Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blue Cornbread Mix

I've got a great foodie gift idea for all you "do-it-yourself" er's out there. They are inexpensive and easy to make. Best of all, they look so very pretty!

I discovered this recipe a long time ago. A long, long time ago. Maybe 5-7 years ago. I actually made this as a Christmas gift for my parents when I first got into food. I mean, for starters, my dad loves cornbread. Secondly, I love the way the ingredients are layered in the jar, especially the blue cornmeal. It took me awhile, but I finally tracked down blue cornmeal at Whole Foods. I haven't bought blue cornmeal in quite some time now, so I'm unsure whether or not its become an easier to find item. Hopefully, if you go looking for it, you can track some down. If worst comes to worst, you could always order some off Amazon, I know they have it :)

I'm so much more into homemade gifts than I once was. It's weird how the mind evolves over time. When I was younger (ahem, childhood, teens, 20's) Christmas was very materialistic to me. It was all about what I got.  Did I get the trendiest clothes? Did I score the most presents? Did I get enough? Now that I'm in my 30's,  I'm starting to realize all this stuff means jack. It literally means nothing. Do I really care if I'm wearing the latest, coolest boots? Do I need more expensive clothes to jam into my already overstuffed closet? Do I really need to cram every square inch of my home with more and more possessions?

The answer is no. 

Now that I'm older and I'm in my 30's, I realize I've started to look at Christmas a whole new way. I feel like Christmas has become way too commercial. Every commercial on TV encourages you to buy more, buy bigger, just buy, buy, buy. It takes only a couple of seconds to buy something for someone. It takes infinitely more effort to make something for someone. When I make Christmas cookies for my friends and family, it takes me about a week to complete the task. I've come to realize that that is special.  I'm putting my heart and soul into making something for my nearest and dearest. Because I love them. Because I want them to realize that they are special to me, and I will take time out of my life to do something for them. If anything, this is what I find the meaning of Christmas to be. Showing your loved ones that you love them. That you'll take the time out of your day to remind them you love them. 

Besides, who wouldn't want those beautiful layers??

So, the older I get, the more I suspect people are going to receive handmade gifts. I encourage everyone to not look at this as being cheap (yes, I've heard that ignorant statement more than a handful of times) but to look at it as a labor of love. The older I get, the less I support stores opening on Thanksgiving. The less I support Black Friday. The less I support the shopping season in general. I wish people would focus more on being inside warm kitchens with their relatives, laughing over hot chocolate, and chowing down on snickerdoodles. Watching "Elf". Or "Christmas Vacation". Or "It's a Wonderful Life". 

All right, I'm climbing off my commercialism soap box now. You happen to have found a topic that  gets me frothy at the mouth :)

Here is a great article on other homemade jarred foodie gifts you can make at home. It's actually where I found this recipe. For all the foodies in your life :)

Ingredients (makes 16 squares):

1 L glass jar
1 cup blue cornmeal
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup dried blueberries
4 dried pineapple rings, chopped


1. To assemble jar- pour blue cornmeal into jar. Layer yellow cornmeal on top. In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Layer flour mixture on top of yellow cornmeal. Top with blueberries. Layer pineapple at the very top.
2. Either print out a recipe label or make up one of your own to attach to the jar. Click here to print out recipe labels pre-made by the Food Network. 

Recipe courtesy of Food Network.
Looking for other Mason jar recipes? Try these!

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