Gifts for teachers/nursery staff
Doesn’t the word nursery staff sound posh? It’s just that this is the last week of term and may also be close to the xmas holidays for anyone using a nursery or childminder and clearly your kids and you need to give a few of your childminding/child educating lifesavers a gift. More ideas for gifts for your children to give from Nicola Baird, partly gleaned from her book Homemade Kids.
My dad handed out wine and whisky with great generosity. But even if this is affordable – and going to someone who drinks – it still doesn’t seem like the right gift from a child. So here are two ideas you can try out that will produce a pile of presents if you want within an hour. They look and taste fab and your child can have a large hand in creating them. However messy this gets now – it’ll be a skill investment that means next year they will be even better at creating these presents. You may even be asked to make them next year!
Old fashioned oranges
Find a ribbon (ideally red) and tie around an orange. Some people hold these in place with pins but I never do – if the ribbon slips, it’s all part of the authenticity! Then using a knitting needle or skewer make holes in the orange so it’s easier to push cloves into them. The mix of cloves and pierced orange peel is intoxicatingly Christmassy. Even very small children can do this if you make the holes.
Making the studded oranges is a good project to do when visitors come around for a cuppa. It keeps the children occupied and smells lovely too…
Chocolate truffles (makes 12)
Packet dark organic chocolate (approx 100g)
2 generous dessert spoonfuls of double cream (freeze what’s left over for next time, or eat it up!)
2 spoonfuls of brandy or a liqueur
Gently melt the butter and broken up bits of chocolate. Then add the rest of the ingredients and allow to cool so the ganache mix is as stiff as solid mud. In winter it takes about 30mins to cool it down. You can put the pan outside or in a cool part of your house (or any room without heating).
Give each child a large flat plate with a heap of chocolate/cocoa powder, or Milo granules, or grated chocolate or cinamon or whatever you fancy that will make a dusting for the truffle. Then take a tea-spoonful of the mix and gently roll it into a ball on the coatings. Years of practice will perfect this technique – expect to get very sticky the younger your child. As the truffle is very rich most kids don’t eat too much, so you may be saved from sugar-overload.
Put on a flat non-stick tray (or clean plate) and keep in a cool spot until you’ve got time to decant into pretty boxes – or boxes that you and your child can decorate. The chocolates are special, and look even more luxorious in a nest of coloured tissue paper.
Let me know how you get on – I was doing this only this morning but tripled the ingredients (ie, 3 bars of chocolate…). Melted the chocolate goo at 7.10am, everyone had breakfast and then at 7.50am Lola and Nell started rolling up truffles. We weren’t late for school either!
In a few days I’ll let you know what the office staff, lollypop lady and class teacher made of them – hopefully it will be a thumbs up for creativity. It’s lovely getting a present that is made especially for you.