By Lydia Bolen

The month of December is alive with festive activities. Schools are presenting holiday programs, Christmas parades are enjoyed, and special church and choir programs are on the calendar.

The center of all this activity is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He taught us to give, and to give freely of our time and our talents.

As I think about “giving” this Christmas season, I want to be conscious of giving gifts of love. Nothing will please your friends more than a gift made in your own kitchen! Thoughtful and useful gifts like Hot Mustard, Sausage Pinwheels, and Maple-Pecan Topping please all ages.

Hot Mustard can be served in a pretty compote dish as a nice side sauce with turkey or pork. It can also be presented in small glass jars tied with raffia or ribbon.

Sausage Pinwheels are perfect to have for Christmas morning breakfast. As gifts, the pinwheels can be given frozen. Simply provide instructions to thaw, slice, and bake to serve warm.

Maple-Pecan Topping served over vanilla ice cream is delicious for dessert at your Christmas Eve dinner. You can gift in a clear jar adorned with a festive ribbon.

Happy gift giving!!!




2 ounces Coleman’s dry mustard (2 small cans)

1 cup cider vinegar

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

Mix mustard and vinegar together. Let stand overnight.

Mix eggs and sugar in saucepan over medium heat until mixture is smooth.

Add mustard mixture and cook, stirring often until mixture thickens.

This sauce is good served warm or cold. Recipe can be doubled.

Good served as a side sauce with pork or turkey.

Present as a gift in small glass jars.





1 cup maple syrup

1 /4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tablespoon butter

1 /4 cup water

1 /4 cup half & half cream

1 /2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 /2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a heavy saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and water.

Stir over medium until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer until slightly thickened.

Stir in the cream, vanilla and nuts.

Cool to room temperature so it will thicken to right consistency.

Yields one cup.

Serve over ice cream.

Can store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

As a gift, present sauce in glass jar adorned with festive ribbon.





1 pound bulk sausage

2 cans crescent roll dough

Open one can of dough and roll out on a cookie sheet. Pinch all the scored edges together. Repeat this for the second can of dough.

Cut bulk sausage in half, and spread half over each piece of rolled out dough.

Roll dough up lengthwise. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm.

Rolls can be frozen at this point. If frozen, thaw completely before baking.

For baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut rolls into one-half inch pieces and place the crescent swirls one-half inch apart on a baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes until golden brown and sausage is cooked.