5 Easy and Delicious Teacher Gifts Kids Can Make
Sage salt, rosemary infused oil and rhubarb strawberry jam.
It’s hard to believe, but the end of the school year is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about teacher gifts. Great teachers make all the difference for our kids, giving them the chance to grow, to shine, to gain confidence as well as knowledge, and the opportunity to thrive both at school and out in the world.
Handing out teacher gifts is a meaningful way to end the school year, but it can also be an expensive one. Show the love this year with one of these affordable and delicious homemade treats.
1. Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil
Store your infused olive oil in a pretty glass bottle for a beautiful addition to the kitchen as well as a delicious and versatile ingredient. Great as a base for salad dressing, drizzled over soup or pasta, or just served as a dipping sauce with a good loaf of bread.
Makes 1 bottle
1 glass bottle (or large canning jar) with a tight-fitting lid
Olive oil (enough to fill your glass bottle)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon spices (fennel seed, coriander seed, or black peppercorns all work well)
Make sure that your bottle is washed and completely dry. Wash the rosemary and dry thoroughly (preferably by leaving out overnight, or placing in a hot oven for 1-2 minutes). This ensures that there will be no water molecules in the oil in which unsafe bacteria could grow.
Bruise the rosemary gently with a kitchen mallet or the back of a knife, then place into your bottle along with the spices. Fill bottle with olive oil so rosemary is covered, then seal tightly. Oil is ready to use immediately, though flavor will improve with time. Infused olive oil will generally keep for a week at room temperature, or a month in the fridge.
2. Sage Salt
Savory finishing salts are all the rage right now. They’re super easy to make, and add savory depth to roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs, popcorn, and, more.
Makes 1 jar
Small glass jar or bottle with lid
1 bunch fresh sage
Kosher salt (enough to fill your jar or bottle)
Heat oven to 350°F. Place sage leaves on a baking sheet and roast until crisp, around 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Once cool, crumble the sage leaves into a bowl. Add the salt and mix well, then transfer to your jar or bottle.
3. Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam
Jam requires a little more technique than the above preparations, but this pectin-free version is as about as easy as jamming gets, and will reward the lucky recipients with bright sunny flavors all year long. Pair with warm, buttery biscuits for a perfect summer treat.
Makes about 5 half-pint jars
5 half-pint canning jars with new lids & bands
2 lbs rhubarb, trimmed of green parts, cut into ½“ cubes
1l b strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the jars to the pot and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Hold the jars in the hot water until you’re ready for them. Spoon some of the hot water into a small bowl and add the jar lids and bands. Place a small, clean plate in the freezer.
Place rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and ½ cup water in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the juices cover the chunks of fruit, around 15 minutes. Pour over a colander set over a large bowl to drain, reserving the juice, then return the juice to the pan and bring to a boil. Boil until juice has reduced to around 1½ cups, around 20 minutes. Return fruit and any accumulated juices to the pan, add the lemon juice and mix well, then simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently. To test readiness, remove the plate from the freezer, add a dab of the jam, and return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute. If after a minute it has started to firm up, it’s good to go. If it’s still runny, cook the mixture for 5 minutes longer and re-check. Skim off any foam that may have accumulated at the top, then mix well.
Carefully remove the sterilized jars from the pot, draining the hot water back in as you go, and place them upright on a towel (return the pot of water to a boil). Divide the jam between the jars, leaving 1/4” head-space at the top. Wipe the rims with a clean paper towel, then top with sterilized lids and tighten bands until just finger-tight.
Place the jars back into the pot of boiling water (on top of a canning rack or kitchen towel to keep them from clattering around), make sure they’re covered by at least 1 inch of water, then keep at a steady boil for 5 minutes to process. Carefully remove the jars with canning tongs and let them cool for a few hours without disturbing them, until the buttons on the lids depress. Store in a cool, dry place for up to one year. (If any of the buttons fail to depress, keep jar in refrigerator and use within a few months.)
4. Peppermint-Chocolate Bark
A perfect capper to a meal, or just to nibble with a cup of coffee, chocolate bark is a crowd-pleaser and super easy. Feel free to switch out the peppermint: pretzels, chopped nuts, and dried fruits all work marvelously.
Makes one 9 x 12” sheet
1lb milk chocolate chips
4oz peppermint ball candies, halved or crushed
Add a cup of water to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. When water reaches a simmer, place a large glass bowl over the top of the saucepan (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.
Meanwhile, line a 9x12” baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides. Pour melted chocolate into the lined baking sheet and spread to an even layer. Sprinkle peppermint candies over the top, then refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour. Remove from pan and break into pieces. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Another great gift idea is a bag of easy, homemade granola tied up with a pretty bow.