Holiday Turkey! Steve also surprises us with his smoked side dishes. Please call 610-876-7116 to register. FREE

Coconut Oil, Lavender and Sea Salt Scrub Class is Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 10am – Another Great Christmas gift idea, our Garden Center Staff will guide you in making your very own jar of Homemade Lavender Scrub to keep your skin moisturized through the wintry weather.  All supplies are included. Please call 610-876-7116 to register. Fee $20

Children’s Holiday Centerpiece Class is on Saturday, December 16th , 2017 at 10am – Your Children will be so proud to see their Holiday Creation from this class displayed on the table! Please call 610-876-7116 to register. Fee $15