Gift Ideas Just Me

Sweet and simple gift for teachers and hosts

My children have big hearts and a LOT of teachers in their lives. The list of staff and teachers at my son’s school is over 17! As much as I would love to purchase a big and beautiful gift for each of them, finances just don’t allow. We do so very much appreciate them though, so every year I make a sweet and simple gift to let them know how grateful we are. (Remember I don’t cook as a rule so finding something that I felt would be a success was a huge win for me)

I found Sugared Cranberries… the best thing is that while they are tasty, it’s not a gift that would be repeated. It’s such a simple thing to make, that I always make extra for party hostesses and random gifts you always seem to need at the holidays.

Ingredients you’ll need:

Cranberries (I started with 2 large bags, totaling 3 pounds I think), granulated sugar, water.

The recipe is simple to adapt to more or less-

Rinse the cranberries well and put them in a liquid measuring container to see how much liquid you’ll need (I needed 6 cups). Measure out equal parts of water and granulated sugar and place them in a large pot on medium high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar mixture, but don’t let it boil. When all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear, turn it off and let it cool (if it’s too hot, it will burst your cranberries). You’ve just made a simple syrup!

Place the cranberries in a container that is close to the same size as the volume you have and pour the syrup over the top. You’ll notice your cranberries will float. You need to weigh them down to keep them in the syrup. (I use a sealable cereal container and put foil over the top to weigh them down then add the lid to hold them in.)

Then place them in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. (Full Disclosure: this is generally where ADD sets in and I have been known to leave them in for up to three days with no ill effects…)

Bring them out of the fridge and place a paper towel on a large plate, then a smaller plate next to it. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the syrup and place them on the paper towel and blot lightly to drain and remove some of the excess liquid.

Transfer them to the smaller plate and sprinkle with granulated sugar. (I let them sit for a few seconds to make sure the sugar is sticking)

Transfer to containers.

I have a simple label I print for the jar tops and in years past have wrapped ribbed or washi tape around the lid edge. This year I went with simple.

The leftover liquid makes a lovely starter for any recipe involving simple syrup or you can add a few sprigs of mint, some of your cranberries and rum for a cranberry mojito. I pour it into a bottle, add a label and ribbon and it’s a lovely gift for a hostess or extra special teacher.

What do you think? Would you give these a shot?

Wishing you and yours a very joyous holiday season!

XO!

~Scottie

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