An Easy "Homemade" Gift for the Holidays

Enough with the über-sweet fudge and the holiday cutout cookies – do any of us really need to give or receive another tin of sugary treats this coming season? I’m rallying for new gift giving guidelines:

1. People have enough stuff. Don’t give them more stuff.
2. People eat plenty at the holidays. No more cookies and sweets that need to be eaten or chucked within the week.
3. Gift giving should be fun. Don’t spend too much money. Don’t spend too much time in the kitchen.

This year, we have a "homemade" shortcut: fruit jellies. But let’s cheat a little and skip the hours of back-breaking fruit picking and the berry-stained kitchen counters by using fruit juice. We tried Knudsen’s Just Juice Black Currant and it was lovely! The black currant creates a tart fruit flavor that is perfect on a whole-wheat bagel. And best of all, you can give a homemade treat with about an hour of work.

Black Current Jelly

1 32 ounce bottle of R.W. Knudsen Family’s Just Black Currant (4 cups juice)

1 1.75 ounce no sugar needed pectin

2 ½ cups organic sugar

Pour juice into 6-quart pan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and return to full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim as necessary. Fill, seal, and water-path process according to instructions included with pectin. Yields 5-6 8 ounce jars.

Add some pretty packaging, and this is a gift your friends can enjoy well into the New Year!


  1. sounds great! do you think this is something that you could use agave nectar in as a substitute for sugar? Or would the texture not work out?

  2. That's a great idea! I so agree with your 3 points.

    I'm doing some homemade cleaning baskets this year, with knitted cloths, natural cleaners etc. packaged in a reusable tote. I know people might not be happy about cleaning products, but maybe if they're packaged prettily and homemade, they might like it.

  3. Jenna, I don't think it would work with agave, unfortunately. I think you need the sugar to help it "gel".

    Kathleen, that is a GREAT idea! I may have to copy that one. I bet you could make it look really cute.

  4. We are doing a homemade Christmas this year and I am excited to add this idea to the projects in progress. Thanks!

  5. I recently made a ton of apple butter for Christmas, and I LOVE how your jar is presented. So cute, thanks for the photo!


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