I think I might have mentioned before that I’m not a particularly Christmassy person. We don’t have a tree, or a wreath. Santa doesn’t stop at our place and I don’t send Christmas cards. In terms of gift giving, close family receive carefully selected gifts which we try to buy from local artisans and producers, and I make a bunch of jam and cookies etc. to round everything out.
P and I exchange small, inexpensive gifts on Christmas day and then buy ourselves something we ‘need’ at the post-Christmas sales afterwards. I say ‘need’ because as two inner-city professionals (we do enjoy latte’s…), we have everything we could ever actually need (and more). But still, last year we bought ourselves a robot vacuum cleaner in what was the single greatest purchasing decision we’ve ever made.
But I digress…
So, you know, Secret Santa. It’s not really something I’m very good at. I participated last year and the results were hilarious. Not only did I completely miss the whole bit about this being a ‘secret’ gift exchange, I also thought it would be a good idea to send chocolate.
In the mail. To Queensland. In the middle of summer.
As I mentioned in a previous post, this time last year Adelaide was experiencing a charming heatwave with maximum temps sitting somewhere around the 40/104 degree mark. It made for a hilarious anecdote and I still think fondly of the time I sent lovely Maureen a ‘minty chocolate turd’ for Christmas.
However, it is a new year and I am older and somewhat wiser this time around. When Claire sent around an email calling for participants for this year’s gift exchange I promised not to screw it up and promptly set about thinking of the least perishable object I could send through the mail in the middle of summer.
The result? This nifty little jar of mushroom salt – specifically porcini and garlic salt. I’m actually quite pleased with the final product and will definitely be making it again. It was an incredibly simple creation but it packs a huge flavour punch in any dish it is added to.
To make simply blitz some dried porcini mushrooms in a food processor, then add dried garlic and sea salt. Pack it in some small jars and you’re away.
This recipe will make about 8 or 9 small jars so there will be plenty to give away as gifts.
Just a word of warning that the porcini’s when blitzed will sort of disintegrate into a fine powder so keep the feed chute of your mixer covered as best you can or you will lose some of that precious umami goodness.
- 5g dried porcini mushrooms
- 500g good-quality sea salt
- 1-2 tbspns of garlic granules
- Add the mushrooms to your food processor and blitz for about a minute to break everything up.
- Add the salt and garlic and blitz again until you have the desired consistency.
- Transfer to jars and seal.