I Love You This Much


Christmas is the time for spreading Christmas cheer and making merry. Peace on earth, good will toward men.

At this time of year, I have a compulsion to give gifts that show love to the dear people in my life; blessing loved ones with homemade gifts full of butter and sugar. What I think is funny though, is that while I desperately want to make gifts of love for all my wonderful people, I want to do it for as little money as possible. I love you so, so much. $1.54 worth.

Something from the kitchen, lovingly prepared and beautifully wrapped, usually fits the bill. I start with one smart recipe of humble ingredients to keep the cost low. And then I guess I figure that if I’m miserable enough making something (because I’m usually miserable in the kitchen, fettered to food preparation or a sink full of mixing bowls and measuring cups) then it’s a a true labor of love. (Ho ho ho, Merr-ry Christmas!!)

This year I stayed in the kitchen making my merry parcels of love, but broke from the traditional decadent fudge I usually make. Instead, I took the baking out of baking and made an easy-to-prepare flavored whipped butter for all. (I created a recipe inspired by the honey butter that accompanies hot dinner rolls at a certain steak house chain.) One triple batch made 12 generously sized gifts. Packed in ceramic mini loaf pans (50 cents each – yay!), and wrapped with cellophane and grosgrain ribbon bought at last year’s Christmas clearance sale, each gift cost $1.54. Ambitious Happy Homemakers can give this with a loaf of homemade bread. I will not.

Whipped Honey Butter with Cinnamon

2 1/2 c. (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. (2 sticks) margarine
1 c. honey
3 T. cinnamon

Combine butter, margarine, honey and cinnamon in a large bowl. Beat with mixer until light and fluffy, with no bits of butter remaining. Spoon into decorative 12- oz. serving containers (like large ramekins, vintage souvenir glasses, or glass refrigerator dishes). Wrap tightly with cling wrap and chill. Wrap with ribbons and cellophane and keep chilled. Makes four (4) 10-oz. whipped butter gifts.

Leave these in the mailbox to ensure happy mail delivery for the next year. Send to your child’s school to grease the wheels of the next detention for “defacement of school property.” And give to neighbors who have overlooked your tackiness all year long. (You may not have to worry about that one.)