Gather your friends and the freshest veggies available to have some fun while you create healthy and tasty snacks and treats.
May 04, 2010
1 of 7Thomas J. Story
Vegging Out Fun
Getting pickled at girls' night has a whole new meaning! Throw a pickling party and take advantage of the season's abundance of produce. Preserving fresh fruits and veggies and making pickles, chow chow, and chutney is fun and also economical. And you'll get a jump on homemade gifts for the holidays. Gather your girlfriends for this recession-buster bash and get pickling!
Use found or repurposed objects to enhance the party theme. Mason jars and pretty bottles take center stage for this party. Other essential items are baskets of produce and an array of spices. Greet your guests with inexpensive, monogrammed aprons (many stores now have them for under $10) for a functional favor that will last long after the party is over.
3 of 7Thomas J. Story
This party is all about the activity. The result? Guests take home their own edible creations for their pantries or for gifts. But you certainly don't want to end up with 20 jars of one type of pickle. Have each guest bring a recipe that appeals to them and the ingredients necessary to make it. This ensures that everyone will leave with a variety of pickled treats. You provide the mason jars, the snacks, and the kitchen.
4 of 7Randy Mayor
Keep food simple with an appetizer buffet. Select items that can sit out and won't require a lot of attention since you'll be busy pickling. Try easy-to-make hors d'oeuvres like cheese puffs, chips, and canapes. For drinks, a signature cocktail is always fun because you can make it in advance and nobody gets stuck with bartending duties. Try the Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail. It has a beautiful, vibrant color and is perfect for a crowd.
Homemade pickles are a perfect housewarming, hostess, or holiday gift. Other options to make include infused oils, vanilla sugar, limoncello, and pepper sauce. Give them alone or in a gift basket with fresh bread. You could also create a Bloody Mary basket complete with your pickled veggies, a bottle of Bloody Mary mix, and your favorite vodka. Friends will love getting these gifts and you'll love the fun of making them!
7 of 7Arden Photography
Dress Up Your Gifts
Use pretty ribbons and printable labels to customize the gifts you've made. Twine, yarn, and raffia also look chic and enhance the homemade feel. Look online to find lots of free template resources for your labels. Select ribbons and labels in colors that coordinate with the food inside the jars for a cohesive look. Pickled carrots look pretty with a green label; tomatoes with yellow and green beans pair well with an aqua ribbon and label.
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