Light up the holidays with gifts of food and drink for your friends and family. The hottest food trend of 2012 has been preserving goodies from garden, orchard, and market. Canning jars, pickling crocks, herb-drying racks, and even food dehydrators have been flying out of kitchenware shops and supermarkets across the country. We haven’t seen this much enthusiasm for do-it-yourself in the kitchen since the patriotic heyday of World War II’s Victory Gardens.

Nothing says “I care” more than a present that shows some personal effort. If you already have your own honey, pickles, jams, or other home-produced items to give as holiday gifts, good for you. However, if the preserving ship sailed without you back in August, when summer produce was at its peak, we’ve got your lifeline for the holidays. Everything you need for spreading New Mexican seasonal cheer, by the pint, quart, or batch, is here: Recipes you can make with items you’ll find in markets, products you can mix and match with your homemade goodies, store-bought items you can personalize, even fun food-related gifts with no calories whatsoever. If you’re not the kitchen or crafty type, we’ve sought out some special preserved treats that have strong, sometimes unexpected New Mexico connections.

Complete story and recipes.