Christmas gift idea; homemade blackberry syrup

By Kyle Lovern

December 8, 2013

Many of us have a tough time deciding what to give others for Christmas. Most all of us have been blessed well beyond our needs. The gifts a lot us appreciate come from the kitchen. Who wouldn’t like a cake baked from scratch or a tin of fresh fudge?

Times are hectic and people stay so busy that they don’t have time to cook like those in the past. We grab fast food from our favorite restaurant or throw something easy in the microwave when we get home in the evenings. It takes care of our hunger but nothing tastes quite as good as home cooking.
For those that have the privilege of getting to spend time in the kitchen what better gift can you give than something you’ve cooked or baked yourself? You will have the satisfaction of giving something from your heart and those receiving your gifts have the joy of eating fresh cooked foods that you’ve prepared. They will know that you thought enough of them to take the time to make something especially for them.
One year we had picked quite a few blackberries. I had put them in the freezer to use later on. At the time, I was part of an online homemakers group. We had fun trading recipes. One of the girls shared one for Blackberry Syrup. I thought that would make a great gift for friends and family during the holidays. It wasn’t hard to make and l was proud of what I had accomplished.
To decorate the jars and make them look more festive, I took Christmas tissue paper and cut circles large enough (use a saucer as a template for the circles) to go around the lid. You can tie the paper on using ribbon or string. I printed labels on my computer for the jars, as well.
The internet has recipes for homemade pancake mix. I found one that I thought would be good and packaged it in some pretty bakery bags that I found at the Dollar Tree. This worked out perfectly to go along with my jars of blackberry syrup. It was a gift that I could feel good about giving.
A jar of the syrup and a package of pancake mix placed in a basket lined with a pretty Christmas dish towel would be a gift you could proudly present to those you love!
Until next time…. Debbie
4 c. blackberry juice

4 c. sugar

1/4 c. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and simmer until sugar dissolves. (Will thicken more if cooked longer.) Pour into clean hot jars and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.