22 December 2007

Gift from the heart

Oogling over the gift guide over at CH's, I've already picked out a couple of items to get as presents for myself since I've been an obedient girl (for most part of) this year. Some, especially a certain pale blue beauty featured in the post, require a great deal of saving up for. For the not-so-well-endowed, the spatula, plastic cocktail shaker, teastick, teas and the books would make great gifts for foodies like me *hint*.

Among the range of books, I had a chance to get my hands on San San's book - Ashley. I scanned through the book really briefly at first, as I was concurrently trying to sustain a conversation without being too rudely distracted. With the little snippets of what I caught, it seemed like a pretty touching story. When I slowly thumbed through the pages during a leisurely bus ride later on, there was little I could do to stop my tears. It may not be as festive as Christmas gifts usually are, but it is most meaningful. If you'd like to get a copy for yourself, please email San San at

Meaningful gifts come in many forms. Through a book with a simple but great message. Through the Black Cocktail Shaker you know your friend has been eyeing. Or through a beautifully quaint and extremely fragile perfume bottle that comes with a scent that you think matches her personality best.

But if you're really dry on inspiration, nothing says 'I'm glad to have you as a friend' like a simple homemade gift.

I had a simple Christmas gathering yesterday, where I invited a big bunch of friends over to my place and prepared a buffet spread. As little take home gifts, I decide to prepare some Spiced Conference Pear Jam that seemed suitable for the occasion. These Conference Pears I bought in Cold Storage were astoundingly huge, juicy and sweet.

My usual partner-in-crime, Addy, came over to help out and it was the first thing we got started on. 6 big pears yielded about 1800ml of jam. Using a ratio of 1 (sugar): 2 (fruit), and some lemon juice (I added the juice of 1 lemon in total) I threw the sugar into a big, heavy pot together with the lemon juice and the peeled, cored and roughly chopped fruit. After boiling and slow simmering with some added spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg), I added about a tablespoon of gelatine for good measure. It was taken off the heat when the concoction turned slightly syrupy, but the jam could probably afford a little more gelatine for something more firm. Once the jam cooled, they were poured into clean glass jars and tied with ribbons.

Seeing their faces as I handed out the little bottles of pear jam was priceless. Even if the jam/cookie/muffin/cupcake doesn't turn out well, present it anyway and I'm sure the gesture would be appreciated.

At the very least, they would say 'I may not know how to make cupcakes, but for you my dear friend, I tried.'

1 comment:

baobei said...

hi hi,
can I ask where did you get those glass bottles?

its always quite some work to throw parties :)