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Housewarming gift for foodie/cook?

I am going to a housewarming and wanted to bring a gift. But I have no idea what I can bring that the couple will actually use. I was thinking of stopping by Williams Sonoma this afternoon and picking up something small, simple, modestly priced. I know WS isn't bargain bin, but I am willing to spend about $30-40.

Any ideas? Or can anyone steer me towards another store?

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  1. How about a gallon of good extra virgin olive oil....They would certainly use it, instead of some chachtka that hides in a drawer.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BiscuitBoy

      I was given that as a house warming gift and it was certainly welcome.

      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        WS is where we buy our Ravida olive oil...love it!

      2. Japanese teapot + tea cups and some good quality green tea.

        1. Thanks appreciate it. They both use olive oil AND drink lots of tea!

          1. If they like to entertain, a plain white platter or other serving piece is nice. If it's plain, it doesn't have to match their other china, and it will get used.

            Nice dishtowels, again plain ones, are a great gift too. I love the big white flour sack ones.

            1. It may be pushing the $$$, but (ditto the "if they like to entertain"), how about a cheese board; aka, large wooden cutting board to hold a variety of cheeses and fruit. A few years ago, I got a nice sized, reasonably priced board at Crate and Barrel, but you may find a bargain at department/discount stores.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CocoaNut

                I just bought a cheese board from The Red Envelope Co., and online store. It's for a shower gift, and the board has a little flat drawer underneath to hold 3 cheesecutters (different shapes). I thought it was a neat idea, because when storing and going for it, it's all right there!

                It was $50 though.

              2. WS has really, really good Japanese soy sauce and rice vinegar. Also, the Mustapha's Moroccan olive oil they sell is generally excellent. Finally, sometimes they have a pear and vanilla bean jam that is wonderful. (Pear and vanilla combine very nicely.)

                1. Industrial pack of commercial kitchen towels

                  Twenty or 30 same-sized freezer containers

                  Three good whisks or spatulas or tongs

                  Ten to twenty Japanese vegetable scrubbing brushes

                  Heap of high quality zip-loc bags of different sizes

                  Year's supply of parchment paper

                  Big bunch of different sized disposable aluminium roasting and lasagna pans

                  Blowtorch (optional if they have one) and 20 gas cartridges

                  Case or two of good but cheap wine glasses

                  Twenty sets of high-quality (semi)-disposable settings

                  Five-hundred sets of inexpensive chopsticks

                  A huge stock pot

                  Stuff that I always use, need, could use more of, and that you all can send me anytime!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Sam you're a riot.....but I could use a few of those things also.....lol

                    Kitchen towels are always good
                    Chopping board
                    Basket with jams and jellies
                    Salsa's and spices
                    I try to buy things that people are always wanting to try but never take the time to buy them for themselves.

                    1. re: othervoice

                      I was more serious with this post than most others in that I listed what I would want. Let's toast with a diet caffiene free peanut ambosia...

                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      My SIL did something similar for me as a housewarming/wedding gift -- and included toilet paper, trash bags, and cleaning supplies. It was an awesome gift as we were moving 600 miles into a new apartment. I packaged everything back up, supplemented with a few other things, and made sure her gift was on top.

                      Ever since then when I think of housewarming/wedding gifts her bag comes to mind.

                    3. I highly recommend something edible that you know they will like and use. It's sometimes difficult to determine what their taste would be in plates, kitchen towels, etc. Most people would probably think I would love things that are understated. But I love kitchen things that are bright, loud and a bit kooky (like pylones). I think the olive oil and tea are excellent ideas. I'd also probably appreciate something like good balsamic vinegar. I find that most people who generally have the supermarket bottle of $3 balsamic of modena are astounded when they first taste a better brand.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        I agree with you about the vinegar, MN. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love to receive a small bottle of very old balsamic. It is so versatile and so good. And a little goes a long way.

                      2. Nutmeg grinder with a container of whole nutmeg
                        Microplane with a large bar of high quality chocolate

                        1. I would love to get the big kitchen cotton towels, along with some great EVOO.