“The art of giving food gifts expresses love in a way that something expensive picked up at the store simply cannot do. Homemade gifts are not cheap, but rather priceless and full of that which cannot be bought, love. Homemade food includes a bit of ourselves, our energies, our spirits, and yes, our love. It’s these unseen, ethereal ingredients that make homemade food gifts something special.” Kathie Lapcevic author of Gift it From Scratch
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When a friend has a baby and we take a meal or two to her and family, I don’t always think of it as a “gift” – a help to her, yes, but usually not a gift. The same is true when we make food for a family who has had a death in the family. It’s just something we do. And yet, looking back at our own times of having babies and at the loss of my dad, I see that it was more than just a help to have friends bring meals to us. It was a gift. It reminded us that we are loved.
After reading Gift it From Scratch by Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living, I’m inspired. If you’ve ever read Kathie’s blog you know that she is all about living an intentional, seasonal and simple life. Her book is a reflection of all that.
Gift it From Scratch is a cookbook, but it’s more than a cookbook. Kathie shares ideas on how to gift each of these recipes. And the recipes are not just for sweets. There are also recipes for main dishes, soups, breads and drinks. Kathie also shares some cooking tips and some gifting tips at the beginning of the book.
We had the opportunity to put this idea of gifting food into practice last week. Last week was Vacation Bible School for our church. I taught half of the 4 years olds. This is such a fun age to teach. Most of the kids in my group are not kids who normally come to church and I wanted to do a little something extra for them. So we made Kathie’s Oatmeal Cookies and wrote each child a note. Kathie mentions that these are the best oatmeal cookies, ever. And she’s right. I made a double batch so we’d have some for a few days and even on day 3 they were soft and chewy.
And Kathie is graciously allowing me to share the recipe with you guys. These are not something you’ll want to wait until the last minute to make. There’s a interesting step that makes these take a little longer than your normal cookie recipe. But they are so very worth it!
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup butter - softened
- 1 1/2 sups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
- Simmer raisins in the water for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved raisin cooking water and vanilla.
- Beat in the sifted dry ingredients into butter mixture.
- Fold in raisins, rolled oats and walnuts.
- Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons full onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes.