My mom is the Queen of homemade gifts. She told me recently that one year when we were kids and finances were particularly tight she was able to do all her Christmas gifts for $20. Yes, that's right 20 SMACKERS. Can you imagine? Granted it was the mid 70's, but still. She sewed, knitted, painted, baked, and canned. She recycled old and made it new. And you know what people loved it! They began to expect it and look forward to what my mom was going to create and give. She was famous for her knitted slippers. Don't worry we aren't gonna be knitten around SC, so take a deep breath and let it go....unless however, you are gifted in the art of knittery then....um yeh well...let's get back to what I was saying. So, now for the record I am not that frugal, but most of the gifts I am going to share will cost you less than $5 each to make, and they could be given to a man or a women. Great for teacher, coaches, neighbors, bus driver gifts, and anyone else you give a lil's somethin' to!
Beer Bread...Oh how do I love thee let me count the ways! It's great with soups, stews, and chili's. It works well cut into cubes, and served with a spread for and appetizer. And it's wonderful warm with apple butter on it (hint to my next homemade gift!) I know there is a very popular company that sells a wonderful packaged Beer Bread, but making it this way is less expensive and it tastes just as wonderful.
If you are going to make the Beer Bread mix you will just need five things and I am sure you have four of them on hand. The fifth would be the packaging. Now I went to the Webstaurant Store and bought these wonderful 1/2 lb plastic lined bags in bulk because they are cheaper that way, but you could also get creative and package this any number of ways...I will hit more on that at the end.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 12 ounce beer (any type)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoon softened butter
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl, whisk to make sure the ingredients are blended well.
Pour ingredients into your bag or whatever container you choose.
If you are using the plastic lined brown bags, I would suggest you decorate and write the directions on the bag first before filling with Beer Bread mix.
Put some extra stickers or do-hickeys on there if you want. Really not necessary.
Make sure you give the person being gifted the directions...or you maybe getting some phone calls. I left out the part about melting 1 tablespoon of butter over the loaf of bread when it comes out of the oven...so don't be a dopey giver like me make sure you get all the facts on there. Like so:
What you will need one 12 ounce can of beer, and 4 tablespoons of butter.
-preheat oven to 375 degrees
-use 1 tablespoon of butter to butter loaf pan
- pour mix into a bowl add 1 12 ounce can of beer (any type), and 2 tablespoons of melted butter, mix until well blended, pour into buttered loaf pan
-bake for 55 minutes, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over loaf upon removing from oven.
preheat oven to 375 degrees
Add one 12 ounce can of beer. Pour slowly, you don't want the beer to bubble up too much. It works best if you have time to poor the beer into a measuring cup and let it go flat, then pour into dry ingredients.
Take last tablespoon of butter and rub it over the top of the hot loaf of bread, so it melts over the top completely.
Can you smell it? It smells yeasty and sweet and fabulous! And it is SO BLASTED easy!
I realize you are busy and you ain't got all day so I will finish up quick. You could go to the dollar store and buy inexpensive loaf pans, or on clearance at you local favorite store, put this mix in baggies, put a bag of mix and a can of beer in the loaf pan add a pretty bow and Voila! I bet even your hard to buy for brother-n-law would like this gift...he might drink the beer before he makes the bread, but no matter, he's probably got a few more brews at home. If you can't find paper bags like I found, buy the cheap-O clear plastic bags with twisty ties, write the recipe and directions on a recipe card and tie it with a pretty bow...super easy!
Stay tuned for a super sweet treat you can make for gifts tomorrow!
Ya'll come back now, ya hear!