OLIVE OIL GIFTING IDEAS
Written and compiled by Alinda van Dyk
IT’S THE SEASON TO BE GIVING
The gifting season is upon us! Shopping malls are lit up with lights and decorations. Shops are filled with Sun-tan lotions, beach towels and holiday plans are being made. School kids are having class parties and businesses are hosting year-end functions.
Together with all the festive and holiday activities, comes GIFTING. This time of the year I find myself having to think about teachers’ gifts, corporate gifts, a gift for my best friend, my colleagues and of course family members. It can all be quite a scramble of thoughts to find suitable gifts for the occasion and person.
Gifting should be fun! In our modern world we have so much wastage, it’s also important to give something USEFUL to the receiver that will not end up in the dustbin. The most important aspect when giving – is the thought that has been put in the gift – especially with a personal touch.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is such a versatile product – yes indeed, you can do more with olive oil than just cook with it! I have compiled a few ideas or suggestions for gifting with olive oil and olives. These gifts will be both USEFUL and PERSONAL!
KITCHEN GIFTING IDEAS
It is the season for picnics, festive cooking and braais – why not give something that can be used to make it easy and awaken lovely foodie ideas?
TIP – When not using our branded products – Buy some BULK Extra Virgin Olive Oil and BULK table olives from our tasting room at Willow Creek Estate to make up plenty of bottles and jars
Giving a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on its own is already a lovely useful gift. You can however elevate this gift by making up your own hamper.
Use Hamper packaging items that double up as part of the gift. Use wooden utensil holders, or spice- and condiment holders and fill it with a Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Flavoured Olive Oil, a jar of Olives and Olive Tapenade. Tie with a ribbon and tag with a personal card and perhaps a family recipe card. The recipe is part of the gift!
COOKING AND BRAAI TOOL KITS
Make up your own personal cooking kits. Wrap a bottle of olive oil in a funky designer kitchen towel or hand glove and tie up with a paint brush or silicone brush and decorate with appropriate fresh herbs.
Add the special touch by sharing your favourite recipe using olive oil and tag it onto the gift. You can make your own variants of tools and herbs that can be tied up with the bottle of olive oil or that is suitable to the recipe.
Make some yummy treats. Here are just a few ideas to trigger your creativity. Visit our Facebook page and recipe section on our web page for more ideas. Perhaps these won’t be gifts – but something you can take along to your Christmas or New Year’s lunch…
Preserved Plum Tomatoes
- Take 24 Plum tomatoes. Core each tomato, slice open on one side and butterfly open. Place on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in very low heat for 8 hours or until dark and leathery – don’t let it crisp.
- Once cooled, fill each tomato with some crushed garlic cloves and a fresh basil leaf in each tomato. Fold close
- Stack in layers in a beautiful 2Lt jar glass jar that can be used again at a later stage.
- Fill the jar and cover the tomatoes with olive oil. I suggest the NUY VALLEY extra virgin for this purpose.
- These tomatoes are lovely to use with tapas and in salads. Try it on top of crostini! The olive oil in the jar infuses over time with the tomatoes, garlic and basil and can be used as dressing over a salad.
Chocolate and Blood Orange Flavoured Olive Oil Cinnamon Fudge Cake
Why not give a cake as gift? It is so expensive to buy cakes, that one tends to not buy cakes anymore – therefore such a spoil when you receive a lovely homemade cake from somebody that took the time and creativity to bake one for you.
Chef Mynhardt Joubert created this festive cake using Willow Creek Blood Orange Olive Oil.
As Chef Mynhardt says:
“I love giving cakes as gifts and this one ticks all the festive boxes. The decadent cake is easy to prepare and is fool proof. It can be baked in advanced, iced and decorated with your favourite festive embellishments!”
Prep time: 20minutes
Baking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Easy to prepare
Oven: 150 degrees Celsius
26 cm spring-form pan
Ingredients for the cake
300 g of good quality dark chocolate (70% – 80% cacao)
225 grams of butter
50 ml of Willow Creek Blood Orange Flavoured Olive Oil
25 ml of vanilla paste
6 large eggs
250 ml of castor sugar
125 ml of dark brown sugar
250 ml of flour
5 ml of ground cinnamon sifted with the flour
Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
300 g of dark chocolate
250 g of crème fraîche
Melt the chocolate with the butter, olive oil and vanilla paste over a double boiler
Beat the eggs, castor sugar and brown sugar in a mixer until it has tripled in volume
Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and fold in gently, add the flour and combine
Pour into the greased pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the cake has set, remove and let it cool completely
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler while whipping the crème fraîche in a mixer, fold the chocolate into the mixture and ice the cake
Decorate with extra chocolates, glazed fruit or fresh berries with more crème fraîche
Homemade Olive Paste
- Take some olives of your choice (Black or Green) and REMOVE THE PIPS
- Crush the de-pipped olives with a food blender while adding some olive oil slowly. You can blend it to a fine consistency or leave it slightly course, depending on your preference.
- You can decide whether you want to blend in some fresh herbs like basil, or some chili paste into the olive mixture
- This is something you can be creative with
- Place in a lovely glass jar, tie with a ribbon and tag a card with some recipe ideas using olive tapenade.
Homemade Infused Olive Oils
Though Willow Creek has a range of 9 Flavoured Olive Oils – it is fun to make your own oil infusions – especially when you grow your own fresh herbs or have a lemon tree in your garden.
There is no fixed recipe with infusions – it is all about taste and balance. One important hint however, is to always ensure your herbs are dried off well to ensure minimal water to mix with your olive oil.
One can simply pour extra virgin olive oil in a glass bottle and add your herbs, but the infusion process won’t always deliver success.
- Herbs that work well with infusions and popular in gardens, are Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano.
- Heat your extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan together with your herbs. DON’T let the oil come to boil, just WARM the oil at a low temperature to allow the herbs to infuse.
- Let it cool and pour in pretty bottles.
This can be done with garlic cloves, dried chili or lemon zest.
Important – I suggest this infusion be used within 3 weeks.
Enjoy as a salad dressing and meat marinades.
BATHROOM AND BEAUTY OLIVE OIL GIFTS
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in Anti-Oxidants and Vitamin E and is an EXCELLENT product to moisturize and nourish SKIN and HAIR. Make your own beauty gift for your special friend, mom or daughter.
General hair treatment TIP
Generously rub olive oil onto your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a towel or shower cap and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and a mild shampoo.
Make some of your own infused treatments. For this purpose, I suggest our NUY Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Pour the Olive Oil in a beautiful bottle and infuse with fresh herbs such as sage and rosemary, or flowers like lavender.
Wrap the bottle in a hair towel with a comb or hairbrush and ribbon – don’t forget to tag instructions.
You can also use Aromatherapy oils and blend it with Olive Oil.
Rule of thumb: 50 drops essential oil to 250ml Olive Oil
Beware of applying aromatherapy oils directly to skin!
Lavender and Rosemary are ideal for hair growth and Lemon Grass is excellent in combination with olive oil to combat dry scalp!
Infuse according to my suggestion or make up a gift giving both olive- and aromatherapy oil in a hamper with a towel and instructions.
Gift for a pregnant girlfriend
Buy a tub of Aqueous Cream and place it in a useful, WIDE neck glass jar (not too deep). Remember, the jar must be suitable to put your hands in the jar.
Stir in some extra virgin olive oil, I suggest a delicate oil, in a ratio of 1-unit olive oil to 10 units aqueous.
This is great for preventing stretch marks!
Personal Bathroom Hamper
Take a combination of olive oil products and make up a hamper gift. Use your homemade aqueous lotion (also for non-pregnant women) and your homemade hair infusion. Add some olive oil soap and a candle then wrap in a towel. Decorate with a ribbon and some lavender or herbs and don’t forget to tag instructions.
WHEN TIME IS A PROBLEM WITH GIFTING
When time is a problem to make your own personal gifts, our Willow Creek products are PERFECT gifts as they are! We have launched our new gifting packs available to purchase on-line.
Besides finding our products in most leading retail stores NATIONALLY, take some time out this summer season and visit our tasting room where you can experience some downtime in nature, taste all our offerings and buy all your GIFTS with ONE STOP!