Impromptu Hamper

I invited myself over to friends’ on Saturday. I was going to be in that part of town and I wanted to see them and they were polite enough to accept my reverse-invitation – they even seemed to think it was okay to arrive just before lunch time. They are good friends and good people.

Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch. They asked if I would pleeeeeeease bring them some honey as they had stooped to buying commercial stuff. (If you aren’t sure why that would be a problem, check out my post on honey. Plus my raw honey just tastes better.)

I figured if they were out of honey, they definitely were out of pecans so I bagged up some of those.

Then I remembered they like marmalade which is good because a) I just made a batch of lemon/orange marmalade based on my kumquat marmalade recipe and b) I’m not a huge fan of marmalade so I really really like giving it away. I know it sounds dumb to make the stuff if I’m not a fan but some very generous people gave me a bag full of lemons off their tree – only so many can be made into lemonade – and my orange tree is dropping oranges. Waste not, want not.

Finally, since I was arriving at meal time I figured I should come with food – well, more food. I baked a carrot cake using this recipe substituting my homemade pecan meal for the almond meal and throwing in a handful of pecan nuts just because they taste good. My hen’s eggs, my bees’ honey, my trees’ pecans and carrots from the shops (not doing much in the way of veggie growing at this point in my “farming career”) makes a very healthy and incredibly cheap afternoon tea.

How to transport all these goodies? A basket works a treat and doesn’t it look great? Just like a gift hamper. I thought about running around trying to collect things to make it look even better but then it dawned on me I wasn’t making a gift, just visiting friends. This was definitely going to definitely do.

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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8 Responses to Impromptu Hamper

  1. Glenn Rittenhouse says:

    A great way to meet with friends.

  2. They served both and I felt obligated to eat my fair share – I was only being polite 🙂

    And it was a good way to test the marmalade – it was better than I expected. So good that I’m making a second batch now and my actually start eating it on toast now and then.

  3. You can come to lunch here anytime if you arrive with all those goodies!! (Bit far I know!!)

  4. I had a mishap with the online ordering form while grocery shopping a few years back. Instead of 3 oranges I got three 3kg bags of oranges O_O. I put the call out for jars, and made marmalade. I found it very easy to give most of it away. Homemade marmalade is very popular 🙂

    I’ve been on the lookout for a good carrot cake recipe. Yours looks yummy and full of the kind of ingredients I use (though mostly store-bought for me!). I’ll try it out next lot of baking I do and let you know how it turned out.

    • 🙂 3 “items” can be tricky!

      My 2nd batch of marmalade may not have turned out so well. It looks perfect but I tried some at lunch today and a couple bits of peel were like leather. I’m stumped as to why – most is quite tender. I will have to open another jar and test it to see if it was just one section of the pot or if this problem is throughout (was it stuck to the bottom? exposed to the air? a particularly hardened orange?).

      I have the first batch which was perfect (oh dear – or maybe I just didn’t happen to scoop out a tough piece when I tasted it) so it can be used as gifts but the 2nd batch is going to have to be eaten by me – not good enough for friends (unless they are very good and very understanding friends – it still tastes great).

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