The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Use tea to make your own Christmas gifts!
Now that the Christmas season has begun, everyone is thinking about affordable, yet thoughtful gift ideas that will please their loved ones.  Of course, tea makes a wonderful gift in and of itself, but did you know that tea can be used to make many things that can be given as gifts?  You can make a variety of gifts that are useful and attractive, and save money doing so.  Here are 10 inexpensive, fairly easy ideas for food and cosmetics that your friends and family would love to receive:

Grind green tea or other tea with sea salt (and/or herbs) and package in a small decorative jar for a flavored salt gift.
Or do the same thing with sugar for a flavored sugar. 
Use tea leaves in a potpourri blend with orange peel, dried rosebuds, lavendar and spices. 
Make tea-flavored shortbread (or even biscotti) using a few tablespoons of ground tea leaves in place of a few tablespoons of flour.
Make a tea-spice rub for meat using ground tea leaves, packaged in a decorative glass jar. 
Make tea jams and jellies.
Make tea and fruit compotes
Put together a “tea party in a basket” for someone, with some non-perishable things from your tea party pantry
Use tea to “antique” paper or fabric as part of a scrapbooking or sewing gift. 
Combine tea leaves with herbs in a “tub tea” bag for the bath.

“Small homemade food gift ideas”
“Good salt – beyond the round blue canister”
“Apricot oolong compote recipe.”
“Barbecue with tea this weekend.”
“Favorite tea-time recipe from Gourmet magazine: Meyer Lemon Curd.”
“Chocolate and tea: the perfect match?”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“Top ten ways to recycle tea and tea leaves.”

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)