Instead of worrying about which are his favorite flowers, or which chocolates her ex used to get her, if you make something in your own kitchen from the heart you can’t go wrong. Don’t be mistaken, I love flowers and good chocolates are a sweet gesture, but when someone makes me something my heart glows just a bit warmer.
A quick spoon jam, a box of brownies, little bag of cookies, even a nicely assembled collection of teas, sugar cubes, or locally roasted coffee and a handmade mug tells someone, “I love you, I’ve thought about what you like, and I’ve made this just for you.”
Local artist Felix Fu, of Newton, is the heart, art and soul of Felix Doolittle, a small stationery company, with note cards and labels that will complete your home made gift. Their collection of chef’s medallions, oval kitchen labels, and baker’s labels are beautiful with illustrations just for Valentine’s day or for every season of the year. (As a small Valentine’s day treat from me to you, there is a little giveaway below for the chance to win a set of your own chef’s medallions.)
My husband loves apricot jam which he’ll eat by the spoonful or on a graham cracker for dessert. The nice thing about making a spoon jam is that no canning is necessary, you can customize the sweetness and flavorful undertones (add a little Bourbon, a hint of lime, a cardamom infusion). To get you started on your Valentine’s day gift making, I’m giving away one set of Chef’s Medallions courtesy of Felix Doolittle and here’s a little spoon jam recipe for inspiration.
Leah’s Valentine’s Day Spoon Jam
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tea bag of Earl Grey Tea
- 4 apricots
Directions: Bring the water, 1/2 cup of the sugar and tea bag to a boil. Wash and halve the apricots. Once boiling, add the other 1/2 cup of sugar pull the tea bag out and toss the fruit into the pot and lower stove to a hot simmer.
Simmer uncovered until the fruit is very soft. Mash with a fork and as you do you can opt to pull out the skins (I like to pull them out, chop them up and put them back in or eat them as a treat). Take a small spoonful and test for sweetness (wait a second before tasting so as not to burn your lips!). If you like you can add a little honey or maple syrup for more sweetness.
Spoon into a clean jar. Once cool, affix your Felix Doolittle label or chef’s medallion. Refrigerate. Spoon jams will stay good for at least a week in the fridge. Enjoy with your loved one (if (s)he’s willing to share) over yoghurt, ice cream, on a biscuit, in a croissant.
Giveaway: You have four days (2/5 – 2/9/2013) to win your own personal set of Felix Doolittle Chef’s Medallions. This is a tin of 20 illustrated personalized adhesive labels 1.25′ in diameter. Put them on a cookie box, jam jar, or treat bag. For Valentine’s day, or any time you make a gift in your kitchen.