Meyer Lemon Curd & A Handmade Holiday

handmade holiday

This post is only slightly different than my handmade holiday post from last year. I was reading over last year’s post (to gain inspiration for this year) and I realized that it said everything that I want to say. I liked it so much that I just decided to repost it for this year. However, I changed out the recipe – last year I made Spicy Brown Mustard, and this year I went with a Meyer Lemon Curd. In addition, I’ve updated and added to my list of homemade and DIY gift ideas. Lastly, I’ve included a few links to organizations that you can donate to in lieu of giving gifts. I think that about covers it, so please read below.

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This time of year is just so overwhelming. It seems that every year, the advertisements get louder, the Black Friday lines get longer, and the things I love about Christmas are seemingly lost in the throes of American consumerism. It all just seems so Charlie Brown, if you know what I mean. And I get so discouraged by insanity of it all! I feel like I need my own personal Linus to come remind me what Christmas is all about.

At the end of the day, I believe that Christmas is about a Savior who came to earth. It’s as simple as that. And whether or not you share my beliefs on Christmas, I do hope that we can all agree that there is something disconcerting about the modern American Christmas. The holiday has become a hallmark of greed, materialism, stress, waste, and so much more. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

For the past few years, my family and I have participated in the phenomenon that is known as The Advent Conspiracy. The Advent Conspiracy is trying to change how we do Christmas. Their motto is simple: Love All. Spend Less. Give More. I was struck by the simplicity of the statement: so much truth in so few words. To expand upon the motto, essentially The Advent Conspiracy challenges people to change their Christmas spending habits. Instead of spending bunches of money on traditional gifts, they challenge people to instead use that money to do good. They do not suggest that you forgo all gifts entirely, rather they encourage people to give thoughtful and handmade gifts, the gift of time (i.e. babysitting for someone, cooking a meal for someone), and other such gifts. (For more info, watch their fantastic promo video here.)

So, my family and I have done just that. We’ve gotten really creative with our gifts – it’s usually a combination of handmade items, secondhand items, or things purchased from local businesses. There are no hard and fast rules, we just do the best we can. And maybe I’m crazy, but I take so much joy in the process. For me, this is what Christmas is all about (Ahem…Charlie Brown). It is about taking the time to invest in those that you love, to gift meaningful and thoughtful gifts, and to use your resources in a way that will benefit others.

That’s my reasoning for making a lot of my Christmas gifts, anyway. I’m not particularly crafty, but every year I challenge myself to try something new. This year, I’m making a few darling yarn wreaths, as well as Meyer Lemon Curd, Crema di Limoncello, Apple Butter, and a few other fun things that I’m not allowed to mention (yet). I haven’t personally tried all the recipes and/or crafts on this list, but they’re all on my list of “things to eventually make”.

I hope that you’re inspired this holiday season, and a happy handmade holiday to all of you.

A HANDMADE HOLIDAY ROUNDUP: GIFT IDEAS FOR YOU AND YOURS!

*Yarn Wreaths with Felt Flowers
*Homemade Creme de Menthe
*Grapefruit Cranberry Marmelade
*Crema di Limoncello
*Cute Little Marble Magnets
*Homemade Vanilla Extract
*The Cutest Little Holiday Snow Globes
*Moss Terrarium | Tiny Terrarium | Hanging Succulent Terrarium
*Chai Tea Mix
*Ina Garten’s Chipotle and Rosemary Spiced Nuts
*Hot Chocolate on a Stick
*Vodka Infusions (Rosemary Lavender & Rhubarb)
*Pumpkin Butter
*Basil & Wine Jelly
*Balsamic Fig Thyme Jam
*Hazelnut-Lavender-Coconut Granola
*Maple Cinnamon Granola
*(Really Cool) Vintage Tin Candles
*Spice Blend: Herbs De Provence
*Vanilla Sea Salt
*Homemade Curry Powder
*Slow Cooker Apple Butter
*DIY Reed Diffuser (Air Freshener)

WAYS TO GIVE TO OTHERS:
I highly encourage any/all of you to give back this holiday season. Here are just a few (of many) organizations that could benefit from your charitable donations:

Give a goat to a family in need (via Oxfam)
Clean Water for Haiti
The International Justice Mission
The Oregon Food Bank
Women for Women: The Women of South Sudan
Chickens for Christmas
No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength

And finally, here’s one of my absolute favorite recipes for gift giving!

Meyer Lemon Curd
Confession: I’ve already posted recipes for Lime Curd and Grapefruit Curd on my blog, so at this point I think I’m what you’d call a “curd enthusiast”. But, my aunt gave me a whole bag of Meyer Lemons from her trees in Palm Springs, California. I had no choice but to make Meyer Lemon Curd!

1 and 1/2 Cups of fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice* (from 10-12 lemons)
10 tablespoons of chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
6 eggs, plus the yolk of one egg
Zest of 2 lemons (cut into large pieces for easy retrieval)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*If using normal lemons instead of Meyers, you may need to add a touch more sugar.

Method:
Juice the lemons. Rolling the lemons with your palm on the counter will yield much more juice. Pour juice through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove any seeds and large bits of pulp.

In a saucepan, whisk the eggs (and yolk) together. Add in lemon juice and sugar, and whisk until well combined. Turn your stovetop on, and gradually heat up the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Once the mixture is warm, turn the heat up to medium and add in the strips of zest. Next, begin to add the butter pieces, bit by bit, whisking the whole time. Continue whisking, adding butter all the time, until you’ve added all the butter. Continue whisking, being careful not to burn (or allow the eggs to curdle), and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until curd is thick and creamy.

Remove from heat and cool at room temperature for an hour. I put a piece of plastic wrap over it (so a film doesn’t form on top). Transfer to sterilized jars. These can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

23 Responses

  1. Amen. It’s tragic to become so caught up on the commercial pressure of the season the spirit is lost. I really am at a point where I only want what I want which is very little, feeling there is little I need and I don’t want crap laying around my house that I’ll never use and feel I need to keep due to not feeling I can pass it along. I subscribe to your thinking completely. Love the lemon curd. I made orange curd for the first time in my second swap with your group and it was so delicious. Everyone will be thrilled with the gift!

  2. As last year, Lindsay, you have said it well. Christmas is about Jesus, and all the fuss is misdirected. Thanks for posting about it here. It is too late for my family and I to do a simple holiday like yours as many of the gifts are already bought. But I think we are reaching the point where a conversation about simplifying next year is worth having. Thank you for living our your convictions in a beautiful way.

  3. Kim Bee says:

    We always make gifts and try to keep traditions involving time spent together the priority of the season. Don’t get me wrong, we buy the kids gifts. But to us Christmas is baking cookies, making a gingerbread village and we always do a tree with handmade ornaments only. We spend so much time together and those are the memories that stick. Love your lemon curd. I have never tried making it but am just chomping at the bit to try.

  4. Shaheen says:

    I would be delighted to find one of those under my tree x

  5. sarah says:

    I’m doing handmade gifts this year too. Its best for everyone if I stay away from the mall this time of year. Love your lemon curd and DIY line-up!

  6. Tes says:

    I am going to try this for holiday gifts for my friends :) I love your pretty jars :)

  7. Kiri W. says:

    Lovely! I always admire handmade gifts, and I have kind of a weakness for pretty jars, so this would be such a great gift for me. I’m thinking of giving some gift jars myself this year, great inspiration! :)

  8. Thank you for this great roundup of ideas for gifts from the kitchen – I absolutely have to decide what I’m going to do soon :) Congrats on the Top 9 – well deserved!

  9. Please tell me where you were able to purchase those pretty little jars. I love lemon curd but don’t really know how it is suppose to be used. I have a recipe for a white cake, frost the middle with lemon curd and then from the entire cake with regular frosting. Are their any other uses? Thanks for a great Christmas idea. And let all remember to keep Christ in Christmas.

    • rosemarried says:

      Kathy, I got the jars at the grocery store. In recent years, Ball started making this type of jar – they’re short, squatty, and really cute. I believe you can buy them in 4 packs. They’re great for gifts! And with lemon curd, I love to eat it slathered on biscuits, scones, or other such pastries. If you whip some lemon curd together with whipping cream, it also makes a GREAT frosting for cupcakes. I hope this helps!

  10. BigFatBaker says:

    LOL I would have to consider myself a curd enthusiast as well… I have done pineapple, blueberry, raspberry, mango, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and meyer lemon. I also recently saw a cranberry curd that sounds amazing! As far as homemade gifts – what could be better? They are so personal and full of happiness! Congrats on top 9 :)

  11. homeschoolmom says:

    I love your ideas. How many little jars of curd will this recipe make?

    THanks

  12. Every year I want to make things like this for xmas… Time just runs away! What a great round up!!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the wonderful Christmas inspiration! I LOVE lemon curd. We also try to keep things simple at Christmas time, but when extended family comes into the mix it can be harder. This year we’re going to be home with our girls, and I’m so looking forward to our small family’s first Christmas together.

  14. Christina Allen says:

    Hi, this is more or a question, I love meyer lemons ridiculously so… How many jars does this recipe fill? You may have mentioned it somewhere and, if so I’m sorry I missed it. I would like to make a lot of this so understanding resulting quantity would be great.

    Thank you, for the great site, ideas and this recipe,
    Christina

  15. [...] how to put more thought into your gift giving and find cool homemade gifts to make, check out this blog post from Lindsay Strannigan of Rosemarried.com.  I’ve just recently found this blog and thought [...]

  16. Wanda McGinnis says:

    I’m having great fun making Christmas this year. Every year, we receive a Christmas card from one long-time friend, who includes a hand-crocheted snowflake. I’m making doll clothes for my youngest grand-daughter, and she is super excited! Homemade is lovemade. Can’t beat it, either for the maker or for the receiver.

  17. [...] Hollis” at least five more times. I want to bake cookies for the world, make my own eggnog, make my own holiday gifts, and wear something glittery for a night out on the town. But you, December, seem to have different [...]

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