This post is a wee ode to my Mum for having instilled in me the dogged determination to gift things handmade. I remember as a young child taking a sheet of white A4 paper and carefully folding it in two, lining up each edge so that it was perfectly square. Then out came the paints and pencils, the scissors and glue and from it would emerge a canvas bursting with colour, playful brushstrokes and childlike forms. 25 years later and I find I follow much the same process, though the results (I like to think) are much improved!
If it isn’t a card it will be a cake, or a jar of preserves tied with a ribbon and a handmade gift tag, a bunch of hand-picked flowers finished with a fabric bow or, a carefully packaged gift of handmade sweets as this recipe suggests.
Although Easter has now come and gone it is not too late to make these pretty chocolate dipped candied oranges. They make gorgeous gifts wrapped in greaseproof paper and tied with string. These are adult sweets at their best – the tart orange peel takes on a beautifully firm jelly-like texture, the sugar provides a bit of crunch and when all enrobed in deep, dark chocolate it is a truly heavenly combination!
*Almost as delicious as the candied orange is the syrup that is left behind after boiling the peel. It is tart and beautifully fragrant and decanted into pretty bottles makes fantastic gifts.