Making individual personal gifts for friends and family is a thing that many dream of doing, but either a perceived lack of time or ability often seem to get in the way. This latest little BBC GoodFood book manages to pack 101 different recipes (or should one call them methods) of packaging food-related ingredients into pretty, personalised gifts, that would bring a smile to every recipient.
Unlike many "do-it-yourself" gift books, those provided within this book manage to mix traditional and modern into a harmonious form that does not look twee or something from a 1950′s school project. Some of the simpler gifts could be produced in minutes, perhaps spending more time on the packaging and presentation than on the actual development and preparation of the contents. And this is no complaint either.
Recipes range from "modern traditionals" such as spiced beetroot and orange chutney, quince jam and a Seville marmalade to a more unique, modern form such as chestnuts in spiced syrup or lavender sugar. The rich coloured pages provide inspiration galore to the casual browser who is stuck for an idea about what to gift. Of course, there is no rule saying that you cannot indulge yourself either, perhaps in the guise of a "recipe test" or two...
One complaint raised by some is that many of these recipes may be found on the publisher's web site and/or in their published magazines, but this need not be a problem. The books in the BBC GoodFood series are very reasonably priced and in many ways easier to browse and seek inspiration from instead of just clicking through a series of web pages and looking on screen. This reviewer loves storing recipes on computer and using an iPad to display them but still you cannot beat a series of beautiful pictures held in your hand for inspiration!