Make-ahead gifts?
November 28, 2010 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Gifts (edible?) that need to be made at least a month in advance?

I just got through reading these threads and I was inspired to make Moroccan preserved lemons for my friends and family for the holidays. I really liked the idea of something that takes little time and money to make, but with time, turns into something you can't just whip up on the spot. Is there anything else like that that I could make? I've thought of planting seeds, making vanilla extract, and making sourdough starters. Ideas that take a month or less are preferable.

I've seen this question but I'm looking for anything that can be given as a gift, not just Thanksgiving dinner foods.
posted by emilyd22222 to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Limoncello needs at least a month, longer is better. Lots of recipes out there.
posted by cyndigo at 5:25 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by bibliogrrl at 5:30 PM on November 28, 2010

Lots of flavored liqueurs, such as homemade kahlua, skittles vodka, fruit cordials, etc, need at least that much time to age.
posted by zug at 5:34 PM on November 28, 2010

Best answer: Vanilla sugar is awesome and makes an excellent, luxurious little present. Put a couple of cups of sugar in a container, bury a vanilla bean in there, seal it, and let it sit for a few weeks. Delicious in sweet baked things and also in coffee.

Pie in a jar doesn't need to wait for weeks, but it is another good make-ahead present option.
posted by bewilderbeast at 5:40 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Homemade vanilla extract!
posted by Jodio at 5:41 PM on November 28, 2010

Infused oils, infused vinegars, pickles, anything preserved, really.

It's a bit of a joke, but fruitcake is designed to last a very long time, and a really good fruitcake is a thing of beauty.
posted by xingcat at 5:46 PM on November 28, 2010

Infused vodka.
posted by Paragon at 5:48 PM on November 28, 2010

Seconding fruitcake
posted by dforemsky at 5:52 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I made infused oils for my goody bags last year. Rosemary-garlic and Chili-lime were a big hit.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 5:59 PM on November 28, 2010

Ginger/Root Beer? (from scratch/old recepies)

Toasted Sesame and Root Beer: An iconic soda is rediscovered for its versatility as a cooking ingredient, paired with the bold nuttiness of toasted sesame seed.

My favorite is some kind of essential oils/extract idea (this would take longer than a month (maybe start for next year? [although I found you can start using your creation just a few weeks after starting the process]); I do it with 'Christmas Tree' needles... basically putting them in a container with rubbing alcohol, it leaves 'sort of tar-like residue, but thinner', just a small amount creates a lasting scent, and then if you put that on a glass dish (on of those "essential oils diffusion devices), with a tea light candle below it, it makes everything smell like wonderful winter time (can be used anytime of year, for that "I like the smell of winter" sense). I have a strong feeling there must be a much better/safer method/technique for accomplishing than how I do it (like here).
posted by infinite intimation at 6:24 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Rum balls have to sit for a long while before they are edible. My mom makes a big tin of them for me every Christmas, and she usually starts them around now.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:31 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, I just remembered another thing! My late grandmother used to make a ton of lebkuchen every year, always starting about now, and storing them in coffee cans in the coldroom in the basement for a couple of weeks before offering them to guests. They get much more delicious as they age.

(She died two and a half years ago. In October my aunt found a bunch of cans of cookies behind some other stuff in the coldroom, and they still look perfect and smell amazing. Nobody is brave enough to try one, though.)
posted by bewilderbeast at 8:37 PM on November 28, 2010

Christmas pudding - made up to a year in advance... just needs resteaming at the time ... My mum makes one in November for the following year...
posted by Metheglen at 8:53 PM on November 28, 2010

Best answer: One more cookie option is springerle. They also need a couple of weeks of sitting around mellowing before they are really edible, but then they're delicious. And beautiful.
posted by bewilderbeast at 9:37 PM on November 28, 2010

Homemade granola is awesome.
posted by 8dot3 at 9:19 AM on November 29, 2010

Sloe gin, pacharan, and their ilk, are pretty awesome.
posted by jonesor at 10:47 AM on November 29, 2010

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