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Beach Cottage Christmas Salt ~ Christmas Homemade Gifts…for real girls

Mon 28th, Nov, 2011

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Yay, G’day…wanna do some Christmas Food Crafting Beach Cottage style?  No, don’t shudder in your boots…this is the kinda Christmas Homemade gift-making you are gonna love…

This is Homemade Christmas Beach Cottage Dump & Go Style…yep…if you can mix and pour and find yourself a nice little Mason jar and tie a label on it then you too can join that elite crew of Christmas Crafters.

All joking aside, every single Christmas since we had Honeymoon Baby I wanted Christmas to be purrrfect…that was before I had 3 kiddos and a serious reality check…before I un-subbed from all those hideous look-at-us-we-are-so-perfect families around their styled Christmas tree with a glistening turkey (obviously if you are not from the Old Country, like me,  insert here seafood)…

The secret, for me, nowadays and Christmas, especially with the big changes in traditions that living in the Southern Hemisphere has brought about and the differences in weather, is about keeping expectations really really low and doing the least work possible.  I still like to try my hand at Christmas baking and I love doing a big Christmas dinner (with compulsory bread sauce and aromatic gravy) and I always make room for mulled wine even if it’s a 100 degrees outside…

For someone like me, who is pretty into decorating the house and cooking big meals, Christmas, if allowed, can turn into a horrid frenzy of decorating and cooking…but now I stick to a fairly simple formula…firstly I like lots of twinkly lights….lots…and secondly my kiddos do most of the decorating…keeping it simple means everyone is happy (and I can get up in the middle of the night and change it all around when they aren’t looking ;-) )

…but every year about October time I start to have these grand ideas about baking and crafting…I suddenly start to envisage moi, decked out in a Christmas frock, arriving at parties laden with my homemade gifts….last year I was about obsessed with making Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls to take to the beach for Christmas morning…sadly, as with a lot of things in life, the reality is often very different…there ain’t much point, in my book in making homemade chutney and pretties, if the backlash of that is screaming at your kiddos and flying around on your broomstick and oh boy do I know what that’s like…

…so for making things I take the simple route….sticking to my limitations and doing what I love (avoiding sewing and doing foody things)

and so this spicy little salt is one of the things I used to make quite often in the Old Country…but haven’t for a couple of years…this year I have…it is so easy, it definitely fits into the Dump & Go category, only Christmas style….

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It’s great to have around to just perk up your meats and stuff and if you are like me and you like it hot baby, it’s really good to have around to add to food that other people (ie. your kiddos) don’t like as mouth-numbing as you

This is so easy with 4 ingredients that you can chuck in your supermarket trolley at the weekend…oh-so-very-easy that when I was shopping for them I forgot one…if I had a brain it would be dangerous….

So for this you will need some salt….I love Maldon salt and it always makes me laugh how I am a long way from where it comes from which is near where I used to live in the Old Country, yet it is readily available in Australia…tip : never buy this full price…it is always on offer in one of the big two supermarkets…I stock up then….once you start looking at salt though, you may be taken by surprise, there are a lot of salts around nowadays especially in the Lucky Country where we are spoilt for choice in products from all over the world…this pink salt, is lovely, in the salt world, but it’s not cheap…make your Christmas Salt though with this and it will look delightful….

 

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You will need peppercorns…to be honest you can try a combo of colours and tastes for this…red peppercorns are pretty much nice for that Seasonal feel though…

I also use star anise in mine, but I forgot to buy these for this blog post…

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and some dried chili

 

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Now here’s the tricky bit…you have to sterilize the jars first…two ways to do this 1. hot wash in dishwasher   2. put them in the oven for about 20 mins on 180C …if you use either method, be careful, if you are impatient like me, make sure you use a oven glove to protect your hands…I tell you how I know….there was a dirty great blister on my hand when making these one year :-) and allow them to cool before use

 

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Beach Cottage Christmas Salt

1 cup sea salt or flakes (I used Maldon but any will do, especially if you are on a tight budget)
2 tsp Red Peppercorns
4 Star Anise
2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes

Next mix your ingredients together and pour into your mason / jam jar.

tie with a clay tag and some pretty Christmas ribbon and voila, a Homemade Christmas Gift for real girls who have a life, or six

Oh, clay tags are wonderful for Christmas Crafting…see the Beach Cottage tutorial for them here (comprehensive step by step with all the details on how to make these little delights $6)….I make a big stash of these in one hit and use them to tie on my Christmas tree and on my parcels…sooooo easy and about a million times more economical than those clay tags you see in the boutiques..have a go, it’s super easy!

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Over and out from the beaches….I am getting mega-Christmassy….pass the Gluhwein will you?

beach decor
p.s. come & seen me on Pinterest….lots of lovely images on there and a Beach Cottage Coastal Christmas Board!

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26 Responses to “Beach Cottage Christmas Salt ~ Christmas Homemade Gifts…for real girls”

  1. Melissa-Miss Sew & So says:

    Sarah-I love this Christmas crafting!!
    Gorgeous visually in the jar & would be divine on meats etc all Summer!
    We on way home to countryside from London & I’ve just added these ingredients
    to my shopping list for tomorrow!

    Thanks :)
    Melissa x

  2. I am trying to get amongst the homemade chrissy gifts this year too. I will be sure to give this a go. Another is easy project is homemade muesli. . Chuck all the ingredients into the oven and wait! Simple. Have a great day. Amy x

  3. Pomona x says:

    Just the sort of Christmas crafting for me – the rest has come to grinding halt since I hurt my hand. I think I could almost do that one-handed – a very good idea thank you!

    Pomona x

  4. Peggy says:

    OH and to think I have ALL of these ingredients except for Maldon sea salt but I do have an acceptable sea salt to use. In fact I just picked up a big bag of star anise at the oriental grocer the other day because I love to decorate with them during the holidays! Have a wonderful day!

  5. Deanne says:

    I’ll add this to my Christmas list to make for family and friends.

  6. loulou says:

    Hi Miss Sarah

    Lovely and pretty too.

    What a nice thing to have in the kitchen.
    It could sit in the corner near my stove and I could use it when I am cooking and of course the salt is in an air tight jar.

    You are so resourceful :)

    Have a wonderful day,

    loulou, hereiamloulou blog

    x

  7. Melinda says:

    Great idea Sarah – will def try. My neighbor recently gave me some very posh flavoured salts when she came for dinner – I loved them as they were both practical and a clever departure from the standard box of chocolates. AND probably something I would never buy for myself.

    Anyway yours look very pretty and Christmassy with the red bits – Thanks for sharing the idea – very clever.

    Top of the morning to you xx

    ps what are you doing up and posting at 5.10am ?? I think Im very impressed

  8. Katrina says:

    Oh okay – I had not thought of doing something like this….my sister is into cooking lots of stuff…hmm homemade food type stuff that might do the trick

  9. Alice says:

    Very preeetttyyyy…. I love how it looks Sarah… Yes The world of salt we are a bit spoiled for choice. I am yet to try Maddon… Still recovering from Christams lunch… Like you said keep it simple… So I did and it went surprisingly well and smooth… We were all stuffed turkeys by the end of the day (lunch for us usually begins at 1 and ends ant about 8, our guests always seem to find a reason to stick arond for a while or it’s the ikea couch working its magic again – hahaha…) I LOVE the keep it simple rule… It is now the motto of my life…

  10. Tammi says:

    Oh I do love handmade gifts like this :)

  11. Love this! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I think they’d be great for the kid’s teachers!

  12. Mandy says:

    I have been thinking about easy christmas ‘crafts’ this year too and your salt hits the spot. i’m off to buy me some nice salt.
    thanks for sharing your gorgeous home and style – i get loads of inspiration from you.

  13. lyndy says:

    hiya, last year i made body scrub, in a mixing bowl, fold table salt with enough just melted copha (in the fridge section near the marg, its coconut oil) to form a hand scoopable texture, add drops of favorite essential oils and colour if you like, bottle and give, wow it makes ya skin smooov : ) people raved!

  14. Kate says:

    This is being added to my ‘easy homemades’ this year for the family interstate. Great timing, thanks so much for sharing Sarah :)

  15. Juliet says:

    Hi Sarah

    I just read this post and laughed out loud (not at the gorgeous Christmas crafting) but at the fact you lived near Maldon…….I am from Maldon and remember wistfully walking past the salt works by the river, and buying it in Sally Greens on the High Street.

    Now I have to ship in bags to a place where they have never heard of it………Delhi, India!

    I am presently collecting plenty of ye olde Indian pieces ready for a total white wash when I eventually move back to the sea or ‘that’ river.

    Love your blog it’s kept me going when I’m surrounded by dust :-)

  16. Marcia says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Love this for Christmas gifts. I’m making something similar but with sugar for soft skin. (Post titled Cinnamon Sugar Scrub).
    Love your pictures too. What camera do you use? I may be getting one for Christmas and I’m doing my homework.

  17. Love this gift idea. This is so pretty and I will be making some of these. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I love that your crafting is so attainable. Makes it really work for the rest of us! Thanks for sharing! liz

  19. Barefoot Liz says:

    I love the idea of giving fancy salt as a gift! Thanks for the idea! I may also give some homemade salsa to go with it.

  20. carrie says:

    I love these jars with the salts inside- just beautiful.

    My grand girlies made Holiday Gift Jars this weekend with me. I hope you can visit my blog to see their Jars of Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Fun.

    Your blog is beautiful.

  21. Rachel says:

    Love this idea Sarah, you clever minx!
    I feel that I shall just have to try and attempt to be or at least appear to be a domestic goddess and give it a go! I had the in-laws over for dinner tonight and tried out your thanksgiving bean recipe…..they loved it! I looked as though I had slaved all day, it tasted delicious and looked amazing so, mission accomplished!! Thankyou!
    Hope things are looking up for the rest of this week, looking forward to Good Life Wednesday tomorrow, can’t wait to see those scrumptious chairs again….mm! Perhaps you could put on a lovely floaty linen outfit for the occasion!! Haha xo Rach

  22. Rukmini says:

    Oh, I somehow missed this. This is wonderful!!! we get pink salt here, yes.