Food as a Gift

A gift can be a token of friendship, appreciation, kindness, or respect as well as of love and affection. Food that you prepare yourself is a gift of your time and talents. Certain foods are traditionally given on certain holidays or special occasions. For example, candy on Valentine's Day or a cake to mark a birthday or anniversary.

Food Presents

Look through catalogues for mail order foods. You will find a a variety of good gifts listed. Many, however — baskets of cheese or fruits, for example — you may be able to assemble yourself for less money than the catalogue price, and your selection could be more appropriate and more personal.

In deciding what foods to give, select those that keep well unless you plan to deliver your gift right away. Many food gifts can be prepared a month or two ahead and either refrigerated or frozen. Avoid fragile foods that cannot be transported well. But with care, you can gift someone delicious cookies or chocolates.

Breads - Various home made breads  are always welcome gifts. You might bake different holiday breads for your family and friends for less than the cost of bakery breads. Cinnamon rolls, cranberry nut bread, banana bread, salt rising bread, and fruit breads are all interesting additions to any meal.

 Casseroles - You might elect to take your favorite chicken casserole to celebrations and holiday meals.

Sauces and Pickles - Despite the great variety of sauces and pickles on grocery store shelves, the homemade product is still prized. For example, a tested recipe of spaghetti, barbecue, pizza, or tomato sauce would be the choice gift for a friend with limited cooking time. 

 Snacks - Popular snack foods are not always nutritious, but you could make food gifts of nutritious snacks. A cheese ball which you have specially made might be very welcome. A big jar of homemade granola can be used for snacks, as cereal, as a crunchy topping, or as an ingredient in a bread.

Herbs and Spices - If you grow spices and herbs, you can use them to make many interesting gifts. Start chives in a flower pot for a friend to place in the kitchen window. Or grow your own, then dry leaves of basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley and package them as gifts. For a wedding gift, you might select the basic spices and herbs in an attractive spice rack.

Others - Fruits that keep well make a colorful gift. A basket of fruit at Christmas or another holiday is often a relief from too many sweets. Or you might package a combination of favorite cheeses for a gift —  or even assemble an "instant picnic" basket with, cheese, fruit, sausages, French bread, and beverage.

An interesting container and a simple ribbon can turn many foods into unique gifts.
Gift-Wrap The Food
Make your wrapping as festive as the food. Throughout the year, be alert handsome baskets and antique or decorated tin boxes to use for cakes, cookies, candies, or the assembled gift kits. Apothecary jars or French canning jars make good containers for marinated fruit and vegetables, for jams, sauces, and mincemeat. A "collectible" glass jar, such as the original Ball Brothers flip-top, would add interest to your gift.

Always enclose a card with information about your gift, including how to store and serve it, and how long you gift will keep.

The Gift of a Recipe

If you perfect the skill of making or baking something, such as a special kind of pie, you may want to give the recipe to a close friend or relative who you know will appreciate it.

Take the time to present the recipe effectively. Type or print the list of ingredients legibly and give complete directions. Enclose the recipe in a folder, gift-wrap it, or include with it a sample of dish itself and the baking utensil in which it was made.


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