I am incapable of showing up to a dinner or a party without some sort of hostess gift in hand… it might be a dozen oranges, or some gorgeous magnolia leaves in a fun vintage vase, but I feel horrible if I don’t arrive with something.
During the Festive Season, with invitations abounding, the search for food-related gifts is on. I have a couple of go-to gifts that work for many occasions.
At Halcyon House Antiques, we stock Bequet Gourmet Caramels which are just the best caramels I’ve ever had. Their Irish Sea Salt Caramels have a slight crunch of sea salt in them, and aren’t so sticky that they’ll pull your fillings out. And of course, I love anything liquorice!
Confession time: I like to take cookies to parties, but HATE to bake them. So I grab an antique plate, most likely a transfer-ware plate that I’ve found in some thrift shop, yard sale or auction, and throw on a dozen or so chocolate chip cookies from local baker, Otterbein Cookies. Otterbein’s chocolate chip cookies could pass as home-made, but don’t tell anyone!
For special parties, or a more formal occasion, I like to take along a bottle of bubbles. My go-to champagne is Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. The price is reasonable, and it shows that you know a decent champagne. Put a big pre-made bow on top and you’ve got a very nice present for your hosts.
Another nice present is a jar or two of lemon, lime or grapefruit curd. Lemon curd that my father made was a present that my parents frequently took to parties. You can find it in stores, including Trader Joe’s, and it often comes in a square jar. I would tie an antique spoon or knife on the jar with a beautiful big ribbon. Maybe tuck in a little card saying what to do with the curd – on toast, on ice cream, or on a spoon!
Of course, chocolates are always much appreciated. We have a chocolatier here in Baltimore that I really like… of course it helps that he’s very attractive. They’re called Kirchmayr and they specialize in European-style chocolates. Just beautiful chocolate, fresh ingredients and lovely packaging. (Not a great picture of Albert!)
Do you have a go-to food gift for the holidays or for a hostess present?