Food and drink

Christmas workshop with simple, homemade Christmas gifts

By Harald Nesse 24. Nov 2023

Invite people to a Christmas workshop and make gifts together. These taste great, make enough for many gifts and are easy to make!

Christmas workshop without Christmas elves

Christmas crafts are super fun! And it doesn't even have to involve a single wicker core! Here you can kill many birds with one stone: Christmas fun with friends, good drinks, Christmas music and not least: you can make tasty and affordable Christmas gifts!

Our recipe manager Harald has created two delicious jam recipes that are perfect for filling small jars (preferably reusable ones!) and giving away with a handwritten label.

If there are a lot of you, you can split into two "teams" and each make a large batch of jam to share between you. If there are fewer of you, it may be enough to choose one of the recipes. So, push play on your Christmas playlist and roll up your sleeves:

🍏 Recipe for applesauce (easy)

Applesauce or apple jam is easy to make yourself and very nice as a homemade Christmas gift!

📄 You will need:

  • 2 kilos of apples - best with tart Norwegian apples, such as aroma or gravenstein.

  • 300 g sugar

  • 1.5 dl water

  • Jam jars, preferably re-used ones. Clean, sterilized and airtight.

🍋 Tips: Add some lemon juice to the water

If you add the juice from half a lemon to the water you're going to cook the apples in (add the apples to the water as they are ready), you will avoid brown apples and the jam will have a longer shelf life (due to the citric acid).

👨‍🍳 How to make it:

  1. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Place them in lemon water as they become ready.

  2. Cook the apples in a saucepan with water (and possibly lemon) and sugar, using a lid and medium heat until they are cooked in pieces.

  3. Pour the applesauce directly into sterilized and hot jars, put the lids on and turn the jars upside down until the applesauce has cooled. This creates a vacuum that seals the jars. Store in a dark and cool place.

Clean the jars and lids well, boil water and place the jars and lids in the boiling water. Leave for a couple of minutes, lift them out, pour off the water and dry. You can also put the jars in the oven at 100 degrees for 10 minutes.

Pour the jam into jars while the jar is hot. Put on lids and set them upside down. When the hot jam comes into contact with the entire jar and lid, the bacteria will die and the jam will keep longer - and the resulting vacuum will do its job too.

🌿🎀 Decorate the jam jar

Decorate the jam jars with a nice ribbon, preferably with a piece of fabric underneath (go to the thrift store and look for small tablecloths or cloth napkins if you need materials) or tie a small sprig of something green (like a pine twig) or a cinnamon stick to the jar.

🍊Recipe for orange marmalade (a bit time-consuming)

Not a bad idea to bring your own orange marmalade to the Christmas breakfast?

📄 You will need:

  • 1.5 kilos of oranges (good prices at this time of year)

  • 1 lemon

  • 1.5 liters of water

  • 1 kg sugar

  • 200 g Muscovado sugar or brown sugar

  • 1 plate in the fridge (what? don't ask, you'll soon get the hang of it ;)

  • Jam jars, preferably re-used ones. Clean, sterilized and airtight.

Use paper or fabric to cover the lid and tie a pretty string or ribbon around it. The glasses don't have to be very big - the smaller the glass, the more gifts!

👨‍🍳 Here's how to do it:

  1. Wash oranges and lemon well in water - you'll be using the peel, so if you can find organic fruit at an OK price, go organic!

  2. Peel the oranges and lemon thinly with a potato peeler, leaving as little of the white as possible.

  3. Cut the peel into thin strips and place in cold water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, pour off the water and add more water and bring to the boil. Repeat this process twice more, this is to remove bitterness and make the peel easy to chew.

  4. Cut off the white around the oranges and lemon, discard the trimmings and cut the flesh into small pieces. Set aside all stones. These contain pectin, which will help make the marmalade thick and delicious.

  5. Put the stones in a small bag made of gauze or a tea ball with a chain.

  6. Place all the ingredients in a large, wide, thick-bottomed saucepan.

  7. Bring to the boil and let the marmalade cook for about 1.5 hours. Check the thickness of the marmalade by placing a tablespoon of marmalade on the cold plate, push the marmalade around a little so that it cools down, if it has a jam consistency or a consistency you recognize from marmalade, it is ready. If not, cook a little more and test again.

  8. Pour the marmalade straight into sterilized and hot jars, put on the lids and turn the jars upside down until the mash has cooled. This creates a vacuum that seals the jars. Store in a dark and cool place until you're ready to give them away!

Feel free to decorate the jars before giving them away! How about using dried orange slices?

🍫 Feeling like making candy instead?

Try Rocky Roads!

Mat og drikke/Porsgrunn/Harald_Nesse_lghaot

Harald Nesse

Food and drink manager

Harald is a chef with experience from hotels, restaurants, canteens, cafes and catering. He has gone through the ranks from apprentice to general manager and owner. In SSN, he is a Food and drink manager.

For Harald, food is joy, culture and welfare. Good food means well-being alone or with others.

Harald loves vegetables and is passionate about: good ingredients with as short a journey as possible, sustainable choices, good kitchen finances, people and new ways of doing things!