3 min read

The gifts that keep on giving....

"Giving opens the doors for receiving"   -  Florence Scovel Shinn

~ Our Top 5 Gifts..that keep on giving ~

Here at Home Make It, we believe the best kind of gift is the gift that keeps on giving and giving! We hope to inspire you and your family and friends with some great ideas, superb kitchen equipment, new culinary skills and healthy homemade produce to share with others. Keep on giving and sharing the love everybody and just watch it all come back to you.

Check out our top 5 gift ideas this festive season;

5 - Vinegar Making Demijohn 

The beauty of this "gift of giving" is that if you keep up the wine additions, the red or white wine or balsamic vinegar never runs out! The mother culture will continue to improve with age. Your friends and family will be so appreciative that they'll keep you in a lifetime supply of homemade vinegar. How good does that sound!  

I'll share with you the vinegar recipe as featured in our first ever book, titled The Makers, by Rita Erlich. This is the recipe of Lou Baggio, the original founder of Home Make It, who knows that not everyone has the time to make real vinegar the old fashioned way, but understands that people still want good quality vinegar to enjoy with their salads and as a stable in their kitchens. So here is his vinegar recipe with a modern twist.  

Homemade Vinegar Recipe


  • 750 ml wine (red or white) 
  • 250 ml sterilised water (boiled then chilled) 
  • 1 jar of mother vinegar - 'starter' culture
Equipment required:
  • Demijohn with a wide neck and stand or large jar with spigot on its own stand 
  • Tea towel or gauze 
  • Wooden blocks for ageing effects (optional)


  1.  Pour 750ml of wine (red or white) into the jar 
  2. Add 250 mls of sterilised water. The water will lower the alcohol content and ph level to 3.8-4, which will allow the bacteria to grow.  
  3. Add the jar of mother culture 
  4. Add the wooden blocks to approximate the effects of wood-aging (optional) 
  5. Cover the jar or demijohyn with a tea towel or gauze. This will allow the mixture to breath and the bacteria to grow. 
  6. Keep the vinegar somewhere warm to get it to over 24 degrees, which will enable the bacteria to grow. It will take around 6-8 weeks for the vinegar to be ready, less time in warmer weather.   

Once you've made the vinegar, you don't want it to run out. Continue with wine 'additions' whenever you draw the vinegar i.e. if you take 200ml of the vinegar, replace with 150ml wine and 50ml of sterilised water. This will keep the mother culture going. The vinegar flavour will improve with age if you keep the additions going.


4 - Cheese Making Kits

Who doesn't love cheese! Whether it's Ricotta, Feta, Halloumi, Blue Vein, Camembert or Mozzarella, we can never get enough. The passionate foodie will love trying their hand at homemade cheese making and the process has been made simpler with these awesome Cheese Making Kits. A little hint...pick the style/flavour of cheese you enjoy, so when they give you the gift of homemade cheese in return....you get to relish and enjoy it!

3 - Arancini Mould

You can just read the mind of Inspector Montalbano, can't you? Do you think he's thinking "OMG, how good are these!" His lady friend looks like she's beside herself with amazement at the delightful taste.

We let the cat out of the bag about Italy's best kept secret, the Arancini Moulds a few months ago, with out dedicated news blog titled "Italy's best kept food secret". If you missed it, you can catch up here. The blog included everything you need to know about making arancini, including a You Tube clip by the makers of Arincinotto, easy to follow recipe and step by step images.

These arancini moulds have been a best seller since. And by popular demand, we have now imported the 80gm and 120gm hand-crafted pro range of arancini moulds. I must warn you though, they are on the pricey side. However, they are hand-crafted and part of the professional hospitality range. If you get in before Christmas, you can take advantage of the 20% discount we are offering for a limited time or until the stock runs out. Details for the 20% discount below.  

Anyway, back to the gifts that keep on giving. You give the mould, and hopefully in return they'll give you some scrumptious, perfectly shaped arancini balls.


2 - Home Brew Kits

Home Brew - Beer Kit - "Deluxe"

With Summer here, some days the only real way to quench that thirst is with a cold, crisp beer! And what mancave doesn't need a homebrew kit? The beauty of the gift of giving a homebrew kit, is that it includes all the start up equipment needed to brew beer. All they need to then do is choose their flavour/style of recipe, and get brewing. They'll be so grateful that they'll be giving you slabs of beer in no time :) We also have a massive range of recipe kits to compliment the equipment kits


1 - The Makers: A Story of Food, Family and Foreigners

If you know your family and friends are really into homemade food and beverages, but you don't know for sure what they would like to make, then consider the gift of The Makers, by Rita Erlich. The gives a lovely history of European immigration to Australia and the influence the migrants have had on our food and beverage culture. The book also includes recipes and processes to make homemade passata, salami, wine, beer, cheese, pasta and preserved olives. These recipes have been provided by the Home Make It community who are preserving traditions of their homelands, or starting new ones. 


Well I hope that I've inspired you with some ideas to spoil your loved ones this XMAS. And don't forget it's 'the act of giving that opens the doors to receiving'. Cheeky I know! 


~ Collaboration with The Craft & Co ~

There's a lot of buzz about the opening of The Craft & Co in Smith Street, Collingwood. We're especially excited as we look forward to teaming up with them and utilising their onsite 10 hL brewery, purpose built cheese and cured meat rooms and training facilities. Watch this space to learn more about our upcoming collaborations in all things artisan food and beverages!  

Keep up to date with all the news about the newest kid on the block, by joining The Craft & Co mail subscription. You can also keep up to date with all the exciting venue news by following them on FACEBOOKTWITTER and INSTAGRAM. Be sure to get on down to Smith Street and enjoy The Craft & Co experience. You may also be able to tick off a few gifts from your Christmas list! They have a fabulous range of locally produced and artisan food and beverage products in their retail spaces.



With Christmas only two weeks away, you may be still pondering over your list of loved ones that you want to give a special gift to. If your family and friends share your passion for creating homemade food and beverages, then why not spoil them with one of our unique gift ideas? 

Our gift to you this Christmas is a HUGE 20% discount across the entire store only for a limited time and only while stocks last! Excludes food & beverage courses, gift vouchers, brew tins and essences.

To receive the 20% discount, you must enter and apply the discount code “XMAS” at the final stage of check-out (after processing payment via PayPal). 

Happy Shopping!! 



~ Food & Beverage Workshops 2016 ~

Image: Sausage Making Workshop - A Hen's Night with a Twist!

We have now released dates for our delicious line-up of 2016 Food & Beverage Workshops and are now taking bookings ONLINE. They make a wonderful Christmas gift, and if you're lucky, they will show their thanks in return with some delicious homemade goodies for you to enjoy ;) 

We have introduced some fantastic new courses in the 2016 program that are sure to inspire all foodie types, and of course the usual favourite courses are still part of the program too. 

2016 Food & Beverage Courses; 


~ Craft Day Out - 2016 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival ~

We are thrilled to be joining The Craft & Co for a collaboration of all collaborations for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Craft Day Out on Sunday the 6th March, 2016, at The Craft & Co, 390 Smith Street, Collingwood.The Craft Day Out will delight, inspire and educate the discerning foodie within, with a series of interactive appreciation and workshop sessions to learn the artisan craft of making beer, spirits, passata, cheese, salami/sausages and wine.  

The artisan line-up for Craft Day Out in 2016:

* Spirit appreciation and tasting sessions by Archie Rose Distilling Co
* Wine appreciation and tasting sessions by Rob Dolan Wines & Winestock
* Cheese demonstration – That’s Amore Cheese
* Sausages/Salumi demonstrations – The Meat Room
* Passata workshops with Home Make It
* Beer appreciation and tasting sessions by FB*PROPAK
* Lunch on the day: curated and created by Dom Marzano - The Craft & Co

Tickets selling ONLINE now. Get in early! 


~ Cade's Home Brew  News ~

Hi Brewers, 

We have had a big pre-xmas shipment of big boy toys come into us this week and I'm excited! 

This is the interior of the new SS Brewtech Infussion mash tun. Has to be seen in the flesh and picked up to be truly appreciated. It's built like a tank. We have also got the 38, 57 & 76 liter SS Brewtech Kettles back into stock, so include those on your Santa wishlist. To add to this, these are 20% off too for a limited time, it's a no brainer! 


We had a wonderful time with James Mele at The Meat Room in Kilmore last weekend. With our powers combined we gave a "Beer & Bangers" experience for some lucky customers. As well as learning the processes, they took home the fruit of their labours, with everyone hauling away their own handmade sausages and beer bottle by their own hand. A good day had by all!

Come along to learn how to set up your own backyard home brewery by booking into one of my Intro to All Grain Brewing courses in 2016. 

Viking Malts have started to hit brew set ups this week as word gets out about the new kid on the block and it's ridiculously competitive price! We did a bulk buy to some local brew clubs, so look forward to some Viking in a glass near you soon. 

Don't forget our last day is 24th December, and we open again on the 6th of January, 2016. So if you want to brew over the break, come in and fill your santa sack beforehand. 

Happy Brewing & don't forget to leave one out for Santa!  


~ Festive Season Trading Hours ~

We also wish to advise you of the upcoming festive season trading hours: 

Home Make It Clayton and Reservoir Stores will close on the Christmas Eve Thursday 24 December, 2015 at 5pm and will re-open as per usual on Wednesday 6 January, 2016.

Please note also, that any online web orders made between Saturday 19 December, 2015 and Thursday 7 January, 2016 may not be processed and fulfilled until Friday 8 January, 2016.

Click the link below to check out this week's Specials.     

Check out our Gift Vouchers and Course Gift Vouchers also available in store or ONLINE


~ The tomato season and the Melbourne Tomato Festival ~

We'll be seeing red on our return from the festive season. Our favorite season is fast approaching! The humble tomato season. Are you ready? The Roma tomato also means that the Melbourne Tomato Festival is just around the corner. Be inspired by founder of the Melbourne Tomato Festiva, Guy Grossi in this brief video sharing his inspiration behind the Melbourne Tomato Festival.  



Remember, you can keep up to date with all the daily news from the team, recipes and events by following us on Twitter or Facebook

Have a great week and enjoy the lead up to the festive season.