5.13.2009

Food Gifts


photos by janne peters

I love the idea of giving gifts that don’t add to the piles of "stuff" we all seem to end up with. Of course, it’s always nice to present someone with a gift that you know they really want but would likely not buy for themselves (i.e. my mother’s day bike basket), but more often than not it’s impossible to find that perfect/elusive item.

I'm particularily fond of perishable gifts of food or experience gifts like museum memberships and theater or concert tickets. Given my current culinary leanings though, I’m especially intrigued by gifts of food.

Some of my favorite executions of this idea include the perfect little cheesecakes made each December by our friends Julie and Tim for everyone on their Christmas list (it is, without fail, one of our very. favorite. gifts.), our friend Achlee’s genius gift of that killer homemade blueberry pie for Bryan’s birthday (she even included a little dough shaped “B” on the top), and Mav’s recent birthday gift to a close friend of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…

I think it would be especially nice to also include a recipe and some prettily packaged ingredients (like the ones above) to the recipient if they love to cook…

Do you have a favorite go-to gift?

25 comments:

naturally nina said...

I love those, and totally agree. Lately I've been getting people gift cards to my local cheese shop. So fun to give something edible.

Nicole Adrianne said...

perfect idea! i am having a girls night in this weekend and was trying to think of a little "take home" gift for everyone. i will be doing this. the cookie recipe looks divine.

erin said...

yes, i love! last year for christmas i gave james's parents an apple corer(fancy delancy kind) and recipes for homemade apple sauce...this year we're getting more ambitious and giving them canned beets! woot!

Joslyn said...

oooh Erin, i wish i was on your christmas list...i love beets! cool idea. i was thinking of trying orangette's pickled carrots and beans. we'll see ;-)

Joanna Goddard said...

museum memberships -- i love that! and cheesecakes sound delicious.

Carrie said...

I like the idea of the museum and tickets. Lately I have been giving homemade treats as gifts. I love to bake and love even more to give the goods away (less temptation for me!). Last night I just gave a friend some peanut butter chocolate oatmeal cookies as a thank you, perfect! I agree that we don't need more "stuff" either.

mamacita said...

Jams, jellies, preserves and pickles are all great food gifts. The nice part is that you can make them at any time and have them on hand to give away as hostess gifts, etc. Right now is the perfect time to make strawberry jam in Texas. And if you look around online, you can find all kinds of interesting recipes.

amberlee said...

mmm. i remember that blueberry pie. i just made some frozen, ready-to-bake lemon cookie dough drops last night to give away. i had a friend do this for me and loved baking and enjoying one warm cookie at a time.

paula said...

I love to give food around the holidays. Normally it's mini zucchini loaves paired with a little something extra.

Rachel said...

Yum. Food gifts are one of my favorite things to get. My mom and I make homemade jam and jelly every year (using fruit from her trees) and give it out as Christmas gifts.

Anne said...

I agree. I like giving a gift that doesn't get tossed aside - but hopefully consumed immediately! In the past I've given homemade granola, quick breads, truffles, salsa and more. All it takes is some cute ribbon or labels and you're set!

Kristin said...

Food gifts - especially homemade - are wonderful to give and to receive. We exchange homemade goodies each year for Christmas with our friends, and it makes for the most memorable of times in the weeks and months to come as we enjoy our tasty morsels. My sister always bakes us up a batch of treats - cookies, barks, toffees - each year that I always look forward to. Perfect!

(and by the way, those photos are lovely!)

keely steger said...

I did boxes of cookies and truffles for most of our family for Christmas last year and felt oddly guilty about giving them something that wouldn't last more than a week. I appreciate this fresh (for me) perspective about giving something that doesn't add to the endless stuff we all already have!
I do love personalized/monogrammed stationery as go-to gifts! I just received some at a shower I hosted and am already inspired to write little notes to far-away friends.

Kotori said...

I love making food gifts; they seem so personal that you've taken the time to really put your heart into it.

The nicest part of receiving food gifts is that it helps you try out new things you may have never tasted... makes it a little more adventurous.

betsy and iya said...

I totally agree! For Christmas this year, my friend gave rubs in little glass jars. It was wrapped sweetly with a little note and recipes attached. My favorite was her Cajun run. Soooo so so delicious (and it can go with so many different things)!!

-betsy

stacy said...

love this post!

it soooo not my favourite when people give me more STUFF!

as easy as it is (perhaps it's the bartender in me) i still love giving people one of my favourite bottles of wine, champagne, or a case of unique beers.

Kim said...

I think it's a great idea - sure beats getting clothes in the wrong size or household items that are not exactly aligned to your taste or space constraints, etc.

My now ex-boss sent me a box of Harry & David pears for Christmas that meant more than any raise or bonus ever has. It was such a kind gesture and something about the simplicity of it made it that much more sincere.

Christina said...

Any tips for affordable non "stuff" birthday gifts for kids? I feel like I add another piece of plastic crap to the ocean every weekend when I buy gifts for my daughter's little friends but my mind goes blank when I try to think of other ideas. Experience gifts work in some of these cases- but can add up in price when you have a couple birthdays a month..

mamacita said...

Christina -- we appreciate anything that tends to get used up: art supplies like paper, finger paints, sidewalk chalk, markers, etc. All of this can be found at the Dollar Tree, so you can spend as much or as little as you like. Falls in the same category as "consumables," like food for grownups.

g. said...

Totally agree and love this post. The images are great. Thanks!

Slices of Beauty... said...

Agreed, Beautiful!

Joslyn said...

christina
totally agree with mamacita...we love getting art supplies of any kind as b-day gifts for the kids. also books. if i'm stumped i get a gift card from borders and let audrey make a cute homemade card. at first i thought this was "phoning it in" a bit, but we got one as a birthday gift last year and audrey loved going shopping to pick out her special birthday book. it was a total winner.

Karen said...

I would love to get any one of the food gifts in those pictures! These types of gifts are really some of the best...

Stephanie said...

Mini cheesecakes...what a brilliant idea. How did they package them? I recently purchased 3 mini cheesecake springform pans at E. Dehillerin in Paris and haven't used them yet. Now I know what I want to do with them...and I just may have to snag a few more :) Darn.

RabbitStyleNews said...

When I was a teenager I'd buy a large glass jar or vase at a thrift store and fill it with 2 pounds of Skittles, M&Ms, or Starbursts. It was always a popular gift at Christmas gift exchange parties, I'd forgotten about it. Now I know what I'm bringing as my next housewarming/birthday/hostess gift!