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Dec 8, 2011 05:02 AM

Food Gift Giving - Other Than Sweets

We all have a friend or two who is not a foodie - that leaves out gadgets & other kitchen related items. Some don't eat sweets for various reasons. Some have gluten problems. I am determined to give food related items from now on out. Makes sense to me...everybody's got to eat & it is just a waste of money to go to the store & pick out something they really don't need or want. With all that said, I am sitting here with no clue whatsoever about what to fix. Please put on your thinking caps so we can feed these people.

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  1. As in a holiday gift? I think giving a frozen food item kind of weird, unless this person couldn't make meals for themselves or needs help with meals.
    I would rather give a nonfoodie, well, no food, but maybe a custom CD mix.
    But, if you want to give food as a gift to someone that doesn't like sweets, and has no dietary restrictions, spiced nuts are nice, or an infused vinegar, with directions for use. Also, a savory cracker in a decorative tin would be good, too.

    15 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      wgogal, I was in the process of editing this post when you posted this, but yeah, you are right about the frozen food thing.

      1. re: cstout

        Yep, you sure did edit it! ;)

        1. re: wyogal

          infused vinegars are nice, things like pickled peaches if you know how to make sure you sanitize the jars, savories like chutneys (ditto re: the jars), i put up honeyed clementines to serve with pork or chicken, preserved lemons with recipes for tagines (this is so simple and is always received with wonderment for some reason), and I've taken to providing my celiac friends with any of the above plus King Arthur's gluten-free products (flour, pizza crust mix).

          1. re: teezeetoo

            teezeetoo, those ideas sound great. I have never heard of honeyed clementines. Will search the net for that & the preserved lemons. Thank you.

          2. re: wyogal

            I made home made Italian pork sausage for 6 close friends/neighbors, but they live so close I can just run it over and they can pop it back into the freezer pronto.

          3. re: cstout

            I guess I should plan my thoughts first. I think while typing & sometimes that is not a good thing. Your idea of a CD mix is great though. I would like to do that but don't know how to make my own CDs & it's no use me trying this so late in the game. But that will be a new project I want to get into.

            1. re: cstout

              Our family makes a lot of ethnic food that people absolutely love to receive.....we make Greek and Lebanese food that others don't know how to make. We love giving this gift of food.

              1. re: cstout

                I had posted about how we love to make ethnic food for people who don't know how to make it. Greek stuffed grape leaves are the best!!! I am attaching a photo of them :) Mmmmmm!!!!

                1. re: PartyPlanningPals

                  PartyPlanningPals, I am just thinking you could give a class on how to make ethnic food. Folks love to attend cooking classes & if you don't have much room, just do the "show & tell" demo. It sure it would be a hit.

            2. re: wyogal

              +1 on spiced nuts (or spiced, roasted chickpeas) and infused vinegars or oils - i jumped on this thread just to suggest those.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                goodhealthgourmet, yes the nuts sound great, does anyone have a great recipe for them?

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    WOW goodhealthgourmet,,,,looks like I won't get much sleep again tonight, got to readd all those links you sent. You are a dear for sharing that with us.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Clementine's does terrific spiced nuts, wrapped with a little bow. Great little gifts. I think you have to order them. If you're making them, there are lots of recipes online. The one from the Danny Meyer restaurant in New York seems to be a real favorite.

                  1. re: perk

                    i assume this reply was meant for cstout and not me...? coincidentally, i posted links to the recipes for the bar nuts from two of Danny Meyer's restaurants :)

              2. Last year I did two batches of "party mix." One sorta traditional with chex cereal, pretzels, and nuts; the other was a cranberry-nut recipe from the Chex website. Put them in decorated mason jars,
                each person got a bag with both kinds. Easy to do, gluten-free and not too sweet. Even the snooty foodie on the list liked them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Samalicious

                  Samalicious, oohhhhh weee, that cranberry-nut mix sounds like I would like to receive that myself, I suddenly have the munches....two great ideas. Thanks.

                2. Sometimes a gift certificate to a local place is the best way to go for folks who don't spend time in their own kitchens. Not necessarily a dinner for two but a local cafe or lunch stop, a place with wonderful breads or soup....for about $10-15 (about the same it would cost to make something) is a nice unexpected food gift.

                  For the folks in our life that take good care of us (think service workers) we wrap a local menu around a bank gift card. Smoothie King, cafes, small local spots that don't have their own gc's printed.

                  21 Replies
                  1. re: HillJ

                    HillJ, I have taken a friend out to dim sum for several years, but that is a good idea about the gift certificate...that way she can go whenever she wants. Do you have any ideas what to give someone in a nursing home?

                    1. re: cstout

                      Do you have any ideas what to give someone in a nursing home?

                      Are there dietary considerations?
                      My first thought is hard candies; a nice assortment in a festive container.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        HillJ, as for as diet considerations, I just pice 2 or 3 people at the nursing to bring little presents, some of those folks appreciate anything. The hard candies are a great idea.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Nursing home gift ideas: socks. and more socks. Nice, fuzzy warm socks with rubber stuff on the bottom. I heard that is one of the most requested items.

                          1. re: wyogal

                            Just throw some hard candies inside the socks....they deserve a nice treat (and warm feet!)

                            1. re: HillJ

                              :) Those coffee flavored hard candies, along with lemon drops.

                              1. re: wyogal

                                My FIL loved black licorce hard candies. We use to find wrappers inside all the cushions of his car and sofa!

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Black licorice hard candies? Mmmmm sounds good and would like to try those. Do you have a name brand?

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      HillJ, thanks for the link, I know someone who absolutely loves licorice.....ME...wel.l I know another person too, so that will make it worthwhile to order. YUM. Most people hate the stuff, but if they tasted a really good bite of licorice, they might reconsider. Those on the web site are a far cry from the ones you used to buy at the dime store & they would put them in a little brown sack. I've come a long way more brown sacks for me!!!!!

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        Thanks HillJ. Gonna get me some! Had a flash back to childhood when I though Smith Brother's black licorice cough drops were candy.

                                        1. re: Island

                                          You weren't the only one.....made having a sore throat almost worth it!

                                            1. re: wyogal

                                              I was kind of partial to the cherry ones.

                                    2. re: wyogal

                                      I love the coffee candies myself! We use to slow melt a lemon drop inside my grandmothers hot tea.

                                    3. re: HillJ

                                      HillJ, love the idea of candies in the socks, wyogal suggested lemon drops, so many elderly folks get dry mouth & those candies seem to help a lot. Let us all make a little gift bag or two & drop it off at a nursing home. You don't even have to know anyone there, just tell person at the front desk you left a present for someone that might not have someone to give them a gift. Trust me, every nursing home has a few of those folks. Forgive me for deviating from the the subject, but those people are so special & a little gift can mean the world to them.

                                      1. re: cstout

                                        Thank you cstout, that's an excellent idea/suggestion/giving idea. My family outreaches to the food pantry and men's shelter each year and nursing homes, as you said, are just as appreciative. (Including the people who work @ nursing homes.)

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          HillJ, yes, it would be a great idea to make a big dish of chicken spagetthi or some other casserole in a disposable pan to leave in the break room of the nursing home. Bring along some paper plates & forks too so they can put some on a plate & put it in the microwave. You would be amazed how fast that food will disappear!!!!! They love it. Or how "bout a big pan of cinnamon rolls????

                                    4. re: wyogal

                                      Yes, socks are always welcome. Also body shower products are always requested by the staff members, don't know why.

                                      1. re: cstout

                                        Many staff members assist the residents with personal hygiene. Have a handy product that fits in your pocket is a godsend.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          HillJ, that explains why shower products are better than soap. Thanks for answering my question.

                              2. I know the frozen thing sounds odd but last year I did slice and bake crackers. Wrapped them up and gave them with a bottle of wine and people loved them because it was a quick to fix and jazz up a cheese tray or just to have as a nibble. i did blue cheese walnut and parmesan thyme.



                                8 Replies
                                1. re: juli5122

                                  juli5122, I think the lice & bake crackers are super & thanks for posting where to get the recipes. I am going there now.

                                  1. re: cstout

                                    I don't personally care for lice. Ha. :-}

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      sandylc, yep, that spell check can only do so much...can't correct stupid mistakes...some of my keys stick & it becomes a problem.....too much food stuck down in there. Sorry.

                                      1. re: cstout

                                        Auto correct on texting is even worse!!!!

                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          sandylc, I have read some "auto corrects" on google news & they were absolutely hysterical....I don't do texting...have a hard enough time just posting here. Oh well, we manage to get the thought across one way or the other.

                                    2. re: cstout


                                      Food & Wine mag had a great article with cocktail savory cookies with recipes by Dorie Greenspan in the Nov. Issue. Super easy, and interesting flavors. I am making some for gift giving myself. They seem rather chic to me, and just different enough. Great for wine lovers who know too much about wine for you to give them any - many of my friends!

                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        gingershelley, darn it! I was just at the library today & could have sat down & looked through the Food & Wine magazines. Thank you so much for the info..maybe I can google "Dorie Greenspan savory cookies"....maybe I can come up with something. This year I think I am going to try for "less is more" in my food gift giving. I used to always try to give a wide variety, but this year I want to just give a couple of really tasty treats that cost more but leave an impression. These savory cookies seem like the ideal thing. Thanks for posting.

                                        1. re: cstout

                                          cstout, link to the recipes is right there in my post:)

                                  2. Two of the best food gifts I ever received were from Harry & David....

                                    Pears and Pecan Shortbread Cookies.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      this would have to be more of a time sensitive thing as far as when you make it and when you gift it, but last year I brought a tin of homemade cinnamon buns as a christmas eve hostess gift....they went right in her fridge for their slow overnight second rise and i had written out baking instructions. I also gave a small tin of a a pancetta/spinach strata (which is a savory overnight french toast. it was a huge hit and i have requests for it again this year.

                                      1. re: ediecooks

                                        ediecooks, could you freeze the cinnamon buns before the second rise or just let them rise & then freeze them? I am not familiar how to do breads & rolls to prepare for freezing & then thawing. I would have to go the frozen route if this is possible.

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          fourunder, yes anything from Harry & David is special in my books. Love it all from them. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                          1. re: cstout

                                            I don't mean to rain on this, but I received a gift through Harry & David a couple of years ago that I am sure the gift-giver would have been ashamed of. It was something like one dried-up orange, one tasteless apple, three cashews in a bag, etc. Puts the receiver in a difficult position; gosh thanks so much, we really enjoyed it - when the giver was really ripped off!!! Point-and-click shopping can be wonderful, but buyer beware!

                                            1. re: sandylc

                                              sandylc, I too have wondered about people shipping fruit from one part of the US to the other..your point was well made. I think if most folks would buy "in season" at their own store, maybe things would be better. I shy away from "bags" of any fruit, would rather pay a few cents more & pick out that one special orange, apple, pear or whatever. Also, you could make a wonderful gift basket yourself on doing just that & leave the "shipping" for different things. Just sayin".