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?
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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.
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.
Nutmeg grinder with a container of whole nutmeg
Microplane with a large bar of high quality chocolate