(Also published in the Concord Monitor’s LiveWell on Dec. 2, 2016)
Decorate plates and dishware to serve up some Christmas cheer. Plain ceramic/stoneware dishes can be purchased at discount stores or department stores for about $1 a piece, or pick some up used from a thrift store. You’ll want to make sure they are oven safe (no plastic).
The only other supplies you’ll need are permanent markers (about $6 for a 10-pack of Sharpies) and an oven.
Then, get coloring.
You can get into the holiday spirit by drawing icons associated with the season. Or, if you’re less artistically-inclined try writing song lyrics from a popular carol.
Alternatively, you could copy a recipe on to the dishware.
Since, it’s difficult to pre-sketch on the dishes you can use painter’s tape as stencils or as rules to keep a straight baseline. While wet, the marker can be wiped off with a damp paper towel.
To cure, bake the dishes for a half hour at about 225 degrees. Let them cool in the oven.
The art won’t wash off in water anymore, but can be dulled in the dishwasher. You’ll want to write “Hand wash only” on the bottom of you pieces before baking.
Top with a recipe of your choice (Christmas cookies? Fruit cake?), wrap with plastic and gift away.