We're very busy "elving" around here. (Oh yes, that's a verb.) At your house too? Goodness, I love this last hoorah of non-stop making just as much as the parties and the celebration days themselves. Day and night, it seems, there is glue and and yarn and chocolate and beeswax and fabric and oh-so-many-things in progress and covering every single work surface to be found in every room of this house. I never quite know these days - when I turn a corner and spy little ones conspiring - if I'll hear "you can't come in here!" or "we need your help!"
The Elving is good.
There are a few things that are becoming 'classics' around the holidays for us that I'm beginning to not imagine a holiday without. Peppermint Bark? Oh, that's one of them. Yesterday, we made all the teacher gifts to be gifted in the next couple of days. Because if there's anyone that deserves the yumminess of Peppermint Bark, surely it's the magical people who wrangle a room full of wriggling children into dancing, horseback riding, or otherwise learning in something resembling unison.
I use the fabulous Bon Apetit recipe passed on by Molly. I usually double the batch, which fills eight half-quart mason jars, and leaves plenty of bits and end pieces for the bakers to enjoy. (I store them in the refrigerator until gift giving time.)
Another pepperminty gift that is making a repeat appearance this year is Peppermint Lip Balm. The kids love making this as much as we love using it. Once you have all the ingredients and supplies on hand, it's such a fast, affordable and easy thing to whip up, and I think, a great stocking stuffer or little gift addition. It's yummy and good on the lips. I get as many of the ingredients locally as I can, and whatever I can't find is from the wonderful Mountain Rose Herbs (the containers are there). (The perfectly-sized stickers are from Paper-Source.)
I began making this a few years ago with an original recipe from Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self by Stephanie Tourles. I highly recommend this book for simple recipes and formulas if you're interested in making your own body care products. We've tweaked and adapted it a bit to meet our own favorite flavors and needs as such...
Peppermint Lip Balm
8 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons Beeswax
1.5 Tablespoons Raw Honey
30 drops Peppermint essential oil
(if you want color) 1/2 stick of natural lipstick (I like Jane Iredale and Josie Moran)
Place oil, beeswax and honey in a double boiler (or heatproof bowl resting on top of a small saucepan of simmering water). (As a side note, I picked up an extra double boiler thrifting that I use just for beeswax crafts, which really makes cleanup easier.) Heat gently until everything has melted.
Remove mixture from heat, and add peppermint oil and lipstick. Stir until blended.
Place the pan or bowl in a larger bowl full of cold water. Stir quickly until the mixture begins to change in consistency (it will become thicker).
Pour mixture into containers, place covers on, and let sit to cool and set up.
(fills approximately one dozen 1/2 oz tins)
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Join us all week long here as I share some of the simple, handmade family gifts we're making in this wonderfully full time of Elving (& Giving)!