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Sharing the backyard wealth

Submitted by on Wednesday, 17 December 2008 No Comment

Citrus tree overruneth this year? Pass the bounty along – not everyone has one in their back yard.

Fruit baskets are yet another gift with a bad reputation, thanks to mail-order firms that deliver mush. It doesn’t have to be that way, even if you don’t live in the land of overflowing oranges and lemons.

You could supplement your harvest with a variety of other fruits – apples, pears, bananas. Grapes are a little pricey this time of year – and not as good as in the fall – but just a bit will add color. Nuts are a nice addition as well if there are no allergies in the household.

Arrange it all in a basket – of course! – and you’ll have a simple but much-appreciated gift. Plus, it will be a nice nutrition break from the month-long cookie fest.

You can adapt this idea as a hostess gift or dish for a pot-luck, too. Cute, cheap holiday trays are easy to find.

If you’d like to add a dip, caramel is super-easy to make, though try a practice batch. It took me a few times how to stop it just short of that slightly burned taste.

This caramel sauce at Simply Recipes includes photographs and detailed instructions if you’re up for giving it a try.

Homemade caramel also would be appreciated in a home with corn allergies, because the store-bought stuff usually is loaded with corn syrup.

Another easy dip: A jar of marshmallow crème, a small container of cream cheese spread. Mix until smooth.

This is not a recipe for the egg-allergic, though. I’ve yet to find a marshmallow crème without egg, though most marshmallows usually are safe. Go figure.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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