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In Appreciation

December 21st, 2011

Mr Chiots and I live in a small town and we love it. Every week when we head in to town we chat with the friendly folks at the Post Office, the library, and the bank. We appreciate each every one of these people, sure they’re working and getting paid for what they do, but they do their jobs well, which makes our lives a little easier. The librarians know what kinds of books we like and will save new ones out for us. The post office will add any additional postage I forgot and just let me know how much I owe the next time I come in, and the ladies at the bank give Lucy treats in the drive thru.

Because we appreciate how well they do their jobs, we like to show it during the holidays. Every year I make a few batches of caramel corn and Mr Chiots heads in to town and passes it out. After the first year I knew I could never stop because I started getting questions around Thanksgiving about the caramel corn. One of the guys at the post office even tried to get me to start a business selling it so he could buy it all year long. Since everyone loved it so much, I’ve been doing ever since, which I think has been 5 years at least. Yesterday I spent the evening baking up four batches and packaging it up. Today Mr Chiots will head in to town to show our appreciation!

Do you make anything to hand out to neighbors and others during the holidays?

18 Comments to “In Appreciation”
  1. brenda on December 21, 2011 at 6:11 am

    I’ve shared cookies, candies, and breads. Nut brittles are the only ones that got repeat requests.

    For my coworkers, I started making cinnamon ornaments (non-edible). These usually got pinned to the cubicle wall, and some folks had quite a collection as the years went by.

    I could go for some of that caramel corn right about now.

    brenda from arkansas

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  2. daisy on December 21, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I make cookies and breads. I usually make something for the mail carriers and trash folks, but this year didn’t get to it. Maybe for the new year I can get to it.

    Any chance we’ll get the recipe for your popcorn?

    Reply to daisy's comment

  3. The Minnesota Farm Woman on December 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Chex party mix! We look forward to eating it, too, since it it a once-a-year thing for us.

    Reply to The Minnesota Farm Woman's comment

  4. goatpod2 on December 21, 2011 at 8:49 am

    We don’t make anything to give to our neighbor’s.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  5. Allison on December 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

    That is so nice…and the caramel corn looks so good :)

    Since we have the orchard, usually in the fall I give the neighbors a basket of Apple & Pears, or I give them a jar of Pear butter around the holidays.

    Reply to Allison's comment

    • Susy on December 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Apples & pears are such a good idea!!!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Corrie on December 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Jams and jellies, made in summer when the fruit is at its best. When I kept bees, I gave away honey. It gives great joy to give a gift made with forethought months ago.

    Reply to Corrie's comment

  7. Mich on December 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Gifts tend to be honey from our bees & walnuts from the orchard. I would love to know how you make your caramel corn it looks yummy :)

    Reply to Mich's comment

  8. Texan on December 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I love caramel corn, well I love corn anything! Then I had to have food allergy testing done about 4 years ago. Sighhh no more corn for me ever out of all the foods I can no longer eat that is the one I miss the most!. But I must say for the improvements in my health its worth it.

    Reply to Texan's comment

    • Susy on December 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

      That stinks, we don’t eat much corn at all – when we do it’s popcorn – and only non-gmo organic locally or home grown in those rare instances. I hear of many folk with corn allergies (even our dog has them).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Sofie Dittmann on December 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I have always tried to be nice to the people I knew nobody appreciated much – the receptionist, the janitor – as I have been there and know how they feel.

    That said, hats off to you, I would love to do something like this but absolutely have no time whatsoever. I also had to work my way back up to nice this year after we closed – I was so used to yelling at people all the time who crossed me the wrong way. :)

    Reply to Sofie Dittmann's comment

  10. KimH on December 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Yum! I’ve been wanting to make cookies for my favorite library but havent. This year was the crazy busiest I’ve had during Nov/Dec..

    My coworkers got apple butter I made in Oct and single serving apple pies in a jar and a few of them got a few other things such as green tomato relish, hot salsa, pumpkin butter, and zucchini relish.. And a few got some bath salts and salt or sugar scrubs too..

    My neighbors all get some edible yummies… Its apple pies for a couple of them and I still havent decided what to do for the others.

    They request the apple pies all the time. Someone comes over to help snake the sewer.. “Will you bake me an apple pie?” Someone comes over to borrow a tool, “will you bake me an apple pie?” LOL Someone meets us in the middle of the street for a chit chat and asks..”Are you making apple pies today?”

    The answer is YES!! :) Thankfully, I still have some Esopus Spitzenburgs and Macoons in the garage just waiting to be used up.

    I used to make both individual and large rum cakes to take to work.. even to another division & shift where a friend is the group leader now… I was talking to one of the guys who used to work for him & he said for 5 years, he didnt know my name but he called me the cake lady.. haha.. Poor second shift always gets slighted so I guess it was memorable.

    The rum cake is the one that gets the most repeat requests besides the apple pie.. havent taken that one to work…

    This year Im also making chocolate covered pretzel sticks for a few friends & neighbors.. I imagine I’ll come up with a few other things but I havent started yet, so who knows. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  11. Martha on December 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Well my Mom is an awesome chef and so I get to share her work with my friends/neighbors and co-workers every year.

    Her specialty for the holidays are rum cake and sorrel and folks put in orders months in

    By the way I love caramel corn and these look delicious.

    Reply to Martha's comment

  12. Marcia on December 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I make Christmas hampers for my boyfriend`s family. They buy gifts for everyone and since I don`t believe in that (my family does a gift exchange) I make up a hamper per household. I usually make different treats each year but my Nuts and Bolts are a staple.

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  13. Whit on December 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    When i was a kid growing up in AZ, my family always anticipated the fresh homemade tamales and refried beans our neighbours would bring us for Christmas Eve and they would look forward to my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

    Now that i have a wee lass, i want her to experience a tradition like that. We don’t receive many homemade treats from people–i think a lot of families are just too busy to spend a day in the kitchen. But we make a small pan of manacotti and 2 or 3 types of cookies for our elderly neighbour across the street from us and look forward to visiting with her just before the holiday. Like your caramel corn recipients, she starts dropping hints around the first of November “Boy, i can almost taste the manacotti now!” ;)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends!

    Reply to Whit's comment

  14. Becky on December 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve made bourbon balls for about 8 years now. The recipe I use includes a cup of chopped nuts. This year I was able to use walnuts that I hulled and cracked myself. It’s goofy, but I’m quite proud of myself. :)

    Reply to Becky's comment

    • Marcia on December 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      It`s not goofy at all. Small steps lead to journeys.

      Reply to Marcia's comment

  15. on December 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    One reason why we live in our historic downtown is so everything is within walking distance. We chose this since my wife does not drive. We can walk to everything and LOVE it. The library, two regular grocery stores, one hometown grocery store, city hall, police station, a myriad of restaurants, ice cream parlor, hair cuts, etc, etc. What we never knew would happen is the friendships we have created with everyone in our community. It is the best!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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