Tuesday 4 November 2014

Christmas Hampers

Do you remember the time, before the internet, when every home had a big fat catalogue for mail order shopping - Kays or Littlewoods, Freemans or Grattan?

It was Kays for us and my favourite thing when I was little was looking through the Winter catalogue and choosing what toys I would have if only I could buy them all. Then I would turn to the pages with all the Christmas Hampers and think what fun it would be to have a huge box of Christmassy food arrive.

I've always liked the idea of a Christmas Hamper. Years ago I was on a playgroup committee and we came up with the idea of  all the parents donating items of food to make a big hamper for a Christmas raffle fundraiser. So much was donated I suggested that we divide it all up to make 3 smaller boxes to give more mums a chance to win but I was over ruled and the person who won the huge box full was someone who could easily have afforded to buy it ten times over while those of us on a tight budget had to smile and grit our teeth ! ( You can tell  I've never forgotten it!)

The Lakeland Catalogue is the only one I see nowadays, they do small Hampers at extortionate prices. But I can see the catch with a hamper,  because there are always one or two things that either I've already made or I would never eat.

So I  decided as I was unlikely ever to win a hamper or have one given me, I would do my own. Every time I go shopping between now and Christmas I will buy one thing that we don't usually have and add it to a box. This way everything will be something we like. If I put the things in a box without looking at what's there already perhaps I will have forgotten what I've bought and it will all be a surprise when we come to open it.

I googled Christmas Hampers and this came up

A Waitrose Hamper which costs £200!!!! Very Posh.
  • Waitrose Brut NV Champagne 75cl
  • Waitrose Ruby Port 75cl
  • McWilliams Silverwood Pinot Grigio 75cl
  • Houghton The Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 75cl
  • Arden & Amici Almond & Chocolate Chip Biscotti 180g
  • Brodies Traditional Scottish Christmas Tea in Caddy 125g
  • Buiteman Parmigiano Reggiano Biscuits 75g
  • Convivial Yorkshire Cheddar & Caramelised Onion Chutney Crisps 100g
  • Joe & Seph's Brandy Butter Popcorn 80g
  • Linden Lady Handmade 15 Luxury Chocolates 240g
  • Maxwell & Franks Christmas Pudding with Cider 454g
  • Panettone Classico in Gold Wrap 500g
  • The Dormen Caramelised Almonds 95g
  • Waitrose Olympian Olives in Brine 300g
  • Waitrose Seriously Chocolatey All Butter Triple Chocolate Biscuits 125g
  • Waitrose Bittersweet Seville Orange Fresh Fruit Marmalade 340g
  • Waitrose Bright & Tangy Wild Cranberry Sauce 205g
  • Waitrose Rich, Smooth & Well Balanced Colombian Ground Coffee 227g
  • Waitrose Rich, Sweet & Crumbly All Butter Shortbread Selection 450g
Yes you read it right, this picture shows what you get for £200. Of course you get a basket and free delivery which makes it OK for them to charge this much?!  My hamper won't be quite so extravagant.

I started yesterday with a box of chocolate biscuits for £4

I shall let you know how my hamper progresses.

Thanks for all the comments yesterday, Captain Shagrat asked for the tuna quiche recipe. It was just a small tin of tuna chunks drained, chopped parsley and chives, some sliced tomato, black pepper and covered with a mix of 2 eggs beaten and a bit of milk. Sorry, I'm very vague on measurements as with a quiche I just guesstimate what I need. It was cooked on high for about 15 mins while the scones were in the oven then moved to the Rayburn which wasn't hot enough to do scones but finished off the quiche.

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