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Old 08-16-2006, 10:26 PM   #1
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Food Gifts, faves to give or receive

I still have a herb garden, the only edible stuff grown on our 1/4 acre these days and because they pretty much take care of themselves with an occasional groom, they are happy.
Herbs are also my best friends when we get invited out for dinner. I always take a bunch to our first time hosts and it is amazing just how wrapt people are at receiving them! Ok, Im not a cheapskate ( lolol) its just that so many of my busy friends do not have a herb garden, except for maybe a parsley plant at the back door and a mint on a windowsill. My days of herb vinegars are long gone tho'...must get back to that as I see most people cannot even get tarragon vinegar anymore. Has it gone out of fashion?

Anyways, I take my ribbon wrapped, huge bunch of herbs and a card with some idea's for using them in different ways. They look great in a vase also.
On other occasions, I have made a batch of old fashioned biscuits or cake and put them/it into an original retro tin ( I collect the tins) Many times we have spent ages yapping about the tin, the cake we remember etc.
Have given away countless jars of Curds...Passionfruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit that everyone has loved. Its amazing how many do not take the time to make something so simple as a curd.

The best things I have received have been cuts of meat from farmer friends, real ' homekill' as we say and full of flavour. Especially blackface hogget...yum.
And venison or wild pork. An occasional trout, paua ( swoon) or crayfish when our coastal friends visit. I can and do buy these things regularly ( except for trout which cannot be sold in NZ)for the business, but to have
them given to us at home is very different!

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Old 08-16-2006, 10:38 PM   #2
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Awwe, thats nice of you, when I was a kid our neighbores who gardened would give away tons of herbs to everyone for free just because they were nice.
The best food gift I've ever gotten would probably be a basket of Harry And David products I got for Christmas. It had I think salmon jerkey and some moosemunch and chocolate covered blueberries and assorted Jams and coffee. Oh, and good cheese.
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:42 PM   #3
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Hiya BB.....ummm, can you explain Moosemunch?? I am having all kinds of visions here!
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:04 PM   #4
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Me too, Lynan, and I want to know what curds are (cottage cheese?).
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatgirl
Me too, Lynan, and I want to know what curds are (cottage cheese?).
lol..Curds in this case are otherwise called Honeys or Butters.
The ingredients are a citrus fruit juice and rind for eg, cooked with eggs, sugar and butter in a double boiler. Can be held in the fridge for a reasonable length of time.
Im certain you have the same, just a different name??
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:34 PM   #6
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They can't sell trout in NZ why? That's a new one on me. Had some smashing golden trout about a week ago.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynan
lol..Curds in this case are otherwise called Honeys or Butters.
The ingredients are a citrus fruit juice and rind for eg, cooked with eggs, sugar and butter in a double boiler. Can be held in the fridge for a reasonable length of time.
Im certain you have the same, just a different name??

Lynan,

No, I'm not sure what you are referring to. What do you use it for?? Sounds mighty good, however.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:38 AM   #8
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There is nothing like a good lemon curd. The sweet buttery tartness is an excellent foil for a rich main course. What's more, lemon curd is not difficult to make, it just requires a little patience. The same recipe can be used for making a fresh lime curd or orange curd. I like to use it as the centre of a baked pastry shell and serve it with fresh strawberries or raspberries. Alternatively it is delicious with Pavlova. The curd can also be used just as a spread on bread. For a quick dessert, I fold it through softly whipped cream or mascarpone.
The fresh curd will keep for several weeks in a refrigerator if sealed in a sterilised jar. At my home it would'nt last nearly that long. If you keep it in a bowl in the fridge you do need to ensure it is well covered with plastic film as the curd readily absorbs the flavours of the fridge.
Over the years I have tried numerous recipes but I always go back to Stephanie Alexander's very reliable formula.
Stephanie's Lemon Curd
2 large lemons
100g unsalted butter
175g sugar
3 eggs lighty whipped and strained
Finely grate zest and juice lemons. In a heavy based saucepan, combine, butter, lemon juice, zest and sugar. Stir constantly over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the eggs off the hear and stir well. Cook the mixture over a gentle heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened. Do not allow to boil or it will curdle.

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Old 08-17-2006, 12:40 AM   #9
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Ooops, that was a C&P and I should mention, its best made in a double boiler unless you are confident with eggs over direct heat
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:47 AM   #10
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http://www.fishandgame.org.nz/SITE_D...and_salmon.asp

Re Scotty's question/comment about trout not being allowed to be sold in NZ.

Darned shame it is too!
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynan
Hiya BB.....ummm, can you explain Moosemunch?? I am having all kinds of visions here!
Hehe, moose munch doesn't have any moose in it at all! The moose is the symbol of Harry and David, and moose munch is the name of their signiture caramel coated popcorn.
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:44 AM   #12
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My favorite gift to give or recieve is always that unimaginative but always welcome bottle of wine or bubbly. The host can always put it away for their personal enjoyment or pop it for the guests.

Any home made food item is always loved. I often give home made pesto sauce, and have recieved many jams, jellies, and chutneys.

Once a year I get a package of Hawaiian goodies from my contingent of friends there.

When traveling some distance to visit, any products unique and local to your area make great gifts. Since I live in dairy-land, when I visit family in Florida I bring cheese, plus locally made and pacaged jars of sauces, pickles, jams.

I, too, have made herb bouquets for people. They're especially attractive if you have some edible flowers to add (marigolds, nasturtions, etc)
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:02 AM   #13
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my fave food to recieve is my MOM'S pecan pie...

to give is my pumpkin bread...
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:08 AM   #14
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At Thanksgiving, I make a wonderful (IMHO) green salad dressing (parsley, garlic, mustard, etc...) that people seem to really like so I make a huge batch and bottle it up to give during the holiday season. It keeps in the fridge for several months and I've given most of it away by the middle of December with all the parties we seem to go to.

When we travel back to Oregon, I take baskets of cheese, cheese curds, local beer and hard salamie from a local meat man.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:18 AM   #15
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I usually bring some of my preserves. The Brandied Cherries or Red Pepper Jelly seem to be the favs.

I can't remember the last time anyone brought me food as a gift.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:32 AM   #16
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taragon vinegar is awesome...also try it with a bit of lavender ...nice touch with the taragon. SHould never be out of style, something that good!
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:38 AM   #17
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My sister brings me salad dressing mixes from Germany that are great. Some are basil, or parsley flavored different other types. I haven't found one yet that I didn't really like.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:30 PM   #18
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I got a basil infused olive oil once, that was great! And I think that's a great thing to give too. I plan on preparing some small olive oil bottles, infused with herbs, to give as gifts to hosts.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:52 PM   #19
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Best gifts to receive are either homemade things....whatever they are, or if commercial then something I have never tried.

Although I am missing my favourite salad dressing from UK...so wouldn't mind a bottle or two of that....I'm going to post right now about ideas for replicating the recipe!

I always give my lemon almond cake because it is a good keeper and can be cut into right away or the next weekend, and who doesn't like lemon and almond! I also get positive feed back from my jams, and the other bonus is that once you have given homemade jame the recipient remembers that you might want their empty jars...you get more back than you give, which in turn can be refilled and given back again, lol.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:09 PM   #20
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Thanks, Lynan,

Learn something new everyday and as I love anything with lemon in it--I'm going to give it a whirl. Thanks!!!!!!
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