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'Tis the Season! -- What's the WORST "perfect gift for a food-lover" you've ever received?

Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 08:22 AM

I'm seeing them everywhere, lists, photos and recommendations with supposedly "perfect gifts for a food-lover". Often I cringe at the thought of receiving some of the items recommended.

They always make me reflect on "horrible gifts of holidays past". Here are a few that came to mind:

- oven mitts with fur on the back that were supposed to look like bear paws. Why?

- a trivet that made bird sounds (same gifter as above. . .)

- a Chia pet herb plant

- a battery operated whisk

I'm sure I'll think of more. What about you?

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  1. c
    cgarner RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 08:48 AM

    I once gave an olive oil of the month club gift that promised two bottles of these delicious exotic sounding olive oils each month for three months... what the recipient got was two bottles of the same decent quality plain olive oil, two months in a row, and then two bottles of another brand of "ok" olive oil on the third month... when I found out about it, I called the company and as an apology, they sent two more bottles of the first brand of oil they sent twice...

    the website promised selections from:
    Jalapeno – Garlic Oil / Lemon and Red Pepper Oil / Garlic and Basil Oil / Rosemary and Sage Oil / Black Truffle Oil / Anchovy and Capers Oil / Citrus Oils (Lemon, Lime, Orange, Tangerine, etc…) / Lemon - Lime Oil / Chili Fajita Oil / Cuvee 60/40 Canola Blend Chili Oil / Italian Spice Oil / Orange – Basil Oil / Roasted Garlic Oil / Fresh Rosemary Oil /Red Wine and Pepper Oil / Mandarin Infused Oil / Lemon Thyme Olive Oil / Ginger and Rosemary Oil …
    we never got any of these

    1 Reply
    1. re: cgarner
      melpy RE: cgarner Dec 9, 2010 09:52 AM

      I would have been sorely disappointed! Some of those sounds amazing.

    2. s
      small h RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 08:54 AM

      <a Chia pet herb plant>

      This would be in my "best gift" column. What's not to like?

      I used to work for a place that gave the staff bottles of mediocre wine, with labels bearing the company name. I would rather they'd just given me the $8 or whatever it cost.

      32 Replies
      1. re: small h
        small h RE: small h Dec 7, 2010 02:45 PM

        Thought of another one - a George Foreman grill, also a corporate gift. Then I moved in with someone who had his own George Foreman grill. So now we have two. Both still in their boxes.

        1. re: small h
          mtngirlnv RE: small h Dec 7, 2010 02:56 PM

          Love my George.....:)

          1. re: mtngirlnv
            small h RE: mtngirlnv Dec 7, 2010 03:00 PM

            Oh, no doubt. I just never felt the need to dig it out, set it up, etc., when I have other items (pans!) in which I can cook fish. But a couple posts down, gryphonskeeper is mocking Ronco, and my spousal equivalent lovedlovedloved his in-the-shell egg scrambler (until it broke). Chacon a son blah blah.

            1. re: mtngirlnv
              gryphonskeeper RE: mtngirlnv Dec 7, 2010 03:00 PM

              My mom loves hers too. She uses it at least 4x a week for everything from chicken to salmon to burgers.

              1. re: gryphonskeeper
                Kajikit RE: gryphonskeeper Dec 7, 2010 06:00 PM

                I had a small one... it cooked nicely (and super fast) but it was a real SOB to clean! I gave it away - it's much easier to wash a frypan in the sink than to try to get the gunk off a Foreman grill.

                1. re: Kajikit
                  gryphonskeeper RE: Kajikit Dec 7, 2010 06:10 PM

                  what she did was use a water bottle when it was still hot, spray it, and wipe it with a paper towel. instant clean. But you MUST do it immediately. not much of a sacrifice for the simplicity of the grill.

                  1. re: gryphonskeeper
                    coll RE: gryphonskeeper Dec 7, 2010 11:02 PM

                    I love my G. Forman too, especially for chicken and salmon, also quesadillas come out unbelievably great. What I do to clean it, is put a wet paper towel inside while still warm, then when the time comes to clean it (I'm not big on doing dishes the second we're done eating) I use that to wipe most of the gook and do a quick cleaning after, with soap. I know people that don't even clean it though, they treat it like an outdoor grill and let the gunk burn off next time...these are professional kitchen people too. But it's a great invention, and a shame to just keep it in the box.

                    My BIL, who gives gifts without much thought involved, knew I had a Foreman but bought me a cheap panini maker which is basically the same thing. I finally gave it to someone who had a little health food store and wanted to make sandwiches, so at least it's finally out of its box.

              2. re: mtngirlnv
                LoBrauHouseFrau RE: mtngirlnv Dec 8, 2010 02:14 AM

                I love mine too! I use mine for bacon, panini, and burgers (when we can't use our outdoor grill)

                1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau
                  Firegoat RE: LoBrauHouseFrau Dec 9, 2010 03:30 AM

                  love mine too for when I'm just cooking for me and need a quick chicken breast or protein.

                  1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau
                    melpy RE: LoBrauHouseFrau Dec 9, 2010 09:58 AM

                    bacon...now thats an idea. what is the texture like?

                    1. re: melpy
                      LoBrauHouseFrau RE: melpy Dec 9, 2010 02:40 PM

                      I make sure to flip it once and it comes out nice and crispy and doesn't curl up.

                2. re: small h
                  melpy RE: small h Dec 9, 2010 09:55 AM

                  We also have two...although once I got my actual grill we don't use either one. I prefer to broil to get that grilled flavor when it isn't the season.

                  1. re: melpy
                    Puffin3 RE: melpy Oct 22, 2012 04:54 AM

                    I was given the 'Grill' Tryed frying hamburgers. It wouldn't get hot enough. The burgers ended up 'gray' no matter how high the heat was set at. I finished off the burgers in a fry pan and gave the 'Grill' to some one who never cooks. I think they gave it away.

                3. re: small h
                  Breadcrumbs RE: small h Dec 7, 2010 03:12 PM

                  Ahh small h, this wasn't just any Chia pet though. This chia pet was a pig that had been used once and re-planted with parsley.

                  Quite a rarity.

                  What's your address? ; - )

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                    small h RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 03:33 PM

                    Oy, a recycled Chia. I had one that was a hedgehog, and I was very fond of it. My then-cat knocked it over, because she knew I liked it. She was that kind of cat.

                    1. re: small h
                      hambone RE: small h Jan 11, 2011 06:54 AM

                      that is just funny!

                  2. re: small h
                    Terrie H. RE: small h Dec 7, 2010 03:12 PM

                    My young boss is doing this same thing, but sending it to clients. I winced.

                    1. re: Terrie H.
                      small h RE: Terrie H. Dec 7, 2010 03:34 PM

                      Yes, there's nothing like the gift of advertising. So selfless!

                    2. re: small h
                      chowser RE: small h Dec 8, 2010 03:32 AM

                      You can make your own chia pet out of pantyhose, and make it look like a Mr. Potato head.


                      Use herb seeds and whenever you need some, give your potato head a hair cut. I was obviously a girl scout leader for far too long.

                      1. re: chowser
                        small h RE: chowser Dec 8, 2010 07:15 AM

                        Wow that's...really something. Now I'm thinking of making a chia gypsy moth caterpillar out of an old pair of tights.

                        1. re: small h
                          chowser RE: small h Dec 8, 2010 07:43 AM

                          Hmmm, lots of potential. You could have different sections for different herbs. I think tights gardening might explode as the next big thing in recyclable gardening.

                          1. re: chowser
                            John E. RE: chowser Dec 8, 2010 05:41 PM

                            I once went to a Halloween party as a chia pet. I took an old loose weave tweed-type jacket and smeared it with a mixture of potting soil, water and grass seed. I hung it on a hook on our patio and sprayed it every day. It was a little over grown by Halloween and uncomfortable to wear (I only wore it for about a half hour and then had to change my shirt). Some friends told me to wear it to a bar for a contest. I volunteered to let them wear it but they didn't want a prize that badly.

                            1. re: John E.
                              Breadcrumbs RE: John E. Dec 9, 2010 02:50 AM

                              That's hilarious John, I hope you took some photos!!

                              1. re: John E.
                                chowser RE: John E. Dec 9, 2010 04:19 AM

                                That's funny. I wonder if a giant flesh colored body stocking would work...Like a sexy chia pet.

                                1. re: chowser
                                  rabaja RE: chowser Dec 9, 2010 01:07 PM

                                  Or, not so sexy, but hilarious.

                          2. re: chowser
                            mshenna RE: chowser Dec 8, 2010 02:29 PM

                            The possibilities! Some far too, erm, earthy to mention here ...

                            1. re: chowser
                              cannibal RE: chowser Dec 9, 2010 06:11 PM

                              i have a friend that's going out of town for a couple weeks and i'm watching their cat. they take out their sexy leg lamp (a la Christmas Story). I'm feeling inspired to do the legging pant thing to the lamp, so they come home to a hairy leg lamp which smells like herbs :D

                              1. re: cannibal
                                mshenna RE: cannibal Dec 28, 2010 02:30 AM

                                Please post a picture if you do! Green hairy leg lamp.

                                1. re: cannibal
                                  Kris in Beijing RE: cannibal Dec 30, 2010 05:41 AM

                                  When I finished reading your comment, I mis-read your name as

                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                    coll RE: Kris in Beijing Dec 30, 2010 06:08 AM

                                    Now that would be an interesting present to return to.

                                  2. re: cannibal
                                    John E. RE: cannibal Jan 3, 2011 03:34 PM

                                    Two cannibals are talking. One says "I don't like my boss".
                                    The other cannibal says "So just eat the noodles"

                                  3. re: chowser
                                    teemo RE: chowser Dec 12, 2010 06:33 PM

                                    I just laughed until I cried looking at that link! Thank you!

                                2. l
                                  laliz RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 01:31 PM

                                  Not one, but two Diabetic Desserts Cookbooks from my sister.

                                  1. t
                                    tomishungry RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 01:55 PM

                                    Pasta drying rack. Single hardest to store unitasker I've ever seen.

                                    1. o
                                      odkaty RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 02:19 PM

                                      presto "pizza" oven

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: odkaty
                                        baseballfan RE: odkaty Dec 7, 2010 02:23 PM

                                        I'm glad that you mentioned the Presto. My daughter has been after me to buy it for my husband for Christmas. It got pretty good reviews on Amazon but I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. It seems like a one hit wonder if you know what I mean.

                                        1. re: baseballfan
                                          odkaty RE: baseballfan Dec 8, 2010 01:27 PM

                                          "One hit wonder" is a perfect description ... we used it once, for some pretty scary "pizza" then re-gifted to Goodwill. It's hit or miss on melting the cheese, and forget warming anything else up, let alone actually cooking dough.

                                      2. g
                                        gryphonskeeper RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 02:49 PM

                                        ANYTHING made by "RONCO"

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                          melpy RE: gryphonskeeper Dec 9, 2010 10:02 AM

                                          Interesting...my Uncle use to swear by his rotisserie. That man loves a roast.

                                        2. Terrie H. RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 03:19 PM

                                          A shaker for grated parmesan cheese about 8" tall that looks like the leaning tower of Pisa. Haven't even been able to sell it at yard sales. I've seen it in the occasional catalog and roll my eyes.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: Terrie H.
                                            Breadcrumbs RE: Terrie H. Dec 7, 2010 03:53 PM

                                            Too funny!! I think you should re-gift it!!

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                              LauraGrace RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:58 PM

                                              Absolutely. Something like that just screams "white elephant".

                                            2. re: Terrie H.
                                              tzurriz RE: Terrie H. Dec 7, 2010 05:58 PM

                                              I had one of those! We very carefully broke it during a move. What an awful gift. It actually came as part of a box set with mediocre dried pasta and a horrible jarred sauce. /shuddders

                                              1. re: Terrie H.
                                                mshenna RE: Terrie H. Dec 7, 2010 06:24 PM

                                                Photo. Please.

                                                1. re: Terrie H.
                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Terrie H. Dec 7, 2010 07:58 PM

                                                  like this?



                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    Tripeler RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 7, 2010 09:50 PM

                                                    Purely accurate textbook definition of
                                                    K I T S C H
                                                    ... the extra cheezy version...

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      mshenna RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 8, 2010 02:30 PM

                                                      Holy, erm, cheese!

                                                      Oh My Dog.

                                                    2. re: Terrie H.
                                                      masha bousha RE: Terrie H. Dec 8, 2010 03:25 AM

                                                      I have a friend who's family actually regifts the Leaning Tower of Cheesa to a different family member each year. Hilarious tradition!

                                                      1. re: Terrie H.
                                                        dcdavis RE: Terrie H. Dec 8, 2010 10:06 AM

                                                        OMG, I got one of these too! I think i still have it in a box somewhere!

                                                      2. CharlieKilo RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 03:35 PM

                                                        A jar of Kroger mushrooms. No shit.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: CharlieKilo
                                                          Breadcrumbs RE: CharlieKilo Dec 7, 2010 03:51 PM

                                                          That made me laugh out loud!

                                                          1. re: CharlieKilo
                                                            nofunlatte RE: CharlieKilo Dec 7, 2010 04:53 PM


                                                            1. re: CharlieKilo
                                                              LauraGrace RE: CharlieKilo Dec 7, 2010 04:59 PM

                                                              Oh, man, good one.

                                                            2. c
                                                              CocoaNut RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                              A "six-pack" of dried herbs.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: CocoaNut
                                                                EWSflash RE: CocoaNut Dec 7, 2010 05:13 PM

                                                                Again- Oy.

                                                              2. n
                                                                nvcook RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                                Those are pretty tough to beat!

                                                                1. JoanN RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                  Salad Scissors. No, I'm not kidding.


                                                                  And please note that it gets a 4.3 out of 5 stars on the W-S Web site.

                                                                  I always assumed it was a regift. Please, PLEASE, don't tell me that the truly lovely couple who gave it to me actually spent some time at W-S thinking this was just the thing.

                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                    mshenna RE: JoanN Dec 7, 2010 04:55 PM

                                                                    But it's a W-S exclusive? Gosh, wonder why.

                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                      Vetter RE: JoanN Dec 8, 2010 06:08 PM

                                                                      I had no idea. Then I clicked the link. WOW. That's, um, ridiculous.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                        Raids RE: JoanN Dec 13, 2010 03:55 AM

                                                                        I saw these at Williams Sonoma this weekend and thought of this thread. They have a whole assortment of one off and otherwise useless scissors. I had no idea.

                                                                        1. re: JoanN
                                                                          cheesecake17 RE: JoanN Dec 14, 2010 12:41 PM

                                                                          I got a lettuce knife as a gift. Looked like a serrated chef's knife made of thin plastic. Supposed to cut lettuce without bruising it. Didn't cut through lettuce... or anything else!

                                                                          1. re: cheesecake17
                                                                            cayjohan RE: cheesecake17 Dec 14, 2010 01:59 PM

                                                                            I've got one of those lettuce knives! Yep, they're lousy on most everything they're meant for (I can tear lettuce) but they're pretty useful for cutting into anything in a pan that has a non-stick surface, to avoid the scratching. I use it for the odd frittata and a particular cake recipe I have that stubbornly resists being turned out and needs to be served from the pan. I hadn't thought about it before, since I thought the knife's purpose was largely gratuitous, but I use the dang thing quite a bit. Huh.

                                                                            1. re: cayjohan
                                                                              JRSD RE: cayjohan Dec 31, 2010 05:56 PM

                                                                              We have one that we use to cut Natural Balance dog treats that come as a log that needs to be broken down. Works great for that.

                                                                              1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                BabsW RE: cayjohan Apr 30, 2011 01:34 PM

                                                                                That's exactly why my green plastic "lettuce knife" is now my "brownie knife" so I don't cut the non-stick surface of my brownie pan. :)

                                                                                1. re: BabsW
                                                                                  weewah RE: BabsW Jun 9, 2011 04:10 PM

                                                                                  I 'inherited' one of these and had no idea what it was intended for. I kept it because it works well to stir up kool-aid or frozen juices. So I am the proud owner of a lettuce knife, who knew?

                                                                                  1. re: weewah
                                                                                    pine time RE: weewah Aug 4, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                                                    My dear (now departed) mother gave me TWO of these "wonders"--guess she had forgotten her generous gift of the first one and got another the next year. Both sat in their boxes unused. Sold 'em at a garage sale for 50 cents each!

                                                                            2. re: JoanN
                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: JoanN Jul 21, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                                              OK, here is something I find really creepy. I clicked on the above link to the salad scissors. Next thing I know, I'm getting email from Williams Sonoma, thanking me for my interest in the product. Then another one offering free shipping on the salad scissors. How does THAT happen?

                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                JoanN RE: L.Nightshade Jul 22, 2011 01:08 PM

                                                                                Oh my goodness. That is seriously creepy. I posted the link and I've never, ever received an e-mail from Williams Sonoma.

                                                                                If I were you, I'd post this story on the Site Talk board where more people are likely to see it and see if you can get any answers. If others have experienced this, it would make me hesitant to click on any link I saw in Chowhound, and that becomes a Chowhound problem. I'd be very curious to hear what people had to say about it.

                                                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: JoanN Aug 3, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                  JoanN - I didn't see your post until today. Good idea, I just posted in Site Talk. I'll be interested in what they have to say.

                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                    pine time RE: L.Nightshade Aug 4, 2011 11:58 AM

                                                                                    After I do searches at Amazon, I always get some follow up e-mails from them a few days later with more similar items, so I guess it's just marketing. Kinda creepy.

                                                                                2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                  John E. RE: L.Nightshade Aug 3, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                                                  Have you ever purchased anything from Williams-Sonoma on-line before? The on-line shopping sites have the ability, with tracking cookies, to design popup ads that feature products that you have checked out online. For instance, if you look at a particular pair of shoes, popup ads featuring those shoes can popup no matter what website you happen to be connected to. In the case of the WS e-mail, if you have purchased from them before they already have your e-mail address and if you made a previous purchase from the same IP that you used when you clicked on the ealad scissors, voila! they send you an e-mail enticing you to buy with free shipping.

                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                    Duppie RE: John E. Aug 4, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                                                    That is most properly it, I purchased on line some of King Arthur's brioche mix and now every time I look up a recipe on a certain site, I get a email from KA asking me to try other products. Your every keystroke is recorded,monitored and sold to interested parties.....

                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Aug 4, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                                                    Interesting, thanks to all of you for your input. I've never had it happen before. I do buy in the Wms Sonoma store, probably bought something online in the distant past. I guess my computer has been carrying a cookie for a long time. Still creepy.

                                                                                3. Duppie RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:03 PM

                                                                                  3 jars of Durian Peanut butter and a small bottle of Civet coffee beans.

                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Duppie
                                                                                    deet13 RE: Duppie Dec 7, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                                                    Anything with Durian in it is automatically dropped into the regift pile...

                                                                                    I did get a basket with a fine selection of Limburger cheese. I opened it up immediately and insisted the person who bought it share in the bounty...

                                                                                    1. re: deet13
                                                                                      JoanN RE: deet13 Dec 7, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                                      Ooooh. I would have been happy to have been regifted the Limburger. Not easy to find any more. Introduced to it as a child by my father who thought it the greatest treat with onion on seeded rye.

                                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                                        mshenna RE: JoanN Dec 7, 2010 04:57 PM

                                                                                        Mmm, yes, one of the "wait until spouse is out of town" indulgences. So's durian, come to think of it, but durian peanut butter?

                                                                                        1. re: JoanN
                                                                                          melpy RE: JoanN Dec 9, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                                          I just saw it in Wegman's cheese department.

                                                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                                                            deet13 RE: JoanN Dec 9, 2010 09:08 PM

                                                                                            The Limburger didn't get regifted, we ate that on the spot, along with a couple of onions, rye crackers, some liverwurst, and a growler full of pilsner. Afterwards, I think my breath stank so bad that I made my own eyes water...

                                                                                            I must have brushed and gargled several hundred times before I could even bring myself to kiss my woman...

                                                                                        2. re: Duppie
                                                                                          LauraGrace RE: Duppie Dec 7, 2010 05:00 PM

                                                                                          DURIAN F@#$ing peanut butter? Sweet jeebus. It sounds like a dare between two stoned teenagers in Indonesia.

                                                                                          1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                            Duppie RE: LauraGrace Dec 7, 2010 09:23 PM

                                                                                            Apparently quite the rage in Manila and KL but I'm not much of a peanut butter fan.

                                                                                            1. re: Duppie
                                                                                              bigjeff RE: Duppie Dec 8, 2010 06:30 PM

                                                                                              durian peanut butter sounds awesome! was it perfectly blended or more like the peanut butter / grape combo that is in stripes?

                                                                                              1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                                Duppie RE: bigjeff Dec 9, 2010 12:20 AM

                                                                                                No, it was well blended and while not as pungent as a fresh Durien,you knew what you were eating.
                                                                                                Thinking of making peanut punch with some milk,rum and vanilla ice cream but no takers as yet.

                                                                                          2. re: Duppie
                                                                                            tatamagouche RE: Duppie Dec 14, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                            Durian peanut butter? WTF?! Send to me!! Oh the suspense...

                                                                                            1. re: Duppie
                                                                                              Chowrin RE: Duppie Oct 20, 2012 06:04 PM

                                                                                              Good to the last dropping!
                                                                                              (seriously, civet cat coffee is awesomely funky stuff. as if "tastes like forest floor" wasn't funky enough, right?)

                                                                                              1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                                Duppie RE: Chowrin Oct 20, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                Still have it.......

                                                                                                1. re: Duppie
                                                                                                  Chowrin RE: Duppie Oct 21, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                                  aww, then it's way too old to be good... Seriously, it's good stuff! (and I've given it out as gifts...)

                                                                                              2. re: Duppie
                                                                                                eclecticsynergy RE: Duppie Oct 22, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                                One of those joke companies should make Durian Air Freshener! To go with the toothpaste that dyes your tongue black.

                                                                                              3. s
                                                                                                sbs401 RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:08 PM

                                                                                                i kind of detest clutter so unitaskers and redundancies are my weak spot:
                                                                                                1.two "forever sharp" ginsu knives from my mother in law when my wife specifically told her she was buying me a set of Wusthoffs and a sharpener
                                                                                                2 chocolate fondue set- did use it once though
                                                                                                3. "Ice cream sundae set" - 3 covered ramekins hanging in wire rack -never used

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: sbs401
                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: sbs401 Dec 7, 2010 09:26 PM

                                                                                                  wow. That knife thing is one of the finest examples of passive-aggressive I've ever seen!

                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                    rockycat RE: sunshine842 Dec 10, 2010 05:36 AM

                                                                                                    I have two full sets of Wusthofs and Henckels but I *still* have those old Ginsu knives from my first kitchen. Seriously, they don't ever lose their sharpness. Now I keep them around mostly to open packages and break down cardboard boxes for recycling. I'm curious just how many years of abuse they can take.

                                                                                                    1. re: rockycat
                                                                                                      coll RE: rockycat Dec 10, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                                                                      I''ve had a couple of Ginsu steak knives that just mysteriously arrived for free back in the 70s and they still are the sharpest knives in my drawer. About a year ago, I was browsing at the local dollar store and found a big dusty box with all sizes and shapes of Ginsu knives, I got 6 of each and was wishing I knew someone else who liked them too! I too use them for everything, like a razor knife. You can't kill them.

                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                        teemo RE: coll Dec 12, 2010 06:43 PM

                                                                                                        My brother and I were enamored with Ginsu knives as children, after repeatedly viewing their commercials where the knives cut through *everything*...we begged and begged our mom to get the knives but she never relented. Then a few Christmases ago she found some at TJMaxx and surprised us with a set each as a joke. Best. Knives. Ever. They really do cut everything!

                                                                                                        1. re: teemo
                                                                                                          pine time RE: teemo Aug 4, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                                                          Told hubby outright that I wanted some good knives. He bought me a Henckels knife block, no knives. Was sorely tempted to hit him over the head with it. Just for spite, I keep it on the counter, empty of knives.

                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                  lemons RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:49 PM

                                                                                                  DH received a salad shooter from an adult daughter who thought he needed to lose weight. Two strikes in one gift.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: lemons
                                                                                                    mshenna RE: lemons Dec 7, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                                                                    I hope he attacked her with a barrage of carrot slices.

                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                    mshenna RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:52 PM

                                                                                                    Wonder ift the people -- note plural -- who have given me sets of assorted instant coffees, pseudo-hot-chocolate mixes or tea bags (all in bizarre flavors not found in nature, with stuff in them that no one minus an advanced chemistry degree could figure out), sometimes even decaffeinated (the devil is in the decaf!), were trying to say that they thought I was the teensiest bit fussy about my beverages.

                                                                                                    Well, yes, I am, but ... .

                                                                                                    I did try what was supposed to be a peach-flavored tea (bag, of course). It tasted exactly like St. Joseph's Aspirin for Children. Old stale St. Joseph's Aspirin for Children.

                                                                                                    Also, "cookbooks" by Sandra Lee & her evil sisterhood. "Well, you spend so much time in the kitchen," so apparently I must want to get out of it.

                                                                                                    Ah, holiday passive aggression.

                                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                      LauraGrace RE: mshenna Dec 7, 2010 05:05 PM

                                                                                                      YES, YES, to the coffee, tea, and hot cocoa abominations. It comes with the territory when you're a teacher. My mother, who has been a teacher for 30+ years, gets packets of Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix tied up with ribbon EVERY YEAR.

                                                                                                      So it goes with sweets -- stale toffees, "wassail" mix made with Tang and instant tea, slice-and-bake cookies, and on and on. The one comfort is that at least one person will give me a good bottle of wine -- advantages of teaching at a Presbyterian school!

                                                                                                      1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                        mshenna RE: LauraGrace Dec 7, 2010 05:58 PM

                                                                                                        "'wassail' mix made with Tang and instant tea"

                                                                                                        At this point non-instant tea came out of my nose & tears out of my eyes. The horror!

                                                                                                        1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                          jeanmarieok RE: LauraGrace Dec 7, 2010 05:59 PM

                                                                                                          I am embarrassed to admit I really like that Tang/ instant tea stuff. Reminds me of being a kid, and that was all the rage.....

                                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                            mshenna RE: jeanmarieok Dec 7, 2010 06:36 PM

                                                                                                            But that's sort of the point -- if someone knows you love it & get all nostalgic at the taste, it's a great present. I can bake excellent corn muffins, but when I was home feeling cruddy & sorry for myself, DH went & hunted down those weird Thomas's Corn Toast-R-Cakes, my peculiar guilty pleasure -- in my mother's house, that was THE corn muffin.

                                                                                                            1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                              wlo RE: mshenna Dec 7, 2010 06:51 PM

                                                                                                              LOVED those things! Are they still being made? I also loved the blueberry flavor. I think there was even a blueberry-corn flavor (amazing + amazing = friggin incredible).

                                                                                                              1. re: wlo
                                                                                                                mshenna RE: wlo Dec 8, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                Don't know about blueberry -- I think I remember seeing it but can't be sure. The regular corn flavor was still on supermarket shelves as of this Thanksgiving, b/c it was my Thanksgiving dinner (DH went out of town to his parents' house, I don't eat meat so trad. Thanksgiving was out, the dog & I had the place to ourselves, I was lazy & a bit cranky, & I ended up having to be in the office for seven-plus hours anyhow). DH did say he had to try three supermarkets before finding any, but our neighborhood, while amazing for Chinese, South Asian, Korean, Latin/Central American & (slightly further afield) Balkan groceries, has not got great American-style markets.

                                                                                                                Between us the dog & I had three of them & were very happy.

                                                                                                                Am considering doing likewise next year, minus the trip to the office.

                                                                                                                OK, creamed onions happened the next day & were as from-scratch as could be, but the processed corn muffin discs were the best gift & I was indeed thankful.

                                                                                                          2. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                            sunshine842 RE: LauraGrace Dec 7, 2010 09:28 PM

                                                                                                            that's why I've ALWAYS given things like mall gift certificates...then the teacher can go buy what she wants, as I figure she (or he!) needs one more basket of bath soaps or cocoa mixes like she/he needs a hole in the head.

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                              flourgirl RE: sunshine842 Dec 9, 2010 04:38 AM

                                                                                                              I know, I give most of my son's teachers Border's gift cards - there's one located right by the school - and I figure that between the books, movies, music, magazines, drinks and food they should be able to find something they'd like to have.

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                melpy RE: sunshine842 Dec 9, 2010 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                My students always give me Starbucks gift cards...even though they know I'm not a big coffee drinker.

                                                                                                                1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: melpy Dec 9, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                  tea...cocoa...iced tea...how about swap with another teacher who IS a big coffee drinker? Maybe they get certificates to something YOU like.

                                                                                                              2. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                Wahooty RE: LauraGrace Dec 14, 2010 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                Aww...I just got my first bad cookies today! I teach university level, so Christmas gifts from students are rare, and I was genuinely touched. I think these may have been a mix rather than slice-and-bake - they had red and green M&M's! Underbaked with love. :)

                                                                                                                As a kid, I always thought my mom was so lame for making me take gift boxes of home-baked cookies in instead of "real gifts", and mystified when the teachers were actually grateful. If I had known then what I know now...my mom makes GOOD cookies.

                                                                                                                1. re: Wahooty
                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: Wahooty Dec 14, 2010 10:05 PM

                                                                                                                  in about a half-hour, I'm starting the cookie marathon for the teachers (big downside to your kid starting middle school: instead of 2 or 3 teachers, it's now like 10.). Somehow buying chocolate for French teachers doesn't hit quite the same note as buying good chocolates in the States...but American Christmas cookies? THOSE go over big.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                    coll RE: sunshine842 Dec 15, 2010 03:54 AM

                                                                                                                    Funny, I was just thinking to start cutting back on the cookies next year. When I started doing all the fancy bakery type cookies in the 70s, people would ooh and aah because all they ever got was sugar cookie cutouts with colored sugar on top. Now everybody's a gourmet baker. The last few years, I've actually had people say, oh no not more cookies! Maybe I'll just make a million bourbon balls and that will be it. Or move to France?

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: coll Dec 15, 2010 05:03 AM

                                                                                                                      Seems everybody likes a little box of somethin-somethin homemade...and my recipes are so different than the usual, I guess it's something special in their eyes.

                                                                                                                      (Like gingerbread...American gingerbread has molasses; French has honey...so similar, but very, very different at the same time!)

                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                                        flourgirl RE: coll Dec 15, 2010 05:06 AM

                                                                                                                        Wow, I hardly know anyone who bakes seriously.

                                                                                                                        1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                          coll RE: flourgirl Dec 15, 2010 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                          I must have inspired them all ;-)

                                                                                                                2. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                  amyzan RE: mshenna Dec 7, 2010 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                  "Ah, holiday passive aggression."

                                                                                                                  This made me LOL. It's so true of some family, isn't it? They just can't understand that we actually LIKE to cook!

                                                                                                                  1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                    gardenercook RE: mshenna Dec 11, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                    Got 'apricot' tea bags once. They worked fine as scented drawer sachets.

                                                                                                                    1. re: gardenercook
                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: gardenercook Dec 12, 2010 12:20 AM


                                                                                                                      1. re: gardenercook
                                                                                                                        amyzan RE: gardenercook Dec 13, 2010 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                        LOL, now that's clever.

                                                                                                                    2. rozz01 RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                      Wild Vines... My parents thought they were buying me fancy wine....

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: rozz01
                                                                                                                        gryphonskeeper RE: rozz01 Dec 7, 2010 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                        I hate your parents. LOL My MIL brought that to my house for Thanksgiving one year. You poor poor dear.

                                                                                                                        1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                                                                          rozz01 RE: gryphonskeeper Dec 8, 2010 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                          4 Bottles.....

                                                                                                                      2. c oliver RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                        My husband golfs. I would never consider buying him any golf equipment. Please return the favor. Also, and I'm probably stepping on toes here, but please consider who you give your homemade food gifts to. I've had so many of those things sit on the pantry shelf til I finally throw them out.

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                          LauraGrace RE: c oliver Dec 7, 2010 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                          I do homemade food gifts and I completely agree. It's not about showing off my skills, or saving money around the holidays, it's about suiting a gift to the recipient!

                                                                                                                          1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: LauraGrace Dec 7, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                            Oh whew! I kept my fingers crossed when I typed that :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                              mshenna RE: LauraGrace Dec 7, 2010 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                              I do too & I totally agree. Not stepping on toes at all -- I ask (or take requests). There's a Brit associate at this firm who wants the oldest, darkest jars of homemade marmalade I can locate in the cupboard; my other friend who also loves marmalade wants it just about still warm from the canner & would be grossed out by the three-year-old molasses-colored lot (I like it that way myself & keep a few jars to mellow, but it does look different). One couple begs for pickled okra, my MIL won't have it in the house, etc.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: mshenna Dec 7, 2010 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                I wanna be friends with y'all! Beats the "instant" tea mix.

                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                              amyzan RE: c oliver Dec 7, 2010 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                              I take them to the local nursing home. (They know me well by now, and know I'm not out to poison anyone.)

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                nvcook RE: c oliver Dec 7, 2010 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                My husband golfs, I don't buy equipment for him but I do buy him a seasons pass every year ;)

                                                                                                                                1. re: nvcook
                                                                                                                                  c oliver RE: nvcook Dec 7, 2010 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                  Perfect. For both of you.

                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                  flourgirl RE: c oliver Dec 9, 2010 04:42 AM

                                                                                                                                  I completely agree.

                                                                                                                                3. p
                                                                                                                                  piccola RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                                  I've been pretty lucky, at least when it comes to family and friends, ie the people who know me. But I've gotten some lame stuff from Secret Santas -- mostly those assortments of dip mixes (spices you mix with sour cream to make various dips) and instant "gourmet" coffees. No thanks!

                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                    small h RE: piccola Dec 7, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                    <those assortments of dip mixes (spices you mix with sour cream to make various dips)>

                                                                                                                                    The farmers' market we frequent in upstate NY has a booth that sells these horrifying items. Because samples are free, I somehow cannot help but try a few (skinny pretzels are provided for tasting). And I always, always regret it. Did you know the stuff comes in strawberry cheesecake flavor? I'm not snotty about food, I'm really not, but this...isn't food.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                      piccola RE: small h Dec 8, 2010 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                      I can't imagine why anyone would want to eat that. Besides, making dip is one of the easiest and quickest things to do, especially if you go the sour cream route. Who needs a mix?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                        small h RE: piccola Dec 8, 2010 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                        An argument could be made that Lipton Onion Soup Mix makes a better dip than one can make from scratch. I've gone the homemade route and wound up with something that was okay, but still made me wish I'd used Lipton Onion Soup Mix. But that's the only exception to the dip rule that I've found, thus far.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                          piccola RE: small h Dec 12, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                          Point taken. Then again, there's always an exception to every rule.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                            gryphonskeeper RE: small h Dec 12, 2010 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                                            try the golden onion..... delish!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                                                                                              small h RE: gryphonskeeper Dec 12, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                              Well, I will! I make the stuff twice a year - for the Superbowl & the Oscars. I don't want to get jaded. I just looked at the ingredients and I see why my homemade version doesn't measure up: no corn syrup, no MSG, no Disodium Inosinate. And no chicken fat, 'cause I don't eat chicken (but I am willing to ignore it if I can't taste it).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                gryphonskeeper RE: small h Dec 12, 2010 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                I made it and I was very impressed. I am not a usual "powered soup" person. In fact I am a soup "snob" if you will. But I use only this, and knorrs vegetable to make my dips.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                                                                                                  small h RE: gryphonskeeper Dec 12, 2010 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I'm thinking you may have meant "powdered soup," but the typo - if it is a typo - makes it cooler. Soup power!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: gryphonskeeper
                                                                                                                                                sbs401 RE: gryphonskeeper Jan 20, 2011 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                Got the golden onion by accident this year, seems like they just added chicken boullion, which was a surprise to our vegetarian guest ...oops

                                                                                                                                        2. re: piccola
                                                                                                                                          Naguere RE: piccola Apr 8, 2011 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                          You mean to tell me that the grinder of 'Olde Tompson TEX - MEX CHIPOTLE SEASONING' my Cousin in Houston sent me to Englandland is lame.?

                                                                                                                                          It is pretty good on my sliced , vine grown tomatoes along with a lightly boiled egg and Norwegian Crisp Bread..

                                                                                                                                        3. amyzan RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                          Plastic spoons coated in white chocolate "coating" and dipped in crushed candycanes. For me to stir into my coffee, of course! (I'm a tea drinker, and I'm allergic to corn syrup.) Oh, but they were accompanied by cookies made by her kids. I couldn't eat the cookies, but they were awfully sweet to bake cookies for me. Sometimes, it is the thought...even if the gift is just well, a total loss for the recipient.

                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: amyzan
                                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: amyzan Dec 7, 2010 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                            Don't you think that's more just oblivious-ness? Could happen to anyone, not just food-lovers.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                                              amyzan RE: c oliver Dec 7, 2010 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                              Oh, no, I think they really thought they were giving me a "gourmet" gift! In fact, I think there was some language to that effect accompanying the gift. This was last year, so I don't recall the exact words, but I'm pretty sure they thought it was tailor made. <sigh>

                                                                                                                                              But, I find few people really "get" my interest in food. I've had family members take me aside at Thanksgiving and whisper that I shouldn't care about the food. This, when I was happily working away in the kitchen. They just don't understand why I want to "make all that mess." After all, it can come out of a box or the freezer, you know...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: amyzan
                                                                                                                                                mshenna RE: amyzan Dec 7, 2010 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                "Gourmet" is so often a red flag, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                  amyzan RE: mshenna Dec 7, 2010 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Yep. I had a good discussion at the last family holiday about "gourmet" vs. "foodie."

                                                                                                                                                2. re: amyzan
                                                                                                                                                  lemons RE: amyzan Dec 7, 2010 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Yup. I'm a knitter, and I really like to make socks; nothing feels as good on the tootsies as a hand-knit sock. And about twice a year, someone will say "You know, you can buy those at Target for about a dollar a pair."

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lemons
                                                                                                                                                    amyzan RE: lemons Dec 7, 2010 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Oh, you made me snort with laughter. Yeah, I'm a knitter, too. I get you.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: amyzan
                                                                                                                                                      flourgirl RE: amyzan Dec 9, 2010 04:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Same here.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: lemons
                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: lemons Dec 9, 2010 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                      that's where you just look at them and say, "And....?"

                                                                                                                                                      Not aggressive, and usually shuts them up quickly.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lemons
                                                                                                                                                        cannibal RE: lemons Dec 9, 2010 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                        knit them a pair of socks for x-mas! i'm not a knitter so i don't know if it's worth it in effort, i love knit socks though and i'd be totally stoked to find a pair under the tree.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cannibal
                                                                                                                                                          lemons RE: cannibal Dec 10, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Oh, cannibal, that's like making a schaumtorte or such for someone who tells you they think cake-mix cakes are just as good. Knitting a gift is much too special (and a whale of a lot of work) to take a chance on a non-believer

                                                                                                                                                          But on the other hand if someone who felt like you do had made that same remark, that's a different story!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: amyzan
                                                                                                                                                    rozz01 RE: amyzan Dec 8, 2010 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                    They sell those at the Dollar Tree... It's the thought that counts tho...

                                                                                                                                                  3. kaleokahu RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I win. A Jerky Shooter. See: http://www.jerkyshooter.com/jerkymain...

                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: kaleokahu Dec 7, 2010 11:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I think I'm laughing at the "mock rib" patty mold harder than anything else. God bless 'em -- they've found a niche, but whoddathunkit?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                        cgarner RE: sunshine842 Dec 8, 2010 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                        it's like a caulk-gun for meat! who doesn't need that to make their own tender and "easy to chew" jerky?

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                        KaimukiMan RE: kaleokahu Dec 8, 2010 06:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                        my brain refuses to process this information, and yes.. i think you may indeed have won.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                          arashall RE: KaimukiMan Dec 8, 2010 07:09 AM


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                            weezycom RE: KaimukiMan Dec 8, 2010 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I'm only halfway down this thread, and it's the winner so far.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                              mkmccp RE: KaimukiMan Jan 11, 2011 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                              you... win!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                              mshenna RE: kaleokahu Dec 8, 2010 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                              "[W]e feel that our Jerky Shooter is the only product designed expressly for the purpose of extruding jerky."

                                                                                                                                                              I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

                                                                                                                                                              So some guy looked in his toolchest, saw the caulking gun & thought, hmm, jerky ... ???

                                                                                                                                                              Extrusion + meat = brain overload.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                rockycat RE: kaleokahu Dec 10, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Oh. My. G-d.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: kaleokahu Dec 10, 2010 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  My brother and SIL have a jerky shooter and I have to say she makes some good jerky with it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                    Dee S RE: kaleokahu Dec 28, 2010 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! My hubby got that from some friends of ours about 10 years ago. That and 2 cannisters of "spices" specifically for making jerky.

                                                                                                                                                                    It's never been used. I'm hoping that if we keep it in it's original package, we will end up on Antiques Roadshow when we're 100 years old and it will be worth a fortune.

                                                                                                                                                                    Come on! It's the utlimate guy kitchen tool! It's cleverly designed to mirror the caulking gun design. Every guy knows how to caulk so it should be easy to make jerky, right? Right.....but they never tell you how to get the meat into the lovely paste consistency necessary to use the tool.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                      buzzardbreath RE: kaleokahu Oct 20, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Sigh...and here I thought I was giving my relative something useful...at least he laughed when he opened the gift several Christmases ago...found out he has been using it to make soft jerky treats for his dog. LOL ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                                                                                                        Kontxesi RE: kaleokahu Oct 31, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        God. My BF wants one of these. He's taken to turning half of his hunting spoils into jerky. For some reason, cutting it into strips isn't good enough. He wants to grind it all up and shoot it out of a caulking gun.... Barf.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. masha bousha RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 03:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        My inlaws gave me coffee samplers for years (that's the gift you give to someone you don't really know well I guess) and I'm a tea drinker. They've never ever seen me take a sip of coffee. Oddly, they too are tea drinkers.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: masha bousha
                                                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: masha bousha Dec 8, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          "Oddly, they too are tea drinkers."
                                                                                                                                                                          maybe someone else always gave it to them and they were re-gifting since they don't drink it :)

                                                                                                                                                                        2. chowser RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 03:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Ooh too many to remember:

                                                                                                                                                                          salad shooter

                                                                                                                                                                          ice tea maker (really???)

                                                                                                                                                                          assorted kits of processed food

                                                                                                                                                                          huge candle that smells like buttercream frosting (buttercream frosting doesn't smell good to me even when it's food but when it's chemically made, ugh)

                                                                                                                                                                          plastic margarita cups

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                                                                            Kontxesi RE: chowser Oct 31, 2012 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I bought my BF an iced tea maker when we first moved in together, so he'd stop buying it at the convenience store. The second time he used it, he didn't seat the pitcher right and ended up with tea ALL OVER the counter. It left a big, nasty stain.

                                                                                                                                                                            I've been hiding it from him since. Serious waste of space, that one.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Kontxesi
                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: Kontxesi Nov 13, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Your story about the ice tea maker reminded me of an incident with a coffee maker. Years ago I poured water into the electric drip coffee maker, turned it on and went to shower. When I went back into the kitchen, the glass carafe was on the stove (I was single and lived alone). The coffee maker was on, I could smell coffee, the grounds were still steaming but there was no coffee on the counter or the floor. I think it took me about ten minutes to figure it out. There was a catalog sitting on the counter that was printed on the newspaper stock. It soaked up all the coffee and plumped up a little, but sure did keep a mess from occurring.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. mamachef RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            It's a tossup between the pressure-sensitive coasters that emitted the sound of breaking glass when a glass was placed on them, or the 6-pack of Jones' soda that had flavors like turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes. But still, the thought counts!

                                                                                                                                                                            35 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                              coll RE: mamachef Dec 8, 2010 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              At least your friends have a sense of humor!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef RE: coll Dec 8, 2010 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                It's a requirement!! ; )

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                chickenbruiser RE: mamachef Dec 8, 2010 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                OMG that sounds awesome.... mashed potatoes flavoured soda!!!! I feel so deprived up here in Canada. As a teen, I used to make runs over the border to upstate NY to buy "weird" food we couldn't get in Quebec. Back then it was aerosol cheese... which doesn't sound that strange now but was totally foreign to us at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chickenbruiser
                                                                                                                                                                                  mamachef RE: chickenbruiser Dec 8, 2010 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I've got to say, I can't speak for what it actually tastes like, since it's unopened in it's original pristine packaging on an on-view shelf in the kitchen that also houses some other campy and/or conversational food items (Blow your Butt Out Hot Sauce, etc.) The gift came from #1 son in response to the Odd-Candy-of-the-Month club that I devised as a present.
                                                                                                                                                                                  We like keepin' it imaginative, inexpensive and fun. Just how we roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                    buzzardbreath RE: mamachef Dec 14, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Someday those pristine Jones Sodas are going to be worth large amounts of money. People actually collect those Thanksgiving-in-a-Bottle sodas. And how do I sign up for the Odd-Candy-of-the-Month Club? LOL I love that idea! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chickenbruiser
                                                                                                                                                                                    Morticia RE: chickenbruiser Dec 12, 2010 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    That's funny about buying American "weird food" to take back to Quebec...because my husband & I were just in Montreal, and we decided to buy "souvenirs" of Quebecoise junk food - like Ketchup and "All Dressed" flavored potato chips, cheese curds, and canned poutine sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Morticia
                                                                                                                                                                                      onceadaylily RE: Morticia Dec 12, 2010 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      In the US Midwest, and trying to imagine ketchup as a novelty . . . trying . . . trying . . . nope, can't get there.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                        Whats_For_Dinner RE: onceadaylily Dec 12, 2010 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think Morticia's probably referring to ketchup-flavoured chips... one of the few things we have up here that you guys don't have Stateside, if I recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                          Morticia RE: Whats_For_Dinner Dec 12, 2010 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, ketchup flavored chips (sorry if it was unclear) are an only in Canada phenomenon. Sadly, some of the bags opened up due to the air pressure changes during flight - so they had to be consumed rather than given as "gifts" to our friends (yes, we give our friends foreign junk food - it's a tradition: paprika chips from Germany, Tak-A-Tak masala-flavored cheeto-like snacks from India, etc.) Cheap but our friends love trying the crazy flavors!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Morticia
                                                                                                                                                                                            onceadaylily RE: Morticia Dec 12, 2010 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, now *I* want ketchup flavored chips. And paprika chips. And Tak-ATak masala chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Morticia
                                                                                                                                                                                              buzzardbreath RE: Morticia Oct 20, 2012 05:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Not "cheap", Morticia, inexpensive and creative! Love the idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                              tastesgoodwhatisit RE: Whats_For_Dinner Dec 12, 2010 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you can get Ketchup flavoured Ringolos they are one of the most addictive snack foods in the known universe. And I'm not all that keen on ketchup flavoured chips in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I find there are a lot of chocolate (not candy) bars in Canada that you don't see much in the US. Oh Henry, Coffee Crisp, Crunchie, Eat More, Aero. Plus the infamous soap gum (aka Thrills).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                                                                                                                tzurriz RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Dec 13, 2010 04:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Every time we go up to Manitoba to see my husband's parents we have to stop at the Co-Op so he can buy a big ol' box of Coffee Crisp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                                                                                                                  beachmouse RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Jan 24, 2011 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you're near a World Market/Cost Plus, they really do tend to have some nice 'Junk Foods of the World' offerings, including most of those chocolate bars and many different flavors of chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beachmouse
                                                                                                                                                                                                    alliegator RE: beachmouse Apr 8, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, color me stupid! I've lived near a World Market for 2 years and have never gone in because I thought it was things for the house. And I have plenty from my own travels, and recently went from house to apartment. Now that I know there's food, I need to go today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wahooty RE: alliegator Apr 8, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, depending on your state, WINE. I hit up their clearance shelves regularly to stock up on solid, cheap, (if not particularly interesting) wines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                                        pine time RE: alliegator Aug 4, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, you gotta go around Christmas--great selections from around the world of fun snacks and candies (I buy marzipan there). Year-round, their Indian selections aren't bad, either, and good prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: beachmouse
                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. RE: beachmouse Apr 8, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        We bought cans of Heinz Spotted Dick for gifts from Cost Plus World Market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          kubasd23 RE: John E. Sep 12, 2011 02:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          huh, i just bought that at stop and shop along with some packets of cock flavoured soup to send to my sister in college. I am chuckling to myself already anticipating her reaction. I'm just so mature....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kubasd23
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mshenna RE: kubasd23 Oct 7, 2011 12:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why did no one ever send me a CARE package like that when I was in college?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            However, I did just send two friends some cock flavored soup packets about a month ago. Time does not bring maturity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: mshenna Oct 7, 2011 02:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh, you could include some of the candies I see sold in bakeries in France.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Called Camel Balls (in English, as if that's not bad enough) -- they look to be chocolate with a berry filling -- RED, no less! -- and rolled in tiny chocolate jimmies that look like fuzz. Why, oh why? I just can't bring myself to try them -- even if they tasted fabulous, I think I'd choke on the appearance. Gross)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                kubasd23 RE: sunshine842 Oct 7, 2011 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's great! We could also pack some Ben & Jerry's Schweaty Balls ice cream (named after the SNL sketch)! yum....

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Morticia
                                                                                                                                                                                                  JoanN RE: Morticia Dec 13, 2010 04:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of my scuba diving buddies is always on the lookout for unusually flavored Pringles in airports around the world. Who knew? who would have thought? that Pringles are custom made to specific tastes? I remember she was particularly excited to discover durian Pringles in Indonesia and mangosteen and dragon fruit Pringles in Thailand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                                                    chowser RE: JoanN Dec 13, 2010 08:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm always surprised at how many Pringles flavors there are on the shelves but you made me look to see what there is around the world. I'm wondering what "Rock the floor" tastes like, and what region it's from.


                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mshenna RE: JoanN Dec 28, 2010 01:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, now I want durian Pringles AND durian peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe not at once, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kris in Beijing RE: mshenna Dec 30, 2010 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The last 2 times we've gone back to The States, I've used small Lays chip bags as suitcase "padding." Chips: Cucumber. Cool Lime. Cool Lemon. Spicy Crab. Blueberry. Texas Chicken. Mexican Roast. American Salt. Shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        There're tons of other flavours, which I cannot recall ATM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                                                                                                                                                                                          rockycat RE: Kris in Beijing Dec 30, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Returning from the UK once, I dumped the entire contents of my suitcase so that I could stuff it full of an entire case of smoky bacon crisps. Completely worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rockycat
                                                                                                                                                                                                            flourgirl RE: rockycat Dec 30, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is so great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                                                        gmm RE: JoanN Jan 11, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of my girlfriends brought cans of shrimp and seaweed flavored Pringles from the Philippines. I took a can of the seaweed flavor and they were delicious. Wish I could find them in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whinerdiner RE: mamachef Dec 8, 2010 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been looking for that soda! None of the usual spots are carrying it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Whinerdiner
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Duppie RE: Whinerdiner Dec 8, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Target usually the 4 pack this time of year,or sometimes Marshalls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Duppie
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whinerdiner RE: Duppie Dec 8, 2010 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks. I checked Target, never even thought of Marshalls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mshenna RE: mamachef Dec 8, 2010 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're the first person I've heard of who actually saw that Jones' soda in real life. I mean, I did see the listing online but couldn't really believe someone actually made it. Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Erika L RE: mamachef Dec 8, 2010 05:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A friend's ex-husband had to have his jar wired shut shortly before one TDay (weekend warrior basketball injury) so she brought him a six pack of turkey and gravy soda when she picked up the kids. I thought it was very considerate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          bigjeff RE: mamachef Dec 8, 2010 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought that 6-pack Jones' Soda to a Secret Santa / White Elephant party where we had to bring a "good" gift and a "bad" gift. muhahahahahaha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. coney with everything RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got what we thought was a nice set of knives, Wuesthof I think, that my SIL had bought at Kohls. Turns out that apparently these are not the "good" knives and they were dull and unpleasant to use. Ended up trading them for a vacuum cleaner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My sister, who generally knows better, gave me a Rachael Ray cookbook a few years ago. I don't think I've looked at it since then!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. lisavf RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 05:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A frilly hot pink apron with leopard print trim and a big cursive "L" sewn on the front. "For when you're cooking." My husband called me "Laverne" for a couple of months afterwards. Just smile, folks. That's all you can do is smile...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                                                              cannibal RE: lisavf Dec 9, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              at marshalls once there was a "french maid" apron that my wife and i were laughing at. i found it stuffed in one of my stockings on xmas day, she thought it was hilarious. I wore it a few times when her parents came over, i had to rescue it out of the trash twice. now i don't know where it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cannibal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                JoanN RE: cannibal Dec 10, 2010 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My brother lives in Spain and I have an apron made to look like a flamenco dancer's dress with great big, frilly ruffles on the bottom. I wear it whenever I'm serving paella.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cayjohan RE: JoanN Dec 10, 2010 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, nuts...now I'm never going to be as satisfied making paella until I find an apron like that! Sounds like outrageous fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JoanN RE: cayjohan Dec 10, 2010 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A link for your Secret Santa.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cayjohan RE: JoanN Dec 10, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Be still my heart! And it's even polka-dotted! I may swoon. Santa's life just got a little easier...Thanks! Cay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sunshine842 RE: cayjohan Dec 10, 2010 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I heart that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not really a girly-girl, but I might just have to order THAT Christmas present myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and *squeee* they have aprons for your wine bottles, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (these fall under the "so silly-tacky they're irresistable" heading)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          cayjohan RE: sunshine842 Dec 10, 2010 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did get a dish-soap bottle apron (cozy?) as a Christmas gift a few years back! After a WTH? moment, we stuck it on a spray bottle full of water - i.e. the "Cat Smartener"...necessary in this kitchen-full-of-beggars - and named it "Aunt Bea" (from "The Andy Griffith Show"). Aunt Bea's Apron Armor? Wouldn't anyone quake? (Cr@p, now I'm imagining Bea in a flamenco apron...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is indeed so silly-tacky that one can't resist it! Makes a few smiles along the way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mothership RE: JoanN Dec 15, 2010 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually for some reason, that apron makes me think of Betty Boop...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mothership
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JoanN RE: Mothership Dec 15, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can't imagine why.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. luckyfatima RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I seem to get A LOT of oil and vinegar glass bottle sets. Like, random people just give them to me. They all say "I know you like to cook, so I thought you would love this…" I did like the first set. But now I have regifted the multiple other sets to others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bigjeff RE: luckyfatima Dec 8, 2010 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  maybe they bought them from a Marshall's/TJMaxx/Daffy's which always has those lame gifts. in fact, most of the gifts on this thread. although they do have nice dutch ovens sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. biondanonima RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Everyone in my family is a foodie so I actually haven't gotten many bad food-related gifts. My brother bought me a meat slicer one year that I had to return simply because I didn't have the space for it (nor do I really eat that much deli meat), but it wasn't a bad gift, just not a very practical one in my situation. Last year he was low on funds so he did most of his shopping at the gourmet store where he had a part-time job (and thus a 40% discount) - I got truffle oil, Banyuls vinegar, Pimenton de la Vera, some fantastic carnaroli rice, saffron and a couple of other fabulous ingredients that I'm often too cheap to buy for myself. I can't wait for Christmas this year! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mshenna RE: biondanonima Dec 8, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If your brother is ever available for adoption, I'm first in line!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, I think I want that job. Law firms have some advantages but we never get discounts on truffle oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Isolda RE: biondanonima Dec 8, 2010 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Could your family adopt me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        biondanonima RE: Isolda Dec 8, 2010 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He's not married yet, LOL! You'd have to put up with his dreds, though. Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rozz01 RE: biondanonima Dec 10, 2010 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thats a plus to me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Novelli RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh man, too many to list. The ones off the top of my head...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I know you like to bake cookies. So, now you have something to keep them in!" = a plastic cookie jar shaped like a cartoon wolf that would howl aloud everytime you open it. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Last time I was here you made some great BBQ. Maybe you can get some use out of this BBQ kit!" = a gift basket with a bottle of A1 steak sauce, 5 steak knives where at least 1 rivet had fallen out of each of the particleboard handles, a jar of McCormick's 'Steak Seasoning', and a plush toy of a chef with a hole in his neck that holds your utensils (scary). WTF?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Novelli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Breadcrumbs RE: Novelli Dec 8, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        omg . . . is my Mother shopping for you as well?!!! LOL!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Novelli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          coney with everything RE: Novelli Dec 9, 2010 04:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          C'mon...steak seasoning is an ingredient in 59% of Rachael Ray's recipes! Gourmet city!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Novelli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mshenna RE: Novelli Dec 28, 2010 02:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So you thrust your barbecue forks through its neck? Could be useful if you grill on Halloween.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Incidentally, I did one of these myself this year. My mother is a fiend for gumdrops & jellybeans & the like, & no longer can be bothered to put up any kind of Christmas tree, so as a fun thing I sent her a gumdrop tree -- a frame on which you stick gumdrops. Unfortunately the two very large packages of gumdrops got there before the frame did, & by the time it arrived ... I should have caught on by the muffled tone of her voice every time we spoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rockycat RE: mshenna Dec 28, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your mother sounds like a woman after my own heart. More power to her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kris in Beijing RE: mshenna Dec 30, 2010 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gumdrop Tree!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Where did you get it? I can't prove that they're real to my coworkers. I describe it to them as a smaller version of the TNG Crystalline Entity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Of course, they don't know what gumdrops are, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  flourgirl RE: Kris in Beijing Dec 30, 2010 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But they do know what the TNG Crystalline Entity is? (Just for the record, I do, that was one of my favorite episodes, and a very creative comparison, I might add.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rozz01 RE: flourgirl Dec 30, 2010 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We used to have one of those as a kid until the dog ate it one night. It was not a pretty scene on the carpet one Xmas morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kris in Beijing RE: flourgirl Dec 31, 2010 12:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have more friends who are techies [not Tech-ies] than who are foodies. And most aren't American.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Henny Penny RE: flourgirl Jan 2, 2011 12:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If they don't, what kind of friends would they be?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gryphonskeeper RE: flourgirl Apr 8, 2011 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BEST EPISODE EVER!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Novelli RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OH OH OH...and a cookbook containing the Top Secret recipes national restaurants.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I.E. Chili's, TGIFriday's, Black Angus, Denny's, etc.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Novelli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      melpy RE: Novelli Dec 9, 2010 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't gotten the cookbook but we always get gift cards to a chain. I don't mind as much when they give you a choice of restaurant (some of the big corporations have cards that can be used various locations) but the year it was $25 at Olive Garden I wish we didn't bother to use it. We honestly waited 2 hours to eat something I would have probably throw away if I had made it at home :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Erika L RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      English Muffin Of The Month Club. Understand I live in a major US city that does actually have supermarkets, not sure what the gifter was thinking. They were about 2" tall and really solid. They didn't fit into my toaster unless I split each half into half again. (Clearly these are meant for toaster oven folks.) Very bready, definitely no nooks and crannies. And the flavors! February was cherry and chocolate and the chips kept melting and incinerating on the toaster heating elements. I regifted the whole collection to a friend who has four kids, including two teenagers who will eat anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. coll RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My SIL has a distorted sense of size, and here are just two random examples. When I asked for crystal rocks drink glasses (I said like Waterford but not so expensive of course) she got me these modern type glasses at Home Goods that are so big that it hurts your hand to hold them. When I served her a drink in them next time, she acted shocked (she's really tiny and I secretly took it as an insult, like I'm the Jolly Green Giant! because she did the exact same thing with coffee mugs for my birthday). Then the next year, I told her I wanted a potato ricer (DHs family has to be told what to get each other, so boring, and it has to be an exact price for everyone too, which takes the fun out of it for me) so she got me an OXO which might fit a quarter of a potato in it at a time. Not a fan of OXO anyway, more looks than function. She said as she gave it to me, I know this isn't right but you can return it, I left the receipt in the box. I went but when I saw it was only $15 I just threw it in the back of my pots and pans. Both of these times, I went shortly thereafter to the outlets and got exactly what I wanted, and this year we are not having anyone over. Can you spell relief? Should have nipped this in the bud years ago! Wish at least her gifts were funny enough to make me laugh later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Peg RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A pasta machine, which I never used and regifted some years later.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's a pity, because it was exactly was I asked for from Santa that year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. cayjohan RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe not "worst," but certainly the most inescapable: the grater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My mother loved collecting cooking implements (well, *accumulate* is probably a better word, as Mom was not discerning), and over the years managed to stock me with enough graters to see me through 6 lifetimes: box graters, *fancy* hexagonal box graters with a handy receptacle bottom, antique graters of all varieties, sets of teeny-tiny graters that look like they might fit in Barbie's kitchen, and on and on. And on. It was a little irritating in my younger years (why couldn't she have gotten it into her head that that I should collect, say, All-Clad and not graters?!), but when Mom slipped into Alzheimer's and ramped up the grater-as-gift buying because that seemed to be a sticky memory for her, it became poignantly cute. Thus, I have a big drawer full of graters-for-all-purposes, that I keep largely in remembrance of Mom. Thank the stars they're mostly utile, despite my knuckles' adversarial relationship with box graters. Our family calls it the Grater Drawer, and smiles in remembrance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But! While staying with us years back, my MIL took note of the Grater Drawer. And spread the word in the family, as the family is heavily into "themes." Poignantly Cute became Oh-My-Gawd-Not-Again quite rapidly as each gift-giving occasion yielded yet more graters for Cay's "collection." It's been almost absurd. I finally had to delicately put the word out, and the the Grater Train has slowed...somewhat. It'll probably be Poignantly Cute some day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The lasting legacy of my Mom's grater obsession: I am now the one with graters to push on kids moving away from home. My apple didn't roll far enough from that tree, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyone got a kid moving out that needs a grater?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              onceadaylily RE: cayjohan Dec 8, 2010 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the grater story. And how it morphed into a 'theme'. I have a friend who finally, one year, blurted out, "I am so SICK of dolphins!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cayjohan RE: onceadaylily Dec 9, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chuckling here! The first thing I thought when reading "I am so SICK of dolphins!" was: No! Don't even put that connection out into the nöosphere, else I will somehow receive a dolphin-shaped grater this year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The thought promptly became...ooooh, but a sharkskin grater would be coooool. Never mind that I'll likely never have any fresh wasabi, but it does fit with the "theme!" Maybe I should give you MIL's email address...<grin>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  onceadaylily RE: cayjohan Dec 9, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But that would probably morph into a grater shaped like a shark. Or a sharkskin cozy for your *new* regular grater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Vetter RE: cayjohan Dec 8, 2010 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for sharing that. Serious warm fuzzies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAYME RE: cayjohan Dec 24, 2010 07:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I need a grater a nice box grater and spice one. I never seem to remember to get one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pine time RE: cayjohan Aug 4, 2011 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I got sick of ducks! Once Mom found out I liked wooden ducks, I got duck dish towels, potholders, fridge magnets, ad nauseum. Hubs and I would sigh and say "we got ducked". They'd go straight to the Salvation Army.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      flourgirl RE: pine time Oct 21, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know so many people whose "collections" started this way. They bought one "pig-something or other" and all of the sudden they became the "person who loves pigs" and ended up buried under an avalanche of pig-themed paraphenalia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pine time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cosmogrrl RE: pine time Oct 27, 2012 03:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have told my SO's family that I collect nothing. If they even suspected that I collected anything, I would have enough things to start a gift shop. I've seen his Mom's house, it's covered in bears, humming birds, eggs, dragons and at Christmas time, Annalee mouse decorations, EVERYWHERE. Those mice scare me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cosmogrrl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hambone RE: cosmogrrl Oct 28, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I decided a few years ago that brother-Hambone collected beer openers. It made birthday and Christmas so much easier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hambone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            flourgirl RE: hambone Oct 29, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's so funny I wonder what I should decide my brother collects? He's always been so hard to shop for. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: flourgirl Oct 29, 2012 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have let it be know amongst my family and friends that I collect Benjamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Isolda RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My parents once received a chocolate fountain.My mom is not a serious cook, and she's definitely not a CH, but she does make a lot of "pretty party" food that tastes good to most people, so is often called on to cater large functions for her church, parties, and various various charities. Well, she trotted that fountain out for one function and it was a nightmare. It's supposed to circulate melted chocolate (like a fondue), but the crumbs from the angel food cake and piece of fruit people dipped into it kept clogging it up, making it stall and just look generally nasty. Partway thru the party, she just unplugged the thing and threw it, chocolate and all, into the trash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gaffk RE: Isolda Dec 8, 2010 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yep, been there; still wonder how caterers manage to keep those fountains going.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm known as the baker\candy maker among my family and friends. And I have to say, for the most part they have impeccable taste when gifting baskets of ingredients and candy/baking books (though my sisters do tend to put sticky notes on the recipes they'd like me to try ;) However, the brown apron with "chocolate" in every language? The candy dish "I'd quit eating chocolate but I'm no quitter"? The 12 pound tin of Hershey's miniatures? (Yes, I love chocolate, but . . .)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. onceadaylily RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love my mother, I really do, but I think she's forgets what she buys from year to year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For example, one year I got a wine rack, shrimp forks, and a pair of lobster scissors. The next year, I got a wine rack, shrimp forks, and a 'sushi kit' (complete with video). The next year I got a wine rack, lobster scissors, and some of those decorative things you put on wine bottles (like a mesh sleeve, with little acrylic dangly things).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe she doesn't forget what she buys so much as she just really wants me to live 'the good life'. Or thinks I'm an alcoholic. A fish-loving alcoholic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          coll RE: onceadaylily Dec 8, 2010 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can never have too many wine racks, or shrimp forks. And then you get a unique gift besides. I think she knows what she's doing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LauraGrace RE: onceadaylily Dec 8, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lobster scissors! Having lived my life in four completely land-locked states, I had no idea there was such a thing! The things you learn on Chowhound, I tell ya. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LauraGrace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grayelf RE: LauraGrace Dec 8, 2010 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks everyone for the many smiles on this thread. Although getting a "bad" food related gift is hardly a catastrophe, it definitely evokes groans of sympathy. My favourite was Erika L's Year of Living Dangerously via English muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think my friends and family are kind of afraid to give me anything foodish lest they be met by withering looks :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gaffk RE: grayelf Dec 8, 2010 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The "muffin of the month" was truly frightening and wins the award ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mshenna RE: gaffk Dec 8, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What about a combo? Muffin of the Month topped with [grated] Caulk Jerky, durian p.b. & a side of Kroger Mushrooms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk RE: mshenna Dec 8, 2010 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, now I'm just getting nauseous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mshenna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Erika L RE: mshenna Dec 8, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With a turkey and gravy soda chaser.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Duppie RE: onceadaylily Dec 8, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not a Christmas present but my beautiful wife actually ordered hand crocheted wine glass "Panties" for the lack of a better word. Designed to slip on stemware bases to prevent rings on furniture. I argued that we seldom serve wine so chilled that it would become necessary to need such an item but was reminded of my purchase of the Steak Brander customized with our initials.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just in case our guests needed to be reminded of who was financing their grilled steak dinner complete with sides and booze.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The panties are now a much loved addition to many a wine and cheese party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lisavf RE: onceadaylily Dec 9, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OMG, I actually just laughed out loud! Good thing no one is close enough to hear me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    onceadaylily RE: lisavf Dec 9, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The funniest thing was I was a *very* broke college student when she started in with these gifts. I just really wanted new socks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lisavf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Raids RE: lisavf Dec 9, 2010 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That completely did me in also. I had to take a break from the thread and come back. God that's funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SandyCat RE: onceadaylily Dec 9, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Okay, this made me LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then I thought, "Wait... I'm kind of a fish-loving alcoholic."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SandyCat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        flourgirl RE: SandyCat Dec 9, 2010 03:59 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BabsW RE: onceadaylily Apr 30, 2011 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I laughed to the point of tears just now. "A fish-loving alcoholic" had me doubled over and gasping as I was trying to read this to my kids. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Beach Chick RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Free packaged coffee from hotel rooms..wrapped up to us as a gag gift and now I collect all the tea and coffee and make sure they get their freebie Christmas gifts every year!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I throw in some shower gel and shampoo too..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buzzardbreath RE: Beach Chick Dec 14, 2010 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You mean I'm not the only person who "gifts' their family with that? I thought I was being original! LOL Seriously, I have relatives who remind me each Novemeber not to forget their "emergency kits". I gave upscale sets one year and they very sweetly asked me not to monkey with tradition. And I also include those travel toothbrushes with the little tiny toothpaste. LOL :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buzzardbreath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beach Chick RE: buzzardbreath Dec 15, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been collecting all the shampoo, lotion, bath gel, soaps, shower caps (great for covering of food platters) coffee, tea, room service jams/ketchup/dijon mustard from hotel resorts all over the world and then I put them in a gag gift goodie bag for Christmas and its been such a running gag for so long and they all love it!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They called me a 'cheap ass' one year and so I didn't give out the freebies and they all apologized and they confessed how beloved my cheap ass gifts are and how they look forward to them!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              joe777cool RE: Beach Chick Dec 23, 2010 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My dad had you beat - on many cross-country trips he would come home with a trunk full of toilet paper from every hotel/motel he stopped at. Unfortunately he was so cheap that he often stayed at less expensive Motel 6's and the like and we ended up with sandpaperesque abrasions to our posteriors for the next 2 months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joe777cool
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Beach Chick RE: joe777cool Dec 24, 2010 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dad was the ultimate 'cheap ass'..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                betsydiver RE: Beach Chick Apr 26, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                some people actually "gift these kind of packages to food banks;just an idea. if a person can't afford a can of beans; do you think buying shampoo is on the top of the list?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: betsydiver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: betsydiver Apr 26, 2011 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  they also make great donations for womens' shelters -- far too often, victims of domestic abuse leave with nothing but the clothes on their back...and the shelters have ongoing, desperate need for toiletries to help care for these women and their children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. John E. RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got a grill fork with a built in thermometer probe in the spikes. It would have been a good gift if it actually told what the temperature was and was accurate. This one just had lights that read 'very rare', rare, medium rare, etc. It's still in the package. I wanted to regift it but as told that I could not and would not if I knew what as good for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bigjeff RE: John E. Dec 8, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rare gift indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                coll RE: John E. Dec 9, 2010 03:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Was it a Brookstone? I found one at the local thrift shop and you could tell it was never used, it still had brand new batteries and the instructions, in the unblemished box. Only a buck so I figured give it a try. Even though I 'm pretty good at grilling temps, this fork works spot on and I always use it for thick steaks and veal chops, so I don't have to hover over them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: coll Dec 9, 2010 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, not Brookstone, more like one of those "TV" offers. I still prefer an instant read thermometer that shows the actual temps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Veggo RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 8, 2010 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is all so mean spirited. Well-meaning people trashed for giving gifts to ingrates?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or maybe they were reciprocating in like kind?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: Veggo Dec 8, 2010 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't think you have it right at all. First, not everyone trashed the giver if the gift, I didn't mention anyone. Second, while mocking gift givers is never a good idea, maybe the person giving the gift should have taken the time to figure out what would make a good gift for that particular individual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: Veggo Dec 8, 2010 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nobody's laughing at the giver; only the gifts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure even you've given gifts that the recipient has thought "WTF?!" while smiling and thanking you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Veggo RE: sunshine842 Dec 9, 2010 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My comment was tongue in cheek and I'm as guilty as anyone. My sister once took me aside and asked me to stop giving her daughter all the crap I bring back from Mexico. And I listened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        melpy RE: Veggo Dec 9, 2010 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately my mom did something similar and now we no longer get gifts from my Uncle. Granted she told him that unfortunately my sister and I didn't fit into the size of clothing he was buying us at Abercrombie and perhaps to do something different because the store truly didn't have our size. When we were kids he always gave the best toys!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: melpy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Veggo RE: melpy Dec 9, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My other sister's daughter has always called me Uncle Wiggo, and I nicknamed her "The Varmint" when she was about 5. I bought her a Swatch Watch with all the colored bands on a trip to Switzerland when she was about 10, and she insists it was the best present she ever got as a kid. Now, she is raising 4 offspring of her own in Wellesley, and I look forward to exchanging Christmas greetings with The Varmint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        betsydiver RE: sunshine842 Apr 26, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        in fact i was once gifted by a secret santa with santa mugs filled with red and green hersey's kisses;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I enjoyed it so used the same idea next time i was a secret santa and the recipient remarked "OH, more mugsl in front of the whole party as I think of it, maybe I regifted

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: betsydiver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John E. RE: betsydiver Apr 26, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While I think the recipient should not have expressed that thought outloud, living in a household with at least 3 or 4 times more nugs than is needed (and that's just in the kitchen cupboard and not including many more downstairs) I understand the sentiment. Whenever anyone considers giving a mug as a gift, a plan B should be seriously considered. (But a mug filled with goodies should be in another category maybe).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 RE: John E. Apr 26, 2011 02:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm convinced that promotional coffee mugs breed in dark cupboards and have a gestational period approximately half that of the common fruit fly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: sunshine842 Apr 26, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I could get by with exactly two mugs for me. One to use while the other is in the dishwasher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pine time RE: John E. Aug 4, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I regularly box up those extra mugs and give them to Salvation Army. When I've gone to their store (rarely, but they do sometimes have good cookbooks), I see a gazilliion mugs. Wonder who they re-gift 'em to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Same thing just happened with a wine tasting for 10 of us--the glasses were included. Cheap, with the winery's logo, natch. I just put down my foot and said "not for me"--we left 'em there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Jax L. RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 05:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My worst was a marshmallow rotisserie. It had 3 prongs on the end and was a battery powered hand held device, super cheap, and hilarious! It only had one speed and it was super slow. Ah family!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. GraydonCarter RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They know I have an espresso maker and drink coffee. I have been given more demitasse sets than Juan Valdez would ever need. The thing is, I never drink a solo shot. I always fill a regular sized coffee cup with a colada, a stretched espresso (doppio caffè lungo?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Pia RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A bread basket... but it wasn't really a basket, it was ceramic and molded/painted to look like a basket. It came with a ceramic loaf of bread inside, I guess to keep the real bread company. I am 99% positive this was a regift, as I cannot imagine why anyone would want this, let alone why one of my closest friends would think I would want this. (I would also bet that he ran out of time to go shopping and asked his mom, who lived nearby, to provide something. This was a wedding shower gift.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mostlyh2o RE: Pia Jan 4, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was just reading this list for the first time and LOLing all over the place!!! Pia, I think I know what you have there and it's kind of cool; if it's like the one I have, you put the ceramic "basket" in the oven to heat it up and then put a cloth napkin or towel in it and put rolls/bread in it -- the hot basket keeps the bread warm! I spose a bit of a unitasker but I do like my bread products kept warm, esp. if freshly baked. I don't however, have a cat's idea of what the ceramic bread loaf is all about...hmm...mine didn't come with one...I feel strangely cheated...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. viperlush RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A white KitchenAid stand mixer from Target. Great idea (who doesn't want a stand mixer?), but poor execution. I hate white appliances, the capacity is low, and it isn't very powerful. Basically not the mixer that I (or my mother) would have chosen and now I am stuck with it until it dies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But I greatly appreciate the thought because it was an unexpected and expensive Xmas gift from my bf's grandma. And even with it's flaws I use it weekly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Other poor gifts with good intentions have been:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "movie nite" of a Blockbuster GC, movie theater candy, and microwave popcorn. None of which we use/eat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Flavored coffee/hot chocolate w/Irish coffee glasses. We aren't fans of flavored coffee (except the Godiva coffees aren't bad) and with limited cabinet space specialty glasses that don't stack well are quickly donated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: viperlush Dec 9, 2010 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never would have guessed 'KitchenAid' would have been mentioned on this thread. You could have returned it to Target and purchased the larger mixer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firegoat RE: John E. Dec 9, 2010 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would happily take the KitchenAid stand mixer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  viperlush RE: John E. Dec 9, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Didn't realize that it didn't fit my needs until after using (and I'm very reluctant to return/exchange gifts). Don't have the means to purchase a more expensive model. Would have preferred picking out the colour, model, and timing of gift (we don't have a lot of space in kitchen. So I consider it the "worst" because it was an expensive (but thoughtful) gift that I didn't want. Unlike other bad food related food gifts I can't throw or give it away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    odkaty RE: viperlush Dec 9, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can always paint it like Alton Brown's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Firegoat RE: viperlush Dec 9, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So despite the fact you use it weekly, it is a bad gift because it isn't as fancy as what you would pick out if you could have afforded it at the time? That's like saying "Dang grandma of a boyfriend who I didn't expect a gift from, how dare you get me a white Chevy Impala when you know I really want a red Ford Mustang."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        viperlush RE: Firegoat Dec 9, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly, that is why for me it's a bad gift. Because she spent a lot of money on something that I neither wanted or needed. Using your analogy, I would rather save the money, wait and buy the red Ford Mustang (and ride the T or bus until I get it) than have her spend the money on a white Chevy Impala.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For me a bad gift is one were the giver means well, but misses the mark. Where as the recipient you aren't completely happy with the gift, but can't do anything about it. Especially if the giver spent a lot of money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Like melpy said below, massive guilt that she had spent the money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          flourgirl RE: viperlush Dec 9, 2010 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          viperlush, I would feel the exact same way about this that you do. I would appreciate the gift, but at the same time I would be bummed because I knew it was a lot of money and wasn't what I really wanted or needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whats_For_Dinner RE: viperlush Dec 10, 2010 09:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hear ya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have relatives who love to go overboard. If they had any inkling of what I actually wanted, no doubt they would move heaven and earth to make it happen... in the totally wrong way, resulting in them spending way too much money on something impractical, barely usable or just absolutely not right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My first year in university, someone tipped them off that I needed a small TV that could easily be taken with me to my dorm. I got a full-size, HUGE thing, with built in VCR and what have you, enormous bulky tube so it was as "deep" as it was wide and tall... It sat in my dad's basement for two years because I literally could not use it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "But it was such a great deal at Costco!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another year, a microwave. I didn't need one, but I guess I could have used it if it had been compact and small or something. Nope. Costco apparently had a sale on freakin' huge monster oversized giant microwaves with 58734 functions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This year, I would love a new food processor, but I live in perpetual fear of letting the word out, lest I receive a 40-lb behemoth, which has fifty functions I'll never use while lacking all the ones I would find helpful, and which I will have to cram into the 2' of counter space in my tiny apartment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I found it works MUCH better just to literally ask for no gifts, or token gifts (stocking stuffers, cards...)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would, in absolute honesty, rather save up my own money and buy what fits my needs, than see my loved ones put their hearts, souls and paychecks into finding what they think is the perfect gift, when really it's completely unsuitable but I can never tell them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's just me, though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mshenna RE: Whats_For_Dinner Dec 28, 2010 02:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The apartment I had before this one had no counter space. None. No counters at all (that's NY for you) My mother found out that I didn't have a microwave (I never used one anyhow) & insisted on sending me one that was simply enormous -- it took up a third of my kitchen table, which was the only prep space I had. (But the charity to which I donated it was delighted, b/c they had a lunch program & found it very handy, so not a total loss.) When I got married again, this DH came with a microwave, since his basic diet when we met was microwave popcorn & microwave pizza (yes, of course he's a software developer, however did you guess?), but it's a small one & we actually have some counters now. My mother keeps offering to get a bigger one, though ... .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                beachmouse RE: Whats_For_Dinner Jan 24, 2011 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We suspect we got hit with an 'it was a steal of a price at Costco' this year. We like nice knives- three knife blocks worth of them on the kitchen counter and then the overflow boxed up in a drawer. And because I like to talk about bargain-shopping with my Mom, I've mentioned to her many times about finding something really nice for a steal at TJ Maxx or cashing in the credit card points for a Williams-Sonoma GC and then trying out a Shun from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So for this Christmas, they got us an entry level 10 piece Wusthof set. Which, very nice knives and all, but, heck my parents have cooked and baked in my kitchen enough while they were down here that they've used the calvacade 'o' excellent knives we already have on hand many a time before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think we're going to end up mailing the new set to the mister's parents, who are still using the same Chicago Cutlery from their wedding way back in the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tastesgoodwhatisit RE: Firegoat Dec 12, 2010 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's sort of what happened to friends of mine. They had had a year where they were doing a lot of things for her parents, due to various family emergencies. Her parents wanted to do something nice, so they surprised the with a car for Christmas ( a used one, but good condition).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The problem was, my friends were students living in a major urban centre. They already had good public transportation, and running a car was expensive - $200 a month to park, really high insurance rates, particularly for new car owners, etc. They had a car, and physically couldn't afford to insure it. They felt really bad because it was such a generous gift, but, well....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lhb78 RE: viperlush Nov 13, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My MIL got me a white KitchenAid the year we got engaged but I had always wanted a fun color- I was appreciative of the gift but when it is something that you will literally have the rest of your life you want it to be what you want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lhb78
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: lhb78 Nov 13, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Check this out: http://youcraftmeup.blogspot.fr/2010/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now it can not only be something you have the rest of your life, but it can be the only one on the planet like it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (and you can change it when you get tired of it....


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or just google "KitchenAid decals for a less labor-intensive, less-permanent solution)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  flourgirl RE: sunshine842 Nov 13, 2012 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's pretty cool!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And ihb78, FWIW, I totally agree with you. That was a very generous gift but if I was going to do that for someone I would skip the surprise and make sure I knew what color/model they wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: lhb78
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gmm RE: lhb78 Nov 16, 2012 12:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One Christmas I decided to buy a Kitchen Aid mixer for a very dear friend. I told her 12 year old daughter to find out what color she would want, but I wanted it to be a surprise, so be sneaky about it. I found at later that her idea of being sneaky was to ask her mom,"if you had a Kitchen Aid mixer, what color would you want it to be?" So it wasn't that much of a surprise, but she was thrilled, and at least she got the color she wanted. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                melpy RE: John E. Dec 9, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought about mentioning it. I was waiting a few years until we buy another house to get one but my parents insisted that was what they wanted to buy last year. I ended up with white and it took my 11 months to break out and use because I don't bake much. Since I used it for pie for Thanksgiving I have decided that I love it but I had massive guilt that they had spent the money and it was collecting dust for most of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. krp818 RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A Cheese-shaped cheese serving board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a dairy allergy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: krp818
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                carlee134 RE: krp818 Dec 10, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The best bad gift yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: krp818
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mshenna RE: krp818 Dec 28, 2010 02:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh, that's cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: krp818
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kubasd23 RE: krp818 Sep 12, 2011 03:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not food related but along the same lines... My mom got me a car charger for my phone. I had just lost my license the week before. Thaaaanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    melon RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A radish roser!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      burgeoningfoodie RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 9, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've gotten food/holiday packages from Harry and David when the people (relatives) knew I was trying to lose weight. Evenso, food, unless you made it yourself or it was a request, is a no no for me. I've also been given coupons to a bruegger's bagel, a gift card to Chilis and a regifted small bamboo board.. think like a small bread board which isn't that bad, but most things would never sit on it AND it was regifted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        rozz01 RE: burgeoningfoodie Dec 10, 2010 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We had a cheap sandwich press that was regifted for four years... I received it twice, so I gues it was karma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rozz01
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Firegoat RE: rozz01 Dec 10, 2010 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it's fun when you get a tradition going on something that keeps getting regifted over and over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mamachef RE: Firegoat Dec 10, 2010 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A tradition! My FIL and his brother used to give each other gifts and make them as impossible to open as they possibly could. Duct tape won out. Completely encased in about 15 layers of duct tape was......a walnut. ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Firegoat RE: mamachef Dec 10, 2010 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmmm, I need a gift idea for my annoying sister......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John E. RE: mamachef Dec 10, 2010 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There was a news story about something like this. One guy encased whatever it was in a block of concrete four feet across but he didn't win. The other guy welded it inside a ton of steel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LoBrauHouseFrau RE: mamachef Dec 10, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We do that in my family too. Packing tape, duct tape, double sided tape, even hot glue. When someone sneaks off to wrap in secret we often hear the sound of our tape gun followed by maniacal giggling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    flourgirl RE: LoBrauHouseFrau Dec 10, 2010 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            SandyCat RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 10, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Okay, so this isn't perfectly related, but I was at a pharmacy the other day and saw those pre-paid gift cards to a movie theater chain... and they were buttered popcorn scented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FOOD-SCENTED GIFT CARDS! YIKES!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. bermudagourmetgoddess RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 10, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apparently I the one that GAVE the gift this year...I thought they were pretty fun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Office Secert Santa...I give a gift bag with a bottle of wine, 3 chocolate truffles, gourmet cheese straws and 2 tipsy wine glasses...(the wine glasses are meant to be fun ...they kind of swirl they do not sit correctly)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now I feel like crap that I gave such a bad gift!!! or was it a bad gift ??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                grayelf RE: bermudagourmetgoddess Dec 10, 2010 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I dunno, bermuda, doesn't sound too bad to me, especially for a Secret Santa office gift, which can be absolute nightmares to give and to receive. Don't beat yourself up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: grayelf Dec 11, 2010 01:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it's pretty good, too...they can enjoy it, or put it out at a party....you don't know the recipient, which makes it really hard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We actually decided almost 10 years ago as a family that we just wouldn't DO christmas presents any more. We realized that we are pretty fortunate as a group, with the means to buy things we need whenever we need them...and that we were spending hours and hours at the mall spending lots and lots of money...when the time spent together was far more important to all of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So now we take some of that money and donate it to charity, and spend the time baking cookies, watching holiday movies, and just enjoying each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Kids still make out like bandits, though...we all agreed that Christmas presents needed to continue for the kids/grandkids/nieces and nephews.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We've had some truly wonderful Christmasses since we changed our tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    flourgirl RE: sunshine842 Dec 11, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We do the exact same thing!!! Started this about 6 years ago and Christmas has been so much better ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Much less stressful, I get the shopping done weeks before Christmas because there's only three kids to shop for (2 nephews are now at the "cash is king" stage) and I love shopping for the kids - that's a blast. The shopping's done, the wrapping is done, we're decorating the tree today and all I have to do now is enjoy the season and cook and bake some delicious food with my ten year old son while listening to Christmas music.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I still get my mom a present every year though. We started a tradition a few years ago where I take her to lunch during the week between Christmas and New Years, somewhere really nice. She loves it and I really look forward to it too. We often do lunch throughout the year, but I love that get together during the holiday season but after the bustle of Christmas Day has passed. It's always a good day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. junescook RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 12, 2010 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Honestly, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, from DW, was unexpected and frankly not terribly appreciated. I think I've read more from (and learned more from) Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything. Something about taking a 30# book to bed and reading from A to M, and then from N to Z....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Of course, getting chunks of Parm Reg and Peccorino Romano for our anniversary somehow smacks of the negligee to the wife sice I'm the cook, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rockycat RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 13, 2010 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not really the WORST, but the most recent. Now I don't mind the homemade biscotti too much. They look lovely and have a beautiful texture but they taste like absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I'm baffled over how that can happen. Still, they're homemade and I'm definitely appreciative that the giver thought enough of me to make the effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, the one I really don't get is the recent gift of odd looking scones. A homemade-looking label and messy hands on my part led me to believe that these too were a well-meaning gift, perhaps baked with the kids. Nope. When my hands were clean and I could take a closer look, I saw that they were amateur-ish looking baked good purchased from a chain bakery. I could almost understand that if it were an, "Oops, now I have to get you something in return fast gift," but I haven't finished my baking yet and won't hand out cookie plates until later this week. C'mon, really?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. AmyH RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 13, 2010 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A glass cutting board with a Christmas scene picture. Besides the fact that I'm Jewish, I would never use a glass cutting board. The sound alone drives me up a wall, never mind what it's doing to my knives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: AmyH Dec 13, 2010 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      use it as a serving tray (I know, it's a Christmas scene) or a hot plate...or under a potted plant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I can't stand glass cutting boards, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (or drop it at the local Salvation Army)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AmyH RE: sunshine842 Dec 13, 2010 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wouldn't it shatter if I put a hot pan on it? I'm holding it for my next yard sale, but it may end up at Goodwill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: AmyH Dec 13, 2010 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          probably not -- if it's tempered/treated to withstand the impact from a knife edge, then it should withstand thermal shock fairly well, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            AmyH RE: sunshine842 Dec 13, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not a chance I'm willing to take, especially after reading the Consumer Reports story about pyrex. Maybe it would make a nice cheese board?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: AmyH Dec 13, 2010 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Glass makes a great cheese board. Doesn't stay cool like marble, but it does reasonably well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef RE: AmyH Dec 13, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And you could always cover it with a wicker mat or a couple of paper doilies to cover the scene, if you do opt for the cheeseboard scenario.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AmyH RE: mamachef Dec 13, 2010 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hyacinthgirl RE: AmyH Oct 23, 2012 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can sympathize on that one. I'm Jewish and have received countless Christmas tree ornaments ("they don't have to go on a tree!"), a red and green Christmas tree plate ("it could just be any old pine tree!") and on topic, Christmas themed cookie cutters. I don't bake very much and I can of course use them to make Christmas cookies for my Christmas celebrating friends, but after a while the "doesn't EVERYONE celebrate Christmas" themed presents start to grate on me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            flourgirl RE: hyacinthgirl Oct 23, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm Jewish too, and I totally understand how you feel. And it's funny, because my household does celebrate Christmas, my husband being Christian - and I almost NEVER receive Christmas themed presents. The people giving you those gifts are not being thoughtful, and frankly, it would be hard for me not to detect an undertone of hostility in such gifts if the gift giver is aware that you are Jewish. If gifts aren't thoughtful, what was the purpose of giving it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hyacinthgirl RE: flourgirl Oct 23, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Many came from my Catholic ex-husband's mother, so perhaps they're not so surprising and I'm sure there was a touch of hostility there. But I've also received that type of thing from co-workers, business acquaintances, etc. I don't think they're being hostile, but some people really can't fathom the idea that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Or maybe that you can't just take Christmas themed items and simply decide they're not actually Christmas-y?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                flourgirl RE: hyacinthgirl Oct 23, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was specifically thinking of my husband's Catholic family. I experienced more than a touch of hosility from some of his family members over the years. (Thankfully, most of them have gotten over it by now.) And I still remember one rather funny Easter celebration at my FIL's house where he put an easter egg at everyone's place setting and insisted on drawing a little yarmulke on mine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As for the co-workers etc.maybe hostile isn't quite the right word. But there is no excuse for an adult NOT being able to wrap their head around the idea that not everyone celebrates Christmas, Even if there isn't an undertone of hostility, it's still very thoughtless. How would those people feel if you started buying them menorahs and seder plates? It's just too easy to give a gift that is NOT Christmas themed for anyone to have an excuse for doing this to someone that they know doesn't celebrate the holiday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  grayelf RE: flourgirl Oct 23, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think of Christmas as a great time to give my Jewish pals.... FOOD! I have several who secretly crave things like mince tarts and don't typically get the opportunity to try home-made versions so it works out rather nicely. I even have a Jewish friend who likes Christmas cake. When she told me, I was thunderstruck. I hardly know anyone who celebrates Christmas that likes the stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I must admit I got a huge chuckle out of picturing that Easter egg with the yarmulke on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    flourgirl RE: grayelf Oct 24, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Food always works for me! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The easter egg with the yarmulke on it really was funny, and I still laugh whenever I think about it. My FIL was actually a pretty decent guy and we got along very well. He wasn't the SMARTEST guy in the world or maybe he would have rethought that one, but I don't think he was trying to be mean. Honestly, I really didn't know what to make of it, but there it is. It was more my BILs and SIL that I was having trouble with at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John E. RE: flourgirl Oct 25, 2012 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just to let you know, the Easter egg thing is more of a secular Easter tradition rather than an actual Christian tradition. I think you FIL was trying to be funny rather than attempting to make a point about religion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        flourgirl RE: John E. Oct 26, 2012 04:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, trust me, he wasn't that sophisticated. To him, an Easter egg absolutely was a Christian tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: flourgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John E. RE: flourgirl Oct 27, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ok, I understand. Years ago my mother and father attended a 'holiday' party in December. There was a gift exchange where all of the gifts were wrapped and when someone's turn came up they could either take a gift from the table or take a wrapped gift that someone else had already selected. There was a $25 limit on the cost of the gift so it was supposed to be a fun thing and for the most part it was. What was interesting is that one of the couple's in attendance ended up with a large Christmas wreath. They were Jewish. My mother exchanged a handmade quilt that she really liked for the wreath because, although this was actually a business organization, my parents' were the hosts and their job was to make sure nobody was uncomfortable with the party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AmyH RE: hyacinthgirl Oct 23, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As an update, the Christmas themed glass cutting board did not sell at my yard sale even for $1 (apparently most people don't like glass cutting boards). But Goodwill was happy to take it off my hands. I'll bet they'd be happy to have your ornaments, plates, etc., too. It does seem odd that people who know we're Jewish give gifts like these. Perhaps we should give Hanukkah themed gifts back to them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Michelly RE: AmyH Oct 29, 2012 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Would it be helpful to know that most of the Christmas and Easter traditions started out as Celtic Pagan practices? Scientists think that Christ was actually born around what is now March or April, but the Celtic tribes celebrated the Winter Solstice which marked the birth of the Sun because after Dec 21, the days became longer. They decorated trees which are evergreen, hung mistletoe, which is sacred to the Druids, and held feasts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ditto Easter: the word comes from Ostara who is a goddess of the Spring, and as such, also the fertility indicative of the season. Her symbols include the rabbit (obvious fertility) and the egg, as a symbol of Life coming to be , as well as any seed/grain. Eggs were colored, hidden, and searched for, and everyone celebrated thanks (partially because they made it through yet another winter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Christians who took over the areas of Europe adopted a lot of the existing traditions in order to better convert them. ("You celebrate the birth of the Sun? We celebrate the birth of the Sun [read: Son} also!").
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, as a Pagan married to an atheist (and raising one, as well) I don't mind getting stuff with trees, eggs, and rabbits....but you won't find any angels, crucifixes, or nativity scenes here. Those things go to Goodwill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Michelly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: Michelly Oct 31, 2012 01:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and don't forget All Saints' Day, which just conveniently happens to coincide with the Celtic celebration of Samhaim -- the day when the veil between the realms of the living and dead was lifted....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LJS RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 13, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I am SO glad you asked...a nutmeg mill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It looks the part, all sleek, black and stainless steel and plexiglass stall and with different grating blades, but after carefully placing 4 very precious 'nuts' in the stall, it stopped working after 3 gratings. Now, I cannot get the nuts back out again...the little stopper that holds them in is completely jammed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I happened to see this disaster in a store later and gasped at the cost...I wish the giver had just given me a nice bottle of wine instead. After all, I was completely satisfied with grating my nutmeg on my Lee Valley plane prior to being gifted with this stylish demon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              eamcd RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 13, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We have a friend who's been in financial straits on and off for MANY years. Despite repeatedly asking her NOT to get us a gift at all, or if she must, just some token for the kids, she insists on buying us the SAME gift -- a breakfast set from Swiss Colony. Earlier she did it because she could buy gifts there in installments. (Talk about guilt.) But now that thins are a little less dire, she's upped it to the Deluxe set (with extra fake ham and over-sugared bacon).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She does this because she knows I like to cook and we like big breakfasts. We have tried for many years to dissuade her. We've even tried the "it's not as good as it used to be"....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eamcd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LoBrauHouseFrau RE: eamcd Dec 13, 2010 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I found myself in a similar situation with a friend who kept buying me a Figis smoked turkey every year. All the gentle hinting in the world wouldn't get through to her, so finally I told her I was asking all my friends to donate money to a charity instead of buying me gifts, and if she insisted on buying me a turkey I would give it to a local homeless shelter. Now every year she gives me a card with detailed information on the charity she donated to in my name. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. lessleyellen RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 14, 2010 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FYI, this thread was memorialized in a CHOW post yesterday.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Lessley Anderson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Senior Editor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dalaimama RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 14, 2010 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A plastic jug full of "maple" syrup. The jug had a thick layer of dust on it. Never had the nerve to open it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also pretty low on the list was the enormous box of mail-order bagels. In flavors like "blueberry supreme". Tasted like air freshener.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know we're doing holiday gifts, but I have to bring up the hands down worst gift I ever received which was the Valentine's Day my then-boyfriend gave me a Presto Fry-Baby. Nothing says love like a vat of boiling oil...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. greedygirl RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 15, 2010 05:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My friend went through a phase of buying me tea towels. Nice tea towels, but still.... She also had a coaster phase. I also have more oven gloves than I know what to do with - many of them bought in a panic by the OH as a stocking filler! He also once got me a musical cake slice which plays five tunes, including Jingle Bells - actually that one is rather fun and comes out at Xmas and birthdays

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Erika L RE: greedygirl Dec 15, 2010 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh yes, the kitchen towels...I have a cousin who collects them (seriously, an entire kitchen cabinet--not just drawer--FULL, absolutely falling-out stuffed, in varying stages of disintegration). They are all the terry cloth kind that doesn't absorb anything, they just rearrange the water on your dishes, your counter, your hands. And when you add silkscreened designs, the absorption goes down even further. It does make for easy gift-buying for her but for a while, she gave me towels that she thought were cute--not sure if she thought I also liked them or just wanted to share the fun. I stockpiled for a while and then sent them into circulation at a white elephant--funny, no one stole them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tripit RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 23, 2010 11:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just this week I received from a dear family friend an electric garlic roaster, which is cast in the shape of a giant garlic bulb in case you see it in the pantry and forget what it does. Conveniently, once you press the garlic-shaped button to turn it on, it roasts up to three heads of garlic for exactly 27 minutes before shutting itself off, presumably to prevent the garlic from overcooking. I gave it away as a prize at a holiday party the next day... will not be surprised if that unlucky recipient is posting on this thread a few days from now.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tripit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sunshine842 RE: tripit Dec 23, 2010 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        another entry in the "expensive unitasker that never gets used and takes up space in my pantry/cupboards"...there are SOOOO many of those!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (27 minutes? Where did THAT come from?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tripit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          KaimukiMan RE: tripit Dec 24, 2010 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          so far that is the only use I have found for that mini crock pot (6" diameter) that came with one of my crock pots. so long as you watch to make sure it doesn't burn it does a pretty good job of roasting the garlic, but you need to be sure to put in enough oil. I can't imagine buying something specifically to roast garlic with, but different strokes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            weewah RE: KaimukiMan Jan 3, 2011 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Huh, I never thought of using a little crock-pot for that, thanks : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: tripit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            junescook RE: tripit Dec 25, 2010 05:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, I love my little garlic roaster. We grow quite a lot of it and can enjoy a sweet, soft head (or 2 or 3) whenever we feel like it to squeeze on bread or whatever, without heating the whole oven. Especially nice in the summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: junescook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lemons RE: junescook Dec 28, 2010 06:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And what is the advantage of the roaster over just wrapping them in foil?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lemons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tatamagouche RE: lemons Dec 30, 2010 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I think the point was explicitly made...in the summer, you don't have to eat the whole oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not that that would be enough of a motivation for me to choose it over foil, but I have a high tolerance to heat; for some people it might be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. onceadaylily RE: Breadcrumbs Dec 30, 2010 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just received an electric wine opener, and do not yet know if this is good or bad. My mother must have picked it out, because my stepdad (who shares my love of food), later, in a conspiratorial manner, said, "I'm wondering if it would . . . push the cork in? This wouldn't work on my uncle's wine."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am thinking there was a test-run on his uncle's homemade vino. Which, by the by, starts as a bit tart, then is slightly fruity in the hold, but has a bracing finish . . . which is exactly what one might need to get one through a somewhat tense family holiday dinner. That's my review of the wine, anyway. I'll be testing the opener tomorrow with friends.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunshine842 RE: onceadaylily Dec 31, 2010 12:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My French friends just bought one of these for his mother, who has painful arthritis in her hands and wrists. The electric opener is a godsend for her, as it returns opening a bottle of wine to the "ordinary things we do" category from the "oh my god, it hurts so bad I don't want to try it" category.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kris in Beijing RE: sunshine842 Dec 31, 2010 12:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now THAT is a real reason to give one. Thanks for putting electric wine openers back onto my list of gifts-I-might-consider. Now if I could just find some elderly European relatives...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 RE: Kris in Beijing Dec 31, 2010 12:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think anyone with hand and wrist mobility issues would probably like having something that made this task a little easier. (yes, I got your humor; expanding for those who don't)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  onceadaylily RE: sunshine842 Dec 31, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't even think about that. I use my hands a lot (typing, painting, tools), and I've noticed a fair amount of stiffening in my fingers in the past few months. I guess I'll relegate the gift to the 'hope I don't need it, but if I do it's there' category.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That was nice of your friend to think of that for his mom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk RE: sunshine842 Dec 31, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always thought these were kind of silly until I read your comment. Mom has very bad arthritis in both hands (to the point where her fingers no longer straighten). I see a post-Christmas gift on my list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LeoLioness RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 1, 2011 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I received two plastic pizza plates. How do I know they are for pizza? Because they are shaped like pizza. And decorated like pizza. I'm not 8, so I'm not sure why my boyfriend's cousin thought our home needed these.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coll RE: LeoLioness Jan 1, 2011 01:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are they the ones that are shaped like a slice of pizza? Because I bought a set (of eight) for myself and think they are sort of cool, especially for storing leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LeoLioness RE: coll Jan 1, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Indeed they are. I'm not one to need a specially-shaped plate for pizza and tin foil works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. alliegator RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 3, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I moved house 2 years ago, I had 11 (!) cookbook holders that had been given to me in a span of 4ish years. All still packaged, I don't even read from a cookbook while working in the kitchen. I put them all in a big "free" box that I took to my last HOA meeting for that home. People went nuts for them!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. wolfe RE: Breadcrumbs Jan 16, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Peter Petrie egg separator. Who knew when he was in Detroit what a future he had?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: wolfe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John E. RE: wolfe Apr 8, 2011 03:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think that would be a fun gift to receive. It's doesn't have much use beyond entertainment value, but it does have that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: wolfe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          onceadaylily RE: wolfe Apr 8, 2011 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Who knew when he was in Detroit what a future he had?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As someone from just south of, I feel almost compelled to buy one, out of solidarity. Almost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I kind of do want the bacon and egg bandages, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ETA: The Be a Better Parent Tea is pretty damn funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JudiAU RE: Breadcrumbs Apr 26, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An entire wheel of morbier cheese. It was gifted to an entertainment executive who regifted it to her assistant who regifted it to her associate, who took it. She was Quebecois.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And then gave it to me, her roomate after it stunk up the refrigerator in six hours.. Morbier isn't really that stinky but the rind is and the WHOLE rind certainly is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There was no other part to the gift, no other cheese or cracker. Just an enormous wheel of cheese, around 12 pounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We had a party where everyone had to take a piece home. We eat it for weeks, daily, because we were poor. I wasn't able to eat it again for hum, how long has it been, 15 years?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Who gives an entire cheese?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JudiAU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John E. RE: JudiAU Apr 26, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I understand your point and the party was a good idea, but if anyone expressed interst in gifting me an entire wheel of cheese, I would encourage it, preferably parmesan reggiano.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rozz01 RE: John E. Apr 26, 2011 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +1 to that..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tygress RE: Breadcrumbs May 1, 2011 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got a pound of *salted* store-brand butter from my boyfriend's brother because I like to bake. Oh yeah, Christmas was in the Midwest and we live on the East Coast so he expected me to bring back a pound of butter in my luggage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What's worse is that his girlfriend bakes, too and suggested that he buy the butter but didn't know that salted is the wrong kind for baking. The whole thing came about after I had a conversation with them about sampling all my local butters to find the best one and being in love with Kate's butter and nearly refusing to bake with any other brand.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: Tygress May 1, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When the kids were little and we were in the backyard in the summertime I'd give them an ice cube and tell them to stick it in their pocket and save it for later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. crowmuncher RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 28, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i don't get the whole scented candle thing; i would rather smell the food...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pine time RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 4, 2011 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, and all of the above is why I've gotten over my embarrassment of giving Visa or AmEx gift cards. And I keep telling relatives that I LOVE receiving them, too, but that message just hasn't sunken in, which is why I have a regular post-holiday drop-off at the Salvation Army.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. luckyfatima RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 21, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, I have a new one. You know how people go on vacation and bring back a food that is special to the place they went? The thing is, when a place has a big tourist industry, you start to see cheap, crappy touristy versions of this food packaged and sitting alongside kitschy souvenir key rings and shot glasses. So someone comes back with some dried up stale horrible version of a regional specialty and gives to to you as a gift. Has happened to me a few times.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: luckyfatima Oct 21, 2012 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Herbes de Provence, you mean?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. whs RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 21, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I received a cheese plate made out of a flattened Grey Goose bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. gmm RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 21, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think in general, the biggest thing with being a foodie is that when it comes to gadgets, you already have everything you want, and most likely a better version than the average person would buy. My parents gave on up on trying to figure out gifts for me around 20 years ago, and stick with cash, which is always appreciated.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chowrin RE: gmm Oct 21, 2012 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *nods* yeah, if all else fails "here's what we were thinking of getting you... want it or the cash"? better than making people return stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gmm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wahooty RE: gmm Oct 21, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. I've received my share of cheap wine charms from friends that don't fit my one-of-a-kind ceramic-stemmed wine glasses (which have nothing to do with wine snobbery and everything to do with being related to two beloved potters), but my mom has learned the value of the Amazon Wishlist (tm). Last year, she gave me the end-grain acacia cutting board I desperately wanted - I use it every day and think of her and Dad regularly when I do. It helps when the gift-givers are foodies too. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. team_cake RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 22, 2012 05:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I once worked part-time at a place where one of the higher-up administrator's wives gave each of the full-time employees a "homemade" fruitcake at Christmas, each wrapped in tissue paper. One year I noticed one of the unwrapped cakes on a co-workers desk, and for some reason I turned it over while I was looking at it -- there was a price tag still stuck to the cellophane on the bottom of the cake. So much for "homemade." Also, I'm not sure why she went to so much trouble to lie about it; personally, I was already suspicious since the number of full-time employees at this place must have been close to 100. That's a lot of fruit cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. team_cake RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 22, 2012 05:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, oh...I just remembered another one (sorry for second post here). One year for my birthday (which falls in the middle of holiday season, so I often get "combined" gifts) my father sent me a CRATE of grapefruit from some company specializing in citrus gifts -- I don't even remember if there was a specific farm associated with the company, but I doubt it. I do not care for grapefruit, and these were just grocery-store quality imo, maybe larger than average, so not anything that would change my mind about grapefruit. I think my bf at the time ended up eating grapefruit until he OD' on citrus. Then the following year, my father sent me several dozen bags of "gourmet" English muffins even though I had been following a no-carb regimen for some time. Those muffins sat in the freezer, while my same bf gamely tried to work his way through those, too. My dad is also a fan of sending my brother and me holiday gift boxes of food from Hickory Farms or Swiss Colony. I'm convinced Dad likes to receive the free gift (like a box of petit-fours) for himself when you purchase however many dollars in other items, not so much as he thinks we all want boxes with little wedges of processed cheese and small bags of overpriced pretzels and nuts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: team_cake Oct 23, 2012 08:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Several years ago we got a big box of assorted Proctor and Gamble paper products. Apparently my father was a stockholder and they sent him some information about sending these gift boxes out. We certainly used the products, but whatever the cost was, we would have rather had something else. The other day I took him to the General Mills annual meeting (these old guys really like the free stuff they give stockholders at the annual meeting). He mentioned something about sending out General Mills gift boxes this year and I politely suggested he go to a plan b.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. cayjohan RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 22, 2012 11:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every year for the past 4 or 5 years as the holidays approach, a family member assiduously researches restaurants so to buy my husband and me a gift certificate for dinner out. This research involves a round-robin of phone calls to other family members that invariably winds up with someone calling me and saying "So-and-so wants to get you a restaurant certificate as a gift; what are some places you like or want to try?" (No, there are no surprises in that branch of the family; one just has to keep up the pretense!) I dutifully tick off a few appropriate choices, and on we march to gift-giving season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every year, we receive a festive card in the mail with something along the lines of "Happy Holidays Cay and Mr. Cay! Have a wonderful dinner at (Restaurant X) on me! Salutations, So-and-so." But that's it; nothing else flutters out of the envelope - no gift card/certificate/check. The first year, when questioned by the giver whether we enjoyed the dinner, my husband mentioned that perhaps there had been a mix up, that no certificate was enclosed on the card. The response was a lightly humorous "Oh, really? That's too bad then." It was perplexing. It's even more perplexing that the same gift has been repeated in years since, same "have dinner at x on me!" greeting, with no certificate. Since this branch of the family is managed by Mr. Cay, and he doesn't want to embroil himself in sussing out this particular mystery (it's not like we need a dinner out really, and I'm not one to really give two hoots about things like gift equity or keeping score), we still don't know how this particular little dinner thing is supposed to work. It's not an invitation to dine with the giver, as So-and-so lives clear across the country, so that explanation's out. We wondered after the second year if we were supposed to, um, send a bill and get reimbursed? (No, not *really*; it was just funny musing.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every year, So-and-so does make a good choice for the non-certificate, however. Last year, after a particularly hectic holiday season, we actually decided to eat at the restaurant in question as a treat, had a great meal and toasted So-and-so for a lovely suggestion! What else can one do?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm starting to think we may be on the receiving end of some private joke, but we can't think what it might be. I find I'm actually looking forward to the upcoming replay. Where will our non-certificate take us this year?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: cayjohan Oct 23, 2012 12:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sorry -- maybe my family is more blunt than yours -- while I'd have overlooked it the first couple of years, by the 4th or 5th year, I'd have just flat-out asked what the joke is, because you have yet to actually receive a gift card or gift certificate to any of the restaurants. I probably would ask it in front of the rest of the family, because they're making it a big deal by involving the rest of them, therefore continue the big-deal involvement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of several things is going on --

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a) They really are going to the restaurants and buying a card or certificate and just getting ripped off (doubtful) -- thus paying money for nothing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                b) They really don't get that they need to send you the certificate/card/letter -- thus paying money for nothing (and thinking you're ungrateful twits for not thanking them or letting them know how it was -- and if they're involving the rest of the family in the buying process, you can bet they're bitching about you to the rest of them about your ingratitude.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c) They're making you the butt of a rather asinine joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                None of these is a scenario that should be allowed to continue -- the first two to keep them from spending what is I'm assuming a not-insubstantial amount of money to treat you to a nice meal that you're not getting, and the third to stop being cuckolded by someone who thinks they're being funny or cute, and harnessing the rest of the family into their joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  drasil RE: cayjohan Oct 23, 2012 02:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  or they're *particularly* mean-spirited and are 'paying you back' for something or other, maybe some unfulfilled promise of long ago to treat them to an evening out? thankfully, I doubt this is the case, because one of you would probably remember... right? unfortunately, my soon-to-be in-laws live on this level of behavior, which is why I'm suggesting it; I think before I met them I would never have imagined that people would actually use the holidays and gift-giving as a vehicle to attack "loved ones."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  in any event, I tend to go sunshine's route when they pull stunts of that nature, but in this case, I'm actually inspired by how easily you seem to shrug it off. way to go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. kubasd RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 23, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reading through these, I was reminded of one that I am still perplexed by. A jaccard meat tenderizer.... and I've been a vegetarian for 10.5 years. Maybe they didn't know what it did and thought it just looked cool?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enigma3 RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 23, 2012 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyone else ever received a Chia hairy butt crack? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. iluvcookies RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 24, 2012 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure I have mentioned this before, but I was most puzzled by the battery operated frosting gun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What is even more surprising is that the giver--my SIL--has given me wonderful kitchen gifts in the past (Atlas pasta maker, KA shredder attachment, Calphalon skillet). I know she got it because I do a lot of baking for my nephew's school. Ended up exchanging it for a cupcake carrier:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iluvcookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        flourgirl RE: iluvcookies Oct 24, 2012 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Ended up exchanging it for a cupcake carrier:"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good exchange! I love my cupcake carrier, I get more use out if it than I even expected to, and I'm more likely to bake cupcakes to bring places because I know I have an easy way of transporting them. It's also one of my most frequently borrowed items by my friends - which is great, I'm glad I can help out. It's nice to have friends to share pantries with. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. John E. RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 27, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think giving a cookbook to a foodie is a bad idea unless the gift giver knows for a fact that that particular cookbook is something the gift receiver would like to have. I once got a cookbook as a gift and it was something I had little interest in. The sentiment was fine but they were basically non-cooks and had no idea what they were doing. (I don't even remember what the cookbook was specifically. It was one of those cookbooks churned out by publishing houses by the truckloads).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kontxesi RE: John E. Oct 31, 2012 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've received three cookbooks over my relatively-short cooking lifespan (I'm 24), and none of them were particularly objectionable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One was a homemade compilation of family recipes from my grandma (poorly organized/edited, but fun to have), one was something that I'm having trouble remembering (some sort of Better Homes and Gardens then-and-now kinda thing) also from my grandma, and "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge" from my step-mom. The last one was accompanied by a wok, a spider strainer, sesame oil.... Probably one of the best gifts I've ever gotten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. pdxgastro RE: Breadcrumbs Oct 27, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My friend knew I drink coffee so he gave me a stainless steel rack full of coffee 'flavorings' in test tubes. Except all I take is milk. Sigh. Good intentions, right?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            verysimple RE: pdxgastro Oct 28, 2012 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Similar... My parents own and work full-time in a cafe with quite a strong focus on coffee origin, etc, so obviously have endless access to beans for their home espresso machine. My dad's sister visits us about once a month or so and every time Dad makes her a coffee with said machine, so she can clearly see the grinding of beans, dosing, etc etc. Last Christmas she gave him a storage rack for coffee pods - like the Nespresso ones. Mum, Dad and I all just looked at each other and agreed not to say anything about it, but later she asked 'you DO use a machine with pods, don't you?'... The best part was probably when Dad replied in the negative she exclaimed 'oh! So what coffee do you use then?'

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AmyH RE: verysimple Oct 29, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow! That takes cluelessness to a whole new level!

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