If you have surplus vegetables, pickle them for your hampers or for Small Presents.
And if you have access to a pomegranate tree, make grenadine which is:
- really easy
- beautifully red
- the classic syrup to use in tequila sunrises and other cocktails (and hence you can give it to single adults and not just to households with children)
- free of artificial colourings (so you can also give it to households which do have children but avoid commercial red cordial)
Here’s what you need:
- a big glass jar
- a knife, a chopping board and a spoon
- a measuring cup
- small, pretty bottles
- about 2 weeks
Here’s what you do:
- Cut the pomegranates into quarters.
- Scoop the kernels into the measuring cup. (You don’t have to remove the white stuff between the kernels.)
- When you’ve filled the cup, empty it into the jar and add ¾ cup of sugar to the jar
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you run out of pomegranates.
- Put the lid on the jar and give it a shake every day for a fortnight.
- At the end of the fortnight, strain the syrup into sterilised bottles, seal and label.
I wasn’t originally planning to repaint my dining room window sill because it was already gloss white and it was in good condition but, of course, after the work the carpenter did, I have to and I did the first coat today. (I used low-VOC paint but perhaps I should have gone for old-fashioned “Can’t sleep in this room for a fortnight” paint to fumigate any remaining carpenter ants.)
 Not to be confused with St Vincent and the Grenadines which is both a chain of islands in the Caribbean and a terrible pop group from my youth.
 Including the zombie which adds four kinds of rum, orange liqueur and apricot brandy to the grenadine and, according to my cousin Russell, adds three new dimensions to hangovers too.
 Or a big glass bowl that you can cover.
 Or bowl.
 Or bowl.
 Or cover the bowl.
 Or a stir.