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Hostess gift shopping

It's getting close to holiday party season, and that means hostess gifts. I love to bring food- or cooking-related gifts, preferably something a little more special than a box of After Eight. So I'm curious to know - what do you all bring for the host? And where do you buy it?

I've been giving the ice wine/brandy by Kittling Ridge. It's got a nice kick to it, and it's somewhat local. But I'd like to branch out...

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  1. I like going to William Sonoma. They have some great food-related gift boxes, oils and sauces, spices, etc.

    1. William Ashley's gourmet store at the Manulife is filled with great gifts in a wide price range and they'll even gift wrap it for you. What I buy depends on the host and the type of party.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fickle

        fyi - William Ashley is having its crazy annual warehouse sale now -
        http://www.williamashley.com/warehous...

        1. re: JamieK

          Good to know! I've actually never been...

          1. re: piccola

            well, be warned. What I mean by crazy is that you can't even get near it unless you schedule wisely.

      2. I usually get:

        French AOC Butter from SLM.
        Olive Oil from O&COn in First Canadian Place

        If I have time I bring some savory truffles, homemade, dusted with chile powder, star anise or cardamom.

        1. I always stock up on hostess gifts at the One of a Kind Show. Last year it was small, hand made, maple cheese boards that I could keep on hand and then buy cheese to give with it when the time came.

          1. If you want truly original, try the products from Forbes Wild Foods, or Gourmet Sauvage. They share a kitchen for some products.

            Jonathan Forbes, or his associates, show up at many of the farmers markets with some interesting fresh items, such as puffball mushrooms, chanterelles, morelles, sea asparagus; as well as an amazing selection of preserves, sauces, and ingredients made from foraged local foods. Local Wild rice, Birch syrup, wild mustard, spruce tips, Ox-eye daisy capers, pickled cattails. Also many jams and jellies. Very fun to play with.

            Also available at Culinarium on Mt. Pleasant (great store), or About Cheese.