Homemade food gifts are hard to beat.
Whether it is a motichoor laddoo, a jar of fruit preserve or some crunchy peanut brittle, such food gifts are so precious. Taking the time to make gifts at home during the holiday season is truly a labour of love.
The way to enjoy it without feeling stressed or tired is by planning ahead of time. A little bit of prep, done in advance, makes the whole experience completely joyous. Whether it is making a list of things to buy, the number of people to make for or a fool proof recipe that is delicious and easy, organizing is the key to successfully gifting handmade goodies.
The cold months bring out natural cravings infused with the warmth of spices and aromatics. We also like our gifts to look pretty. Have you seen those dainty bottles of lavender infused sugar ? They last for so long and feel truly special.
We came up with the idea of infusing our bottles of Raw Monofloral Honey with a whole bunch of ingredients. Who doesn’t love to add a generous drizzle of golden honey over buttery, fluffy pancakes loaded with winter fruits or a generous pour over a cinnamon flavoured tea cake? ... So many yummy options. Also if we were to look away from the deliciousness meter a bit, the health quotient is too big to overlook.
At TBOF the emphasis is placed on mono floral honey where the bees are allowed to feast for a specific duration of time on one time of blossom. Mustard flower, Acacia honey, Coriander honey, Indian Ber Honey (or Sidr Honey), Wild Onion (Pyaji) Honey and Taramira (Arugula) Honey comprises the Two Brothers Collection of Raw Monofloral Honeys!
Honey has the power to heal; respiratory tract issues, skin health, digestive issues and boost immunity. In order to ensure the same we have to do our ‘honey home work’ thoroughly.
Once the palate is exposed to the taste of untainted honey, there is nothing which will come in the way of encouraging traditional food practices . There’s no greater pharma than the one nature provides us with. Let’s give it every chance to work it’s magic. Heating honey destroys all the work of the small winged workers who are vital for the ecological balance on Earth.
We were left spoilt for choice with the number of ingredients which would go so well with honey. So, we went with the ones which add a Christmas feel. Out came rolls of heady Srilankan cinnamon, dried petals of our native gulaab (rose petals) and slices of sweet nagpur oranges. Honey can be infused with both fresh as well as dried ingredients. The dried ones don’t add moisture to the honey so it will keep well at room temperature.
The fresh ingredients like oranges, amla,lemon ,edible flowers (pansies, nasturtium, cosmos) will have some moisture. The honey infused with fresh produce needs refrigeration and should be consumed in a few weeks.
The process is very simple. The most important rule is to use sterile glass jars which are dry.
Recipe for making infused honey
Sterile glass jars - quantity as required (to hold 200 ml honey)
Dried rose petals- 2 Tbsps/bottle
Cinnamon rolls - 2 / bottle
Orange segments - sliced in semi circles- 2/ bottle
Edible flowers - 4/bottle
Sterile tongs and spoons
Small rounds of paper, cloth and string for decoration
Use sterile tongs or spoons and place each ingredient carefully in each jar.
Use a sterile ladle and pour the honey into each jar until it comes up almost to the top
Close tightly with the lid.
Cover with a pretty cloth or paper and tie with a string.
Add a card or note with instructions on storage and use.