I wear many hats in our home, but I suspect none more than the average homemaker! As well as cooking and cleaning, keeping up our stores and provisions, and being social secretary, I am also the planner and maker of our seasonal celebrations. (I am not complaining, I love it!)
Part of celebrating seasons for us is giving little gifts to our loved ones. Not in a commercial sense, very little of what we give is bought off the shelf at a shop (or online). Instead we give little tokens which are the work of our hearts and hands. It can sometimes be a challenge to make the time, find the inspiration, materials, and keep it to a reasonable cost. As anyone who has visited Hobbycraft (or their overseas equivalents) will know, it is possible to spend a lot on crafting.
This Easter I had two ideas in mind for giving. The crochet gifts which I hinted at recently….are not finished. I ran out of inspiration. All the parts are made, they just need putting together, but I just cannot work up the oomph to get them done. I cannot decide whether I will give them a few days late, or whether I shall give them next year instead, so for now they will remain under wraps.
My other gifts though I am very pleased to share and I will try and find a way of sharing a photo with you soon. A fee months ago, in a beautiful garden centre, I saw flat chocolate bars shaped like eggs and topped with decorations. They were beautiful…but expensive! I realised at once that they would be easy to make at home, and a lot cheaper, and also were something that Jessica could make to give.
I set about searching for a small egg shaped silicone cake mould…with no luck. So I looked for egg shaped silicone moulds…and they were proper 3d eggs, so no use. Finally through luck I hit on the answer…oval silicone soap making moulds! I found a tray to make eight at a time on amazon, and they cost me a little over £2 with free delivery. It took a couple of weeks to arrive, but I had had my idea early enough for that not to be a problem.
I have been buying bars of Tesco’s own chocolate (under the Molly’s brand name) which are very cheap. Probably not the best chocolate in the world, but it melts well, and as is going to be topped by an enthusiastic 4 year old with decorations…didn’t need to be the finest! To make 8 bars, I melted 200g of milk chocolate (sometimes a combination of milk and dark) and spooned it into the moulds. I think a thinner layer is nicer, so it isn’t too chunky to bite into when set.
Next I melted a smaller quantity, a little more than announce of white chocolate, and spooned a blob into each mould, then used a cocktail stick to swirl it about. It looks so pretty!
I have then been topping them with micro mini eggs, mini marshmallows, even popping candy on a few!
When I made these with Jessica and her Godsister, I also gave them little sugar carrots which I found in the cake decorating aisle.
Once they are set, they just need popping out of the mould and putting into a box, tin, or bag. A little bit of ribbon completes the job neatly.
I love that this is a little project that Jessica can do, so she has something to give which she made. She also likes stuffing dates with marzipan, and making little marzipan flowers with glacé cherry middles! I also love that I can make them too, and perhaps play around a little more with the decorations.
This morning I have made a batch where I used a cocktail stick to drop little blobs of white chocolate in a border around the edge, the. Ran the cocktail stick through them to make a swirly border. Then I put a mini egg in the middle, as though in a picture frame.
Already I am thinking we may have found a new tradition here! Each year I can come up with new ideas for toppings. I am wondering too about swirling in some flavoured chocolate, perhaps orange, mint, coffee…or even violet!
I am so looking forward to giving these out to family and friends.
When Jessica went to stay with Mum this week, they made the Simnel cake together. I really love that Jessica is having these simple but lovely preparations for Easter (and the other seasonal celebrations in their turn) woven into the fabric of her memories already.
Mum gave us our present early, so we could use them…a beautiful blue tissue paper package tied up with ribbon, and inside a set of ebroidered felt eggs she had made for us to hang on our twisted willow branches! I am so pleased as I absolutely love her little felt embroideries. Another thing for me to try and photograph. Some are embroidered with tiny seed beads, and others are miniature patchworks! So clever! And again, for me, they are extra special because she made them. I also like that she uses materials which are already in her workbox.
Time to put the kettle on now, and then hopefully this weekend I will have some time to to catch up with a few other posts I want to write, including a little report on our annual WI group meeting…