As Christmas is rapidly approaching, we decided to take a leaf (or a pine cone!) out of one of our own books, Eat, Drink and Be Merry and make some personalised Christmas presents. First up was the pot pourri; this was double the fun as we got to go for a lovely walk across Petworth Park to pick up the pine cones, conkers and other woody bits we were going to use to make the bulk of the present.

We came back with quite a variety of woodland foraged goods…

Then we had loads of fun drying it out in the oven (slowly!) along with slices of orange and pomegranate – this filled the kitchen with a delicious smell!

We also painted cranberries with nail varnish, and sprayed our woodland bits and pieces gold to use as decoration – a slightly painstaking process, but they look beautiful!

And here’s the pot pourri after it’s been dried out. Doesn’t it look beautiful?

All that’s left to do now is to soak the pot pourri ingredients in lovely Christmassy essential oils, bag it up in snowy cellophane and tie it up with some red ribbon, et voila! Christmas gifts for everyone.

We will finish it this weekend so check back early next week to see the final finished result and to see how you too can make your own with an exclusive excerpt from our book ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merry’

We also went for some of the home-made liqueur. Debbie had bought some lovely glass bottles from a charity shop so we used chopped fruits and spices (strawberry and kiwi in one; cinnamon, cranberries and lime in the other) to infuse rum – it tastes delicious already after only 24 hours!