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Food gifts for picky non foodie family members??

n
nextmeal Dec 17, 2006 10:57 PM

I usually bake or get cookies and other desserts as gifts and would like to expand my selection. My family likes their steaks well done, think blue cheese is nasty, and wouldn't even try sushi. I want to try some other food items but not offend them or get anything that they wont eat. Any suggestions? I'm also trying not to spend too much money. There are a lot of family members - 3 couples, 2 single moms plus about 10 kids to shop for. I skip over my generation and give the oldest and the youngest gifts. That's a lot of shopping!

  1. Sam Fujisaka Dec 17, 2006 11:06 PM

    What a great and well-described question! What a challenge! You've--with very few words--described a very, very small window of opportunity for anyone to answer. People might suggest gift-certificates to restaurants or food shops. Not fair.

    I can only think of one thing. If they like well-done steaks, they might appreciate some good smoked meats, fish, or even jerkies--and at great risk, maybe even dried African game meat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
      cayjohan Dec 18, 2006 02:35 AM

      Oh my - but I have to laugh at your response, Sam F. Snarky, yes - but it points out the need for more information.

      Jeez, if someone from my family sent me dried African game meat, I think I would fall over with joy that it's not another peach-colored knitted cozy for something.

      Okay - to the OP - I am a big believer in jams,jellies,pickles and whatnot (from your region, if your family live elsewhere.) If they live close, some homemade goods are always a good bet. Or spice rubs, with instructions for using - maybe good for the older set. For the kids? Go with sweet, unless you know that one has a different predilection.Stuff that doesn't need to be eaten up right away is always good (fridges are always too full this time of year).

    2. m
      momjamin Dec 17, 2006 11:12 PM

      Are you looking for something besides cookies and desserts, or just different ones from what you've done?

      How about cocoa mix? You can make a big batch, then package it into smaller jars. Toss in some mini-marshmallows if you like. Tie a peppermint stick to each one with directions for the proportions to mix with water. (You could make mocha for the real adventurous kin ;-)

      Other mixes-in-jars like cookies or muffins.

      Quick breads...lots of things dipped in chocolate (like pretzels, oreos, dried apricots, etc)...spiced nuts...

      1. z
        Zengarden Dec 17, 2006 11:59 PM

        I was going to make chocolate pretzels. Would that be too weird for your group?

        1. jenniebnyc Dec 18, 2006 01:21 AM

          my cousin baked breads...lemon poppy, chocolate banana, cinnamon, and carrot. she wrapped them nicely in tissue paper and put computer made labels on each bread. it was such a nice idea.

          also, my aunt made chocolate and mint fudge. another great treat !

          1. n
            Newkie Dec 18, 2006 02:18 AM

            If you're trying to break away from deserts, what about making them jams? Even non-foodies eat jam and can appreciate the diff b/t store bought and homemade. Though might be tough to find fresh fruit, depending on what part of the country you live in.

            1. j
              jcanncuk Dec 18, 2006 03:33 AM

              Not exactly homemade, but what about a decent olive oil and balsamic vinegar? Homemade spiced nuts?

              A friend did chocolate pretzels last year with white, milk, and dark chocolates and stacked them on a wooden meat tenderizer as a cute "Christmas tree" gift. Yummy, too!

              1. t
                thinks too much Dec 18, 2006 01:54 PM

                I dry fruit all fall, especially different varieties of apples (Mutsus, Russets, Ida Reds and Balwins this year) and a big batch of homemade beef jerky which goes over well with the diehard Atkins dieters. (Refrigerate the latter)

                I'm also premixing the dry ingredients for gingerbread pancakes with the directions. I think that's not too adventurous.

                Plus I brew beer, hard cider and fruit cordials for those who imbibe. The problem is that the recipients seem to feel that they should save these last ones for a "special occasion" which never seems to happen.

                1. n
                  Nalega Dec 18, 2006 02:03 PM

                  I usually cook for gifts for my aunt, who works long hours and doesnt get home cooked meals as often as she would like - simple dishes like baked ziti, or eggplant parm, cut into individual glad-ware type containers so she has several meals in the freezer. Bonus when i add a presliced garlic bread....

                  Or for co-workers, those jars of layered dry ingredients for brownies, hot chocolate, soup... they look pretty and have very simple ingredients, guarenteed to not offend the picky ones!

                  1. e
                    emilief Dec 18, 2006 11:22 PM

                    If they do not like food why are you getting them food gifts???get them socks and underwear.

                    1. d
                      Displaced California Foodie Dec 18, 2006 11:24 PM

                      Try Herlocher's dipping mustard with hard crunchy preztels. YUM!

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