Friday, December 11, 2009
Today, my daughter and I put together this peppermint stick cocoa mix for her teachers. The minute that I saw this gift idea on myrecipes.com I knew that I wanted to make it for the teacher goody bags this year.
As a former (or maybe I should say temporarily-retired-while-I-raise-my-young- children) teacher, I have to say that I loved the gifts that would show up on my desk the week before Christmas vacation. Seriously. I cherished and appreciated each and every one...from the Starbuck's gift cards to the homemade goodies...I was touched that some of my students thought enough of me to choose or make a gift or write a card, bring it to school, and place it on my desk. They might not always remember their homework, but they remembered me while studying for finals, planning for the holiday formal or choir show, and letting their thoughts wander to a whole two weeks off of sleeping in and socializing. One of my favorite gifts from my time as a teacher is this toy soldier ornament.
I received this gift from a beautiful, intelligent, young lady in one of the Fashion and Textile classes that I taught back in 2001. It was my second year of teaching, my first year in a new school, and I had an amazing group of young women in my classes. Inside the ornament, my student wrote in paint marker, "Thank you for everything - Merry Christmas 2001". Then she signed her name. Each year when I set this little guy on my mantle, a smile comes across my face as I think about her, those classes, and the students that I taught that year.
If you've got the time and the talents, homemade gifts are a fun way to share that holiday joy with a special teacher. My daughter loves helping to make these presents every year. She delivers them with pride, and an "I made that for you!"
This one is easy. It would make a great gift for a teacher or neighbor, and honestly I'd like to make a batch just to have around the house. You only need 5 ingredients: powdered milk, cocoa, sugar, peppermint candy, and miniature chocolate chips.
Both of my children had a wonderful time crushing the candy canes for the peppermint element that this recipe is named for. It wasn't nearly as fun for me, playing peace keeper as they fought over the meat mallet. "Stop it! It's my turn!" "No! I do it! I do it!". Meat mallets are very scary in the hands of a willful toddler...
After carefully layering ingredients into the two pint-sized jars, we tied a pretty ribbon on each and a gift tag (cut from construction paper and tied on with a piece of thread) with mixing instructions. I wish that I could have found a better pen than a Sharpie marker to write these. A fine-tipped pen would have made for a more legible result. Next time....
These cocoa mixes will accompany bags of homemade caramel corn, gingerbread cookies, and tins of cherry almond fudge (these recipes coming soon to Krista's Kitchen) in the holiday goody bags for my daughter's wonderful teachers this year.
You can find the recipe for Peppermint Stick Cocoa Mix here at myrecipes.com.
I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay warm!