During this period of social distancing and staying home, being cut off from the people we’re used to spending time with can feel like a real blow. That time is often spent around a table, with food. That’s how many of us show we care, too. If you’re anything like me, the impulse to share food right now is as strong as ever, if not stronger.
And it can be done, safely. So far, all working theories about the novel coronavirus indicate that transmission by food is very unlikely. If you do decide to make food for friends and family, be sure you practice the same kind of food safety that is always applicable — washing your hands before and after cooking, not preparing for others if you’re sick (there are plenty of other illnesses that can be transmitted by food) and storing the food properly. When you bring your care packages to other people’s homes, leave them on the doorstep (call ahead to give a head’s up, especially if it’s perishable), walk away and then have a chat from a proper social distance, if you want.
Now that all that’s been said, here are some ideas from our archives for edible gifts that can be scaled up and easily packaged for a succession of drop-offs. You and the recipients will feel all the better for it.
Sesame Candies, above. Grab a bunch of small tins or treat bags for these sweet squares. One batch makes 64 pieces, and it comes together in minutes.
Spicy Beer Mustard. Summer is fast approaching, and with it grilling season. Hot dog lovers will appreciate a jar of this very strong mustard made with your choice of dark beer. Naturally, it goes well with soft pretzels, too.
Sourdough Starter Castoff Crackers. If you’re one of the many people invested in sourdough, you will end up with plenty of surplus starter. These crackers, especially when seasoned with a bagel-inspired “everything” mix, are a great solution for you and your lucky friends.
Fresh Lemon Syrup. Once the intense heat sets in, you’ll be the savior of summer when you share jars of this syrup that can be used as the base for a refreshing lemonade.
Go-To Salted Caramel Sauce. Here’s another excellent option for summer, which of course naturally goes well on top of a bowl of ice cream. There are clementine and chocolate variations to check out, too.
Honey Caramel Cashew Candies. Switch up the nuts as you see fit. And if you don’t have saffron, use the recipe as a guide to making your own flavor — vanilla or another extract would work just fine.
Candied Orange Peel. Bakers especially will appreciate these gems, which make smart use of something you might otherwise toss. Plus, you get to eat the fruit!
Hazelnut Chocolate Spread. Homemade Nutella. That is all.
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