Giftcrafting at IDT

Oct 18, 2015

Christopher-Elbow-Chocolates_pate-de-fruitsIt’s a workshop. It’s hands-on, and it’s all about food. Some would deem this nirvana (with all of the fun and none of the hassle, i.e., the cycle of reincarnation and working off bad karma).

For this near-nirvana experience, Director Joseph Shuldiner and the Institute of Domestic Technology present “Giftcrafting” on November 21. Four 1-hour sessions teach how to create four distinct food elements that will be perfect for gift-giving over the holidays, and which also includes packaging and even gift-tagging. Lest all this gift making create a parched feeling or a rumbling in the tumbly (reference: Pooh, the bear), beverages and a catered lunch are included.

On the menu? IDT’s version of nutella; dukkah, an Egyptian dry dipping condiment; pâtes de fruits, which are small fruit candies and a new addition to the holiday giftcrafting menu; and pancake-mix in a jar (because who wants to truly open their eyes too early on a Sunday morning—it’s enough work to keep the fruit salad knife from slicing finger flesh and the bacon from spitting out its foul mood).

These classes are intimate in size and though it’s not being held until November 21, IDT Director Joseph Shuldiner tells us there are only a few spots left. (We’ll meet you at the IDT Gift-Packaging Bar with a beverage and fruit jelly in hand).




Giftcrafting will be held for the first time at Food + Shelter in Highland Park. The couple behind this business are Andrei Pogany and Deborah Gorman. As Shuldiner describes them: “He’s a residential architect (shelter) and she has a vegan sorbet company (food).”

Food + Shelter began in 2008, offering catering services, events, cooking classes, and pop-up dinners. In 2012, after working with Architecture Resources Group in Pasadena, Andrei launched Pogany Architecture and in the same year, Deborah co-founded Sorbabes, which makes “decadent” and natural sorbets.


Food + Shelter's kitchen; courtesy photo

Food + Shelter’s kitchen; courtesy photo


So, before the busy crush of Thanksgiving and the end of year holidays, give yourself an early holiday present—the gift of learning, creating, socializing, and eating with IDT’s Giftcrafting workshop. Your holiday to-buy list will be a whole lot shorter.


Giftcrafting for the Holidays
Saturday, Nov. 21st, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Food + Shelter
6375 N. Figueroa Ave., Highland Park 90042
Cost: $195; enroll here


Coriander, one of the ingredients of dukkah

Coriander, one of the ingredients of dukkah



Official text and details below from the Institute of Domestic Technology:

Domestella™:  (Our Version of Nutella)
You gotta love the Italians for calling their wildly popular Nutella, “part of a complete breakfast.” Chocolate for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! Any time is the right time for this silky blend of hazelnuts and chocolate, and we’ll show you how to make our wonderfully simple version from scratch. Serve it on toast, stirred into ice cream, or–let’s be honest–just eat it with a spoon. Your friends will swoon when they receive a jar of your handmade Domestella™ – if you can bear to part with it, that is.

This coarse, dry, dipping powder is an exotic condiment that doesn’t really fit into any of the usual culinary categories. Traditionally, this Egyptian medley of ground and toasted nuts & spices is sold in paper cones accompanied with pieces of fresh bread, which is dipped first into a bowl of olive oil then in the Dukkah. We love it before a meal as an appetizer or as a mid-afternoon snack with a glass of crisp white wine and some fresh in-season fruit. Move over, hummus!

Pâte de Fruits: (Sugared Fruit Jellies)
In France, pâtes de fruits are very popular around the holidays and are sold in high-end pâtisseries. These small fruit candies can be made from almost any fruit, rolled in sanding-sugar then packaged to create a beautiful handmade gift.

Give the gift of breakfast this year and get your cute-sy on with our Pancake-Mix-In-A-Jar. You’ll pack the dry ingredients into a reusable super-cute Mason jar with an instruction card for fool-proof flapjacks. Our recipe needs only the addition of eggs and buttermilk to be complete. Oh, and did I mention they’re the perfect shape to accept a generous coating of Domestella? Better unplug the phone; this could be a while.

Gift Packaging DIY:
Okay. Now that you’ve learned how to craft these amazing gifts and have decided who on your list gets what, it’s time to package everything to be gift-worthy. We’ll pull out all the stops and bring you the Institute Gift-Packaging Bar™ with templates, jar labels, container ideas to play with and take home and replicate.

Instructor: Joseph Shuldiner, Institute Director, author: Pure Vegan, Chronicle Books

Refund Policy: Cancellations made up to one week prior to event are eligible for a full refund less transaction fees incurred by the Institute from both purchase and refund, or event fees paid may also be applied as credit to a future class. Due to class demand, cancellations made seven to three days prior to an event will receive a fifty percent refund, or credit for the full fee may be applied to a future class. Cancellations made less than seventy two hours before an event are not eligible for refunds.


Joseph Shuldiner conducting a class

Joseph Shuldiner conducting a class




Photo, top right, Christopher Elbow Chocolates’ pâtes de fruits by Ulterior Epicure, Creative Commons, 2.0 generic.

Photo of coriander by Bierfaß (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo of cumin seeds by Sanjay Acharya (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.


Cumin seeds, an ingredient when making dukkah

Cumin seeds, an ingredient when making dukkah





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