Thursday, January 15, 2009

Appalachian Christmas Stockings

I really wanted to share this idea, well, at Christmas but I didn’t want to give it away.

This year I decided to simplify and give everyone in the family the same present. I thought I would bring back the idea of Christmases past ands give everyone an Appalachian Christmas Stocking.

Originally I wanted to use all Christmas socks, but I was unable to find any for the guys so I bought them regular dress socks instead. First, I rolled up one of the socks and stuffed it into the toe of the other.

Inside I included the following:
A gift card (different cards for different people)
Sample size Wet Wipe
Homemade cookies wrapped in shrink wrap and tied with a bow
Tiny brown paper bag filled with cashews
Popcorn balls wrapped in shrink wrap, in a very tiny brown paper back that was tied with a bow
I am pretty happy with the way that they turned out. I did customize the stockings for my sister by putting in some cake decorating gadgets. I was so pleased that I might try doing this again next year.

My favorite gift in the stocking is the popcorn balls. I recommend you trying these. They are super easy, but a really big mess. I decided to make the popcorn by popping it in the microwave inside a brown paper bag. It was a lot easier than I thought. I think I used 1/4th cup kernels at a time. I think it took about 2.5 minutes for each bag to pop, but every microwave is different. I also reused the same brown paper bag for the whole thing. And buying a bag of kernels is cheaper than getting the microwave kind, and a lot less greasy.

Another helpful hint is having a XXL clear bowl to mix everything in. Mine was not quite big enough. And make sure that you have all the un-popped kernels out. It’s easier to shake them to the bottom of the bag and then scope out the popped corn, but that won’t get all of them. That's why it's good to have a clear bowl.
I added in dried cranberries, mixed raisins, and unsalted peanuts. I highly recommend either adding cranberries or cherries. It makes these over the top!
My last tip is to not worry about putting butter on your hands and making these into balls. That just makes a bigger mess. If you let the mix dry for a bit you can easily pull off pieces and wrap them into shrink wrap. If you are giving away or storing the whole thing just put it into a zip lock bag. That way you just pull off pieces when you (or the lucky recipient) is eating it. Much better. Enjoy!

Note: After having this up for a while, I will repost with a December 2008 date.
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1 comment:

Pregnantly Plump said...

Those are great! What a creative idea. Little Elvis adores popcorn (much to my chagrin) and we managed to "win" a mini air popper machine in our family's Dirty Santa this year. Maybe I'll make us some popcorn balls after I pop some...