Holiday Gifts: Food in Baskets, Bottles & Boxes
Gifts of food, whether home made or store bought are always appreciated. You can buy decorative boxes, all sizes and shapes of baskets, or use bottles ranging from empty liquor bottles to the standard Mason jar. Visit your local resale shops or check on-line auction sites for great deals on baskets, bottles and boxes. For those of you who love to bake, whipping up a couple dozen of five or six different types of cookies and boxing them with a pretty bow make a delicious holiday gift for friends, family or even your child's teacher. Kick the gift up a notch by adding some homemade candies. Need a gift for people who love being outdoors, pick up a nice inexpensive picnic basket and add a bottle of wine, some cheeses and crackers with a small cheese cutting board and a couple of pretty wine glasses for a classic gift.
They'll remember you for years to come each time they use it. Empty liquor bottles that have been cleaned are perfect for making a gift of flavored oils. Drop any combination of things like herbs, garlic, and hot peppers into the bottle; add oil and cap it with a cork or a pourer. A pretty bow around the bottle is all the gift-wrap you need. Most kitchen stores sell bottles of different shapes and sizes filled with all sorts of things, beans, peppers, herbs, pastas and oil that are strictly decorative for tables or countertops.
You can quite easily make your own. A pretty gift bottle filled with colorful food items will add a decorative touch to their tables long after the holidays. Has a friend or family member ever told you how much they love a particular recipe of yours? Find a nice basket, fill it with all the ingredients necessary to make the recipe, type the recipe out on a recipe card (they come plain and decorated), you can even find wire flower or butterfly shaped standing recipe card holders that you can add. Or you can add candles and holders to use for a romantic dinner. You can layer mason jars with the dry ingredients for a favorite soup (the beans, rice, pasta, seasonings etc) everything except the meat and the water. Again, you type up the cooking instructions, tie the jar with a bow and you're ready to go. A small square of gingham cloth placed on the jar opening before closing the lid adds a pretty touch For an even more personal touch (makes a wonderful anniversary gift for a couple you care about) you can use your computer to make a gift certificate (or you can make it by hand) entitling the recipient of your gift to a meal cooked, served and cleaned up after, in their own home. You go to their house with everything you need, cook the meal, serve it, clean up after yourself and leave while they enjoy a relaxing romantic dinner (or for someone you know well breakfast in bed served on trays complete with a rose in a bud vase and the morning paper). If you don't care for the do it yourself approach, there are websites where for around $100 you can have the fixings for a romantic steak and lobster dinner for two delivered and that includes the pot! Everyone loves gifts of food.
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