With less than a week away from Christmas, if you have lots of sugar in the house, need some quick presents, and definitely don’t feel like baking (who needs the extra calories) consider some of the following:
Sugar Scrubs: These are so easy-mix oil (almond, olive, coconut, safflower) with sugar and put into a jar. Add essence and a colorant if you choose. The question is proportion of oil to sugar. I’ve seen some recipes of 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 1/4 to 1/3 a cup of oil. Others call for 2 cups of sugar to one part oil. Check out some of these sites for more ideas for recipes as well as jars:
• Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub She uses Starbucks Frappucino Drink bottles for the jar.
Vanilla Sugar: To two cups of sugar, slice a vanilla bean open and scrap out the seeds into an airtight container with the sugar. Bury bean in sugar and seal. Let sit for 1-2 weeks. Since the Mason jelly jars hold about 3/4 cup of sugar, you can make several presents with one vanilla bean.
Quick Fix Jar: Put sugar in an interesting jar/container along with the following note. Sugar can be used in a number of ways. Use the enclosed to:
• Heal a number of ills, such as easing the sting when you’ve burned your tongue on hot pizza, coffee. Suck on a sprinkle of sugar and the pain will ease. A dash of sugar can lessen the pain of too much spiciness in the mouth.
• Feed your flowers-Add 3 t of sugar and 2T of white vinegar per quart of warm water for fresh cut flowers.
• Clean coffee bean and spice grinders by pouring 1/4 cup of sugar into the grinder and run it for 2-3 minutes. Dump out and wipe well.
• Get rid of roaches by combing equal parts sugar and baking powder and sprinkle where the roaches appear. The sugar will attract them and the baking powder will kill them.
• Clean your hands, particularly if they are coated with oil or grease.
• Remove grass stains: A paste of sugar and water, rubbed gently into a grass stain, and left to sit for an hour or so, should produce clean clothes after washing as normal.
• Wasp Trap: Boil 2 oz of sugar and a little water to make a sticky liquid. Pour into empty jars or a dish and leave in the open. Wasps will be attracted by the sweetness but can’t get out because of the “sugar quicksand.”
• Start a Fire: If you can’t get a fire started, toss a handful of sugar on it. The sugar will ignite and help get the fire going.
Natural Fly Strip: While this isn’t a present you can wrap and leave under the Christmas tree, if you live someplace were flies are a pain, even in the winter, make up some strips and hang with festive ribbons. Combine equal parts sugar, honey and water in a saucepan. Boil the mixture, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Let cool. Cut pieces of brown packing tape, punch a hole on the end and make a loop with string through the hole. Dip the strips in the mix; hang to let excess drips drop (don’t forget the paper or pan to catch the drips) until sticky, and then hang where the flies are most active.