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Time for Teacher Gifts (and a bunch of other Christmas stuff)

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Marmalade & Homemade Caramels
Every year I like to make something homemade for teacher gifts. This year I decided on homemade caramels. I’ve never made them before (though I have made other candy).  Well.  They taste good. But I just pray no one’s fillings come out while they enjoy them. Seriously.
Should have buttered the foil better...
In addition to using my candy thermometer I was testing by taking some and putting it in water, but I still think they got cooked past the “firm ball” stage.  They were really really difficult to cut into pieces-not only tough, but also so sticky! I made half of them plain and half with roasted salted mixed nuts on top (yum!)
Half the pan has mixed roasted nuts
I hope they like them.  I feel like because they are not awesome they need a little something else.  For Tabby’s teacher I added a felt & sequined ornament that I made last year and kept hanging around for exactly this sort of occasion.
We’ve been enjoying other Christmassy activities in addition to the cookie party.  At Clark’s Cub Scout pack meeting they decorated gingerbread houses.
Cub Scouts Gingerbread House decorating
And Tuesday was Tabby’s nursery school Christmas program.  This is our fifth and final year there (2 for Clark, 3 for her) and I felt a bit melancholy.  We were pretty excited for Tabby that this year she had a role-Joseph!
As Joseph
And she was wonderful. When her class sang all their songs she sang nice and loudly and clearly (but was not shouty or obnoxious-you could hear other children.) It was all very joyful and wonderful hearing the children sing and seeing them act out the Christmas story.

With Daddy
Ever since I got a copy of Small Batch Preserves I’ve had my eye on several wintery marmalades that would make great gifts.  Even though I had the caramels I decided to make Cranberry Orange Marmalade yesterday.  This is another no pectin added recipe, which made me nervous, but it gelled beautifully!
Cranberry Orange Marmalade
It’s actually quite thick! And a gorgeous ruby color that makes it look alternately like a jewel or like cherry Jell-o.  Taste tests say it is delicious-tangy but sweet.
Testing it out-isn't it so pretty?
We tried it on English muffins, but I think it would also be very good dabbed on roast pork.

In other news, Blackie is still pregnant and getting bigger every day.  I think she could have them in a week.  They need to be separate when the babies were born so we’ve been putting them in separate cages at night when we’re not around. But then I let them be together during the day because they like hanging out together. We can’t wait to see these babies!
Getting Bigger
I still have a few felt ornaments to finish today, a custom apron to make, and our Christmas morning sticky buns to make. Still plenty of time though! Plenty of time for enjoyment! Oh, and we sent out our Christmas cards and (I don’t think I shared this here already) this is the photo we used on the card. I was so pleased with this picture I got an 8×10 print of it.

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, and Happy Holidays!
How adorable do I think my kids are? Pretty darn cute.


About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

2 responses »

  1. I always enjoy reading your blogs and seeing your photos. Your children will have wonderful childhood memories. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


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