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Gift Mix Tips

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You'll need 1-pint or 1/2 -liter jars for the soup mixes and 1-quart or 1-liter jars for the breads. If a jar or canister is a little larger than needed, just stuff the headroom with some crumpled wax paper. If the container is a little too small for everything to fit, attach the packages of garnishes to the outside.

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· To determine whether a container has a suitable volume, fill it with water, then pour out the water into a measuring cup designed for liquids. A jar that holds 2 cups or more will work for the soup mixes; one that holds 4 cups or more will work for the bread mixes. Be sure to let all containers dry completely before using them.

· Discount department and home-furnishings stores and kitchen-bath shops stock decorative glass and acrylic canisters and jars and plastic storage containers. To shop online, go to: http://www.save-on-crafts.com; http://www.jarstore.com; http://www.containerstore.com, http://www.kitchenkrafts.com. Many merchants stock Mason-type jars only in the canning season, but some craft stores and online canning supply companies carry them year-round. Cases of 12 jars usually are the most economical. Go to: http://www.canningpantry.com; http://www.freshpreserving.com, http://www.goldaskitchen.com.

· Buy the spices, nuts and other items in bulk or through discount retailers or online stores such as http://www.spiceplace.com. A convenient local source is Ann's House of Nuts, in Jessup.

· If your gift mixes are to be shipped, compact the ingredient layers tightly and stuff the empty space at the top with wax paper, then with bubble wrap, to prevent ingredients from shifting. Acrylic and sturdy plastic containers work best for shipping.

-- Nancy Baggett

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