Recipes for Homemade Gifts

Oatmeal Soap
– 1/2 cup oatmeal
– 1/2 cup soap shavings
– 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil 1 tablespoon water
Method: Place soap shavings in a plastic bag, and pound them into smaller pieces. Place the soap in a blender, add oatmeal, and pulse until mixture has a grainy consistency. Pour into a bowl and remove any oversized pieces. Add oil and water and begin mixing with your hands. Form into a firm ball and set aside until it is hard. Takes about 2 hours.

Bath Salts
– 2 1/2 lb Epsom Salts
– Food Coloring
– Perfume
Method: In a large bowl, mix Epsom salts with food coloring and perfume. Mix until the colour is spread out evenly. Put into smaller jars and let stand 4-6 weeks before using so that the perfume can absorb full into the salts.

Almond Lotion
(Makes 8 Ounces)
– 1/8 teaspoon borax
– 1/4 cup distilled water
– 1/2 cup almond oil
– 1 Tablespoon grated beeswax
Method: Combine borax and distilled water and set aside. Heat almond oil and beeswax together until beeswax is almost melted. Remove from heat and stir. Heat borax water to almost boiling. Slowly pour water into the heated oils while stirring with a wire whisk or a mixer. Once the water is completely mixed into the oils allow the mixture to cool. If you would like you could a drop of an essential oil of your choice to add fragrance.

Oatmeal Milk Bath
– 1 cup cornstarch
– 2 cups milk powder
– 1/2 cup oatmeal (ground finely)
– rose petals, lavender, or rosemary (ground finely)
Method: Combine all ingredients in a food processor until well combined (if you have a plastic food processor bowl you may want to do this with a spoon and a bowl because it may scratch it). To use add 1/2 cup to hot bath water.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath
– 1 cup powered milk
– 1/2 cup baking soda
– 1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal
– 2 tsp. cornstarch
– 1 tsp. cream of tarter
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
Method: Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine.

Dipped Candles
– paraffin wax crayons
– suitable material for the wicks
– a tin can
Method: Smash the paraffin wax into chunks and place them into the can. Place the can in a pan half way filled with water. Warm the water until the wax melts completely and reaches a temperature of 160 F. Now turn the heat down. Add crayons to the wax until you get the color you want. Check the temp. of the wax and be sure it is still at 160 F. If the wax is lumpy, it isn’t hot enough, heat some more before continuing. Dip your wick holding it in between your fingers in for about 3 seconds. Remove wait a couple of seconds. Now repeat the dipping process until the candle is the thickness you desire. If your candle is lumpy, roll the lumps out on a hard surface. Once it is the thickness you wish, increase the heat of the wax to 182 F. Now dip your candle into the hotter wax for 3 seconds and then hang it to cool. This last very hot dip will give your candle a very high shiny finish. While the candle is still a bit warm cut the bottom off.

Gingerbread Scones Mix
(Makes enough for 3 gifts.)
– 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
– 2 tablespoons baking powder
– 2 teaspoons ground ginger
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 3/4 cup shortening
Method: Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, cloves, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container for up to six weeks at room temperature, or for up to six months in the freezer.
For each gift measure about 1 1/4 cups of mixture into a container include the following directions for each gift:
In a medium bowl, place all of mixture, and make a well in its centre. In a separate bowl combine 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of molasses, and one beaten egg. Add this to the original mixture and stir until moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and quickly knead the dough for 10-12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough into a 6 inch circle and cut out 6 wedges. Place wedges onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are brown.

Herb and Fruit Vinegars
Ingredients: a variety of fresh herbs (basil, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, or garlic) or berries (raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries) white wine vinegar sugar (if you’re making berry vinegar) plastic containers with lids bottles with lidsMethod: Herb Vinegar
Mix the herbs that you would like together, the amount is up to you. Add four cups of white wine vinegar. Pour the mixture in a plastic container, cover it, and let sit in the dark for three to six weeks. After this time filter the vinegar and add a few fresh herbs. Pour it into a bottle and seal.
Berry Vinegar
Mix a 1/4 cup of sugar with 4 cups of white wine vinegar in a pot and heat until the sugar dissolves. Pour the heated liquid on top of the berries and mash them slightly. Pour the mixture in a plastic container, cover it, and let sit in the dark for three to six weeks. After this time filter the vinegar and add a few fresh berries. Pour it into a bottle and seal.

Flower Potpourri
– petals from fragrant flowers or herbs such as roses, lavender, sweet pea, thyme, mint, or rosemary
Method: Dry petals on a piece of paper, if they are large, hang them from the ceiling or a coat hanger with string. When they are dry, grind them up in a blender, or with a mortar and pestle (or even two rocks). Pour the dried pieces into a small jar and include these instructions.
To use: Pour this into a bowl and let sit on its own or add some boiling water over it let it work its magic. You can also pour the dried pieces in the middle of a small piece of fabric, gather the edges, tie it up with a ribbon, and you’ll have a sachet that will freshen up a closet or a drawer.