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Reverse "Worst Foodie Gifts"

Michelly Oct 27, 2012 05:17 PM

Breadcrumbs started an incredibly fun thread about what well-intentioned non-foodies have given you, thinking you'd just love instant caramel hot chocolate, etc. (My favorite is the cake slicer that played 5 tunes including "Jingle Bells" ! HeeHee!!)

But...have you ever given some non-foodie person a "foodie" gift, only to have it not appreciated for what it was in some way?
We recently visited our neighbors bearing a $75 tequila as a present. The wife thanked us profusely and took it to the kitchen to get glasses. When she came out, she had used it make bloody marys! and with a very cheap mix, on top of it!
My husband sat quietly, with a red face, mouth a thin line, and steam wafting out of his ears (only I could see it), and on the way home, he kept repeating "Never again! Never again! Never again!" all the way.
Yup...they get the Cuervo 1800 next time!

  1. eclecticsynergy Jan 14, 2013 11:46 PM

    I was sure I'd posted this already, but it must've been on another thread. Classic case of underappreciated gift...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUCpO...

    1. Bill Hunt Dec 22, 2012 08:41 PM

      I once gave the "Durian Fruit of the Month," to some ex-friends.

      Hunt

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bill Hunt
        gaffk Dec 23, 2012 01:37 PM

        Clever way to trim next year's gift recipient list.

      2. i
        INDIANRIVERFL Nov 27, 2012 04:15 PM

        Aprons. Why do they give me aprons? Funny ones, heavy duty, butcher, one even had ruffles.

        I have never worn an apron.

        4 Replies
        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
          khh1138 Nov 30, 2012 02:23 PM

          You know, it's funny, I never wear aprons in the kitchen either. I don't find them comfortable at all. But I brought home one of my labcoats to use when I run my juicer, and it's amazing how many flecks of green and orange appear on the sleeves and the front. I recommend picking up a labcoat! It has pockets and everything. And I can move easily in it. You can buy them in any uniform shop.

          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
            flourgirl Nov 30, 2012 03:08 PM

            I don't wear aprons either. They drive me crazy. If I know I'm probably going to get messy, I put on some old clothes and change afterwards.

            1. re: flourgirl
              s
              sandylc Nov 30, 2012 05:37 PM

              Yeah. I have "frying" shirts, for example; you know, those free T-shirts, or your kid's old soccer club shirts, etc.

              1. re: sandylc
                c
                ceekskat Dec 21, 2012 08:10 AM

                Ha, me too!

          2. o
            occula Nov 27, 2012 11:13 AM

            My in-laws have a christmas eve tradition of games and noshing. Lots of veggie platters, sweets, and munchies. I brought hummus (and pitas) as a dipping alternative for the celery and carrots. Two or three years later I finally got tired of explaining what hummus was and dropped the idea. Slow learner.

            They don't really like unfamiliar food items. That's fine - everyone has some food-related thing that puts them off, and I don't mean to lampoon them for not having wider horizons. But I HAD thought hummus would be fairly safe. :-)

            1 Reply
            1. re: occula
              danna Jan 2, 2013 07:22 AM

              maybe you could try calling it "bean dip". I feel for you...it never occured to me my family would be horrified by gazpacho.

            2. alliegator Nov 8, 2012 01:14 PM

              Last time I visited my family, my dad was recovering from knee surgery and not so moblie in the kitchen and my mom had worked a long day, so I said I'd bring dinner over. Something they were sure to love. Being fans of lobster and mac and cheese, I went to a lot of work and spent a fair amount of $ to make a really nice lobster mac n cheese.
              The response was "who puts lobster in mac n cheese? This is weird".
              So now I know next time to just drive by and throw a box of Kraft Cheez & Macaroni outta the car window :D

              4 Replies
              1. re: alliegator
                k
                Kathleen M Nov 8, 2012 02:11 PM

                Ya know, I also love lobster and mac and cheese, but always thought the combination was weird also. For one thing, I don't like cheese with seafood, and it always seems to me that the other tastes would overwhelm the lobster. But if someone brought me some, you know I'd eat it up1

                1. re: alliegator
                  c
                  cleobeach Nov 8, 2012 04:38 PM

                  Sigh.....that sounds like something my father would have said. The best of intentions.....(replying to aliegator)

                  1. re: alliegator
                    Chemicalkinetics Nov 8, 2012 04:47 PM

                    <The response was "who puts lobster in mac n cheese? This is weird">

                    It does not mean they do not like it though or that they do not appreciate it. They probably just think it is wasteful to put expensive lobster in mac and cheese.

                    1. re: alliegator
                      t
                      tastesgoodwhatisit Nov 11, 2012 07:08 PM

                      I don't know - I love homemade mac and cheese, and I love lobster.

                      My instinctive reaction to lobster mac and cheese would be "Why did you spend all that money to ruin perfectly good lobster!"

                    2. j
                      JonasOftoronto Nov 6, 2012 08:17 PM

                      I have lived, and learned - if people are not even gourmet-curious, don't expect them to be.

                      I gave a great knife to my sister who ruined it, and she already has many more knives she has no idea how to sharpen.
                      I gave pretty expensive honey to few people, who either just blinked, or they re-gifted it (it promptly vanished and they went back to that awful Honey Bee brand.)
                      I have friends that are SCARED of tasting olive oil - whoops, no $22 Silver Leaf for them as a gift.
                      Also never bring a special or costly wine you expect to enjoy, since it will be confiscated. Hosts can be inept about this, even overlooking your empty glass for hours.

                      Consumer ignorance is fully evident - but it's better to skirt around it than rudely confront it. Be glad for those things you secretly get to enjoy and those you can share it with.

                      1. c
                        caffeination Nov 6, 2012 06:24 PM

                        At a past Thanksgiving dinner, the son of a family friend brought a couple bottles of wine from Montepulciano. The older generation at the table expressed how great it was that he brought the wine, took initial sips, proclaimed it "not sweet enough," and promptly mixed it in a 1:1 ratio with Sprite. The look on the son's face was priceless.

                        1. n
                          NicoleFriedman Nov 3, 2012 07:16 AM

                          I would absolutely be offended by an obvious lack of appreciation. However, once a gift has been accepted, it would be entirely selfish of myself to criticize how the gift is used or enjoyed. If you are someone who would literally cringe seeing the expensive alcohol you purchased be used in a cocktail, then simply never give it as a gift. Sure, you can "educate" the recipient on the "proper" way to enjoy it, but that does not mean that the recipient will or even should enjoy the gift in that specific way. We need to all remember that tastes are very subjective, and gifts are supposed to be about making the recipient happy, not the giver.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: NicoleFriedman
                            l
                            latindancer Nov 3, 2012 08:21 AM

                            <We need to all remember that tastes are very subjective, and gifts are supposed to be about making the recipient happy, not the giver>

                            Bravo. Well stated.

                            1. re: latindancer
                              KaimukiMan Nov 6, 2012 06:19 PM

                              reminded of that line from the children's classic "the velveteen rabbit"

                              'This is a gift, it is freely given, with no strings attached.'

                              isn't that the true definition of a gift.
                              something we all need to remember more often.

                          2. j
                            Jambie Nov 1, 2012 03:48 PM

                            I was in London one time and wanted to get a gift for a co-worker who got stuck doing my job while I was gone. I got her some not inexpensive chocolate and it sat on her desk for months. Come to find out, she does not eat chocolate and rather than tell me, she just let it sit there and eventually tossed it out when we switched offices.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Jambie
                              meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 04:10 PM

                              It boggles the mind. Surely she knew someone who would have enjoyed it. I'd rather it be regifted than thrown away.

                              1. re: Jambie
                                s
                                sandylc Nov 1, 2012 04:12 PM

                                Odd. She should have taken it home right away and then gotten rid of it/given it away out of your sight. With thanks for the gift expressed, of course.

                                1. re: Jambie
                                  j
                                  Jambie Nov 1, 2012 05:07 PM

                                  Yeah, it was kind of an expensive and painful lesson about bringing gifts back for people. It was awkward because once it became obvious that she didn't want it, I wanted to take it back but how do you start that conversation?

                                  1. re: Jambie
                                    gaffk Nov 1, 2012 05:31 PM

                                    Boggling indeed. If she didn't want it, why didn't she open it and offer it to others in the office?

                                    I used to work in a department where there was a lot of travel to Europe. The standing rule was the traveler had to bring back a box of the best chocolate the destination had to offer to share with the department. Damn, I miss those days.

                                    1. re: gaffk
                                      Michelly Nov 2, 2012 06:07 PM

                                      I'll take it! Send it to me! :D

                                  2. f
                                    FriedClamFanatic Nov 1, 2012 11:45 AM

                                    I hate to admit it, but I'm sure if I snooped around my siblings, children's and friend's pantries, I'd find many of our past holiday gifts....the "season salt" for Popcorn (1985 or so), the hot chocolate mix (2008), the homemade linguica sausage, fed-exed at no mean expense (2004--Gawd I hope they thrown that out!).etc etc........ Granted.....our holiday treats are usually divined with tongue firmly in cheek, so I don't really mind. As they say, it's the thought that counts.....and it does make for more fun then another round of Omaha Styrofoam.

                                    At least most of them kept the cookbook of all the things we have made for visitors with the date and who was here to "sample" the treat on its intial unveiling...along with any pertinent current events. By the time I got that printed, bound, and sent, I could have bought them all a NYT #1 best-seller cookbook for 3 years running!

                                    Still pondering what what culinary delight will descend on all of them this year

                                    14 Replies
                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                      t
                                      thegforceny Nov 1, 2012 11:53 AM

                                      Why would you spend so much time and money on something you suspect they clearly do not want, need or appreciate? Again, gifts aren't about you, the giver.

                                      1. re: thegforceny
                                        f
                                        FriedClamFanatic Nov 1, 2012 11:59 AM

                                        It's about the smile that it brings to the recipients.......they almost always speak fondly of their happy "surprise"............Cost is not an issue

                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                          t
                                          thegforceny Nov 1, 2012 06:13 PM

                                          They do not want the 'gift'. YOU want this 'smile'. Again, a gift is for the recipient, not the giver.

                                          1. re: thegforceny
                                            Lillipop Nov 1, 2012 10:20 PM

                                            One thing I have learned within my own "tribe" is that sometimes we are wasting our time money and good will searching for... finding... paying for and delivering that "perfect gift".I have learned to give a gift card to my foodie son and daughter because they are very particular about what they use in their kitchens.Works for me:)

                                            1. re: thegforceny
                                              j
                                              julesrules Nov 2, 2012 03:44 AM

                                              I disagree. It's a selfish recipient who thinks it's all about them. If I knew FriedClam I would appreciate the effort and fun on their behalf - even if the gifts went in the trash.

                                              1. re: julesrules
                                                t
                                                thegforceny Nov 2, 2012 07:56 AM

                                                I would appreciate the effort and fun on their behalf - even if the gifts went in the trash.

                                                ---------------

                                                Living in lower Manhattan right now, it is hard for me to see the fun in such abject waste of food. Waste is never really fun to me.

                                                1. re: thegforceny
                                                  l
                                                  latindancer Nov 3, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                  <it is hard for me to see the fun in such abject waste of food>

                                                  So true, thegforceny. The survivor instinct, of those experiencing this hurricane, being telecast across the world is beyond comprehension. Wastes of ANYTHING should give everyone pause. Fun? hmmmm.

                                              2. re: thegforceny
                                                f
                                                FriedClamFanatic Nov 2, 2012 02:37 PM

                                                Your opinion..and you are welcome to it...you know not my friends and family and what we do.........but I can say.....my gifts.........liike theirs....are appreciated for what they are....to bring a little smle and a laugh

                                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                  Lillipop Nov 2, 2012 05:21 PM

                                                  ........but I can say.....my gifts.........liike theirs....are appreciated for what they are....to bring a little smle and a laugh
                                                  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DITTO!!!!!!!!! Most people LOVE the "little things" that count and the personalized attention.

                                                  1. re: Lillipop
                                                    f
                                                    FriedClamFanatic Nov 3, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                    He-sus!....lighten up ppl! You have no idea of my life or family....but you jump all over me because I got them something silly that is food-oriented!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    Go buy them another tie!..........Sheesh! About as useful

                                                    I will bet they remember my gift long after...wioth a giggle and a smile....then your oh so PC gift!

                                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                      d
                                                      dmjordan Nov 6, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                      Not to butt in here, but are you sure that you meant to reply to Lillipop? She/he seems to be agreeing with you. Lillipop just mentioned upthread about some rudeness she has been encountering on this site. And if you are responding to Lillipop, I don't get it.

                                                      1. re: dmjordan
                                                        f
                                                        FriedClamFanatic Nov 7, 2012 06:38 AM

                                                        sorry.got put in the wrong layer...I was referring to the person who criticized my choice of gifts

                                            2. re: thegforceny
                                              olyolyy Nov 1, 2012 01:46 PM

                                              Yikes that's pretty harsh.

                                            3. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                              khh1138 Nov 6, 2012 08:48 PM

                                              Homemade linguiça! How do I get on your Xmas list! Sigh.

                                            4. meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 11:27 AM

                                              My ex's sister & her fiancé would fly in for Christmas and stay with her mother in our town. The sister & her beau enjoy food - eating and cooking. We had many conversations and shared meals over the years and I felt I had a good handle on their interests.

                                              The first time we visited her, my ex was working as a coffee roaster and enjoyed the perks of free beans. I packaged a dozen varieties and arranged them in a basket with some local specialties (Moravian cookies) that I knew she liked as a bread and butter gift. She expressed pleasure several times. A year later we visited and the basket was untouched. My ex expressed surprise and she said it was just too pretty to take apart.

                                              Over the years I choose many food related gifts for them for Christmas. The response was always very enthusiastic. Even detailed - "I love this cookbook author - my friend made this recipe last month and said it was amazing!" I included non-perishable specialty ingredients to tie in with recipes. Since they were flying I choose with that in mind and offered many times to box up their gifts and ship them to make life easier. They always declined and assured me it was under control.

                                              After 5 years of these exchanges my ex was assisting their mother in rearranging the attic and came across ALL of the Christmas gifts we had given to the sister & fiancé over the years.

                                              We were a bit stunned since they had seemed so pleased with the choices. I try hard to match a gift to the recipients interests and my focus is to provide something which delights. It just seemed such a waste having the items languish in the attic. I would have felt better had they exchanged the gifts or even donated them to charity. The vision of the gifts just gathering dust and slowly disintegrating left me feeling very empty.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: meatn3
                                                j
                                                julesrules Nov 1, 2012 01:01 PM

                                                I love receiving cookbooks. I rarely use them. I hate to throw out nice gifts I really want to use, someday, but I have limited shelf space in my kitchen. So. Some vey nice cookbooks *I really want to use someday, when I have time and my kids will eat authentic Indian, etc, yada yada yada* were put in my basement storage pile last week :(

                                                1. re: julesrules
                                                  meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 03:51 PM

                                                  I can see why you would do that. In this case nothing, at all, had been brought home by the sister & her SO. It was all stashed in her mothers attic - even food. I never inquired if it was just the gifts we had given or if there were others too.

                                                  I do believe in judicious use of the family grapevine. If gifts are just a poor match the grapevine can be used so the giver hears of ideas the receiver would like.

                                                  All you can do is try and hope that they like it. If they don't, hopefully they will appreciate the sentiment behind the gift.

                                                  1. re: meatn3
                                                    j
                                                    julesrules Nov 2, 2012 03:39 AM

                                                    Oh sorry I missed the point that the gifts didn't even make it home! That is sad, and odd. Maybe they had good intentions to take it all home, "someday"?
                                                    Your shipping offer was gracious but one I would probably not accept (thinking it would put you out too much).

                                                2. re: meatn3
                                                  Lillipop Nov 2, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                  meatn3 My adult son and daughter are foodies. After seeing the super expensive ice cream serving bowls I had purchased ( because she makes a lot of home made delicious ice creams) for my daughter filled with Friskies and water sitting on her kitchen floor....well I now just give them cash/gift cards to get what they want!

                                                  1. re: Lillipop
                                                    hyacinthgirl Nov 3, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                    Hi Lili, up-thread I saw you're new to Chow, so, Welcome!
                                                    Just wanted to comment about your daughter's use of the ice cream bowls- I know plenty of people who enjoy using beautiful, special items in unexpected ways. In fact I use a lovely silver Indian tea cup as a toothbrush holder. This isn't because I don't respect or love the item, but rather becomes a way to bring beauty and mystery to the parts of life that sometimes go overlooked and left in the mundane.
                                                    That said, I don't think anyone was ever unhappy receiving a gift card to a store they love!

                                                  2. re: meatn3
                                                    l
                                                    latindancer Nov 2, 2012 06:31 AM

                                                    Wow.

                                                    I think this is why I give either flowers or a bottle of something or a gift card. That's a pretty stunning story.
                                                    You'd think they'd realize one day someone would find all the gifts you'd given over the years.
                                                    It makes me wonder why they'd take the chance.

                                                    1. re: meatn3
                                                      j
                                                      Jeanne Nov 2, 2012 04:15 PM

                                                      That would have bothered me too! I love cookbooks and have been given 2 in the past year by two different friends. Was a great gift and they know how much I will enjoy them.

                                                      Your coffee gift with Moravian cookies was a great gift too! Sorry about your disappointment (and confusion)!

                                                      1. re: meatn3
                                                        flourgirl Nov 8, 2012 04:19 AM

                                                        I have read many similar posts like this in related threads on CH and it makes me glad that the adults in my family, on both sides, largely ditched the gift giving tradition many years ago. Everybody came to the realization that it was adding a lot of stress to the holidays, a lot of money was being wasted because it is very very difficult these days to buy the right gift for a lot people who already have a lot of stuff, we were all ending up with a lot of stuff we really didn't want, need or have room for and it really wasn't adding anything to the holidays. Now we mostly just buy for the kids and enjoy each others company & the holiday season is actually all the brighter fur it.

                                                        1. re: flourgirl
                                                          danna Nov 8, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                          Same with my extended family. Many years ago we decided to ditch the gift-giving except for the children, but then after one family member who owned a little nursery gave everyone a fancy arrangement of pansies, the tradition of a small-but-personnal gift, sometimes homemade was born. That was wonderful ...for a while. And then the stress of that got to be worse than actually buying a gift, and sometimes more expensive.

                                                          During the years we did that, I made: cranberry vinegar, pots of forced paperwhites, hot cocoa mix, beer can chicken rub mix+ recipe card, muscadine jelly, frozen boxes of puff pastry straws and god knows what else. I wouldn't be surprised if none of it were ever used. Fortunately we put an official stop to the "small gifts" a couple of years ago...it was wearing me out, and the folks who didn't cook, paint, work w/ plants etc. wound up buying gift cards again.

                                                      2. Michelly Nov 1, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                        Interestingly, this thread seems to have turned into one on hosts, guests, and manners.
                                                        However, I has started it because. as a foodie, I have, and share with you fellow foodies, a certain appreciation/obsession for the wonderful nuances inherent in food, food prep, food rituals, and all things food- (and drink-) related. For us, food is not merely sustenance; it is a Pleasure of life (and a MAJOR one at that, even possibly a reason for living) ...and then there are people like my ex, for whom food is just something you shove in your face and consume to stay alive. It wouldn't matter to him if it were a hand-made, well-balanced mole, or if it were spam dug out of the can with a spoon (I did say he is my "ex"). I don't think I'm better than him, I just appreciate the joys of food more, and if spam is what rocks his boat, then that's what works for him (and I'm glad to know that wherever he is, he will be, by his standards, eating well). If Thunderbird is in your glass or Folger's is in your cup and you're happy, more power to you. You can find something you deem decent to drink more easily than I.
                                                        So..despite all the great stories here, my purpose was not to raise the question of the recipient of a great food gift not sharing, but rather the WASTE of a great food gift in ANY situation. If the host had stashed the food gift away to be savored in private, well, maybe it was annoying, but at least the food was [hopefully] eventually APPRECIATED in the way that it should. The great food was not, as a great food, wasted.
                                                        Examples would be the from-scratch baking of a four-layered pie, and have it ended up being used in a food fight, or finding that the oyster shell caviar spoons were used to dig gunk out of the disposal, or that the nova scotia salmon was given to the cat. A non-food example would be knitting someone a cashmere shawl, and they gave it to the dog who gnawed it to shreds.
                                                        And it could've been YOU that did it! Maybe someone gave you some Ostetra caviar and, not knowing what it was, you...I don't know, stirred into a Lipton onion dip and served it with Doritos?
                                                        (YOW!!)

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: Michelly
                                                          j
                                                          julesrules Nov 1, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                          I hear ya. I do sometimes feel the manners police can take over the dialogue (and then I can get sucked into that diversion). Sometimes you just want a light-hearted bitch amongst like-minded people.

                                                          1. re: julesrules
                                                            Lillipop Nov 1, 2012 09:54 PM

                                                            OK I am new to Chowhound. WTH are the "manners police"? That sounds sinister to me. I had someone on another post very rudely tell me I had posted in an inappropriate thread because I questioned how "foodies" who are waxing poetically about consuming massive amounts of high calorie foods were managing any potential weight gain. I actually have been looking for a set of Chowhound rules and regulations on the site to no avail.Someone PLEASE inform me.Is there like a chief or a boss for each thread? Is it the person who started the thread? I am getting a sort of a "Mean Girls" mentality on some of the threads.LOL@that!!!! Someone with a kind heart PLEASE point me to the rules/protocol/regulations list:)

                                                            1. re: Lillipop
                                                              j
                                                              julesrules Nov 2, 2012 03:36 AM

                                                              No rules except what the mods do (mostly keep things topical and civil - in a broad way).
                                                              What I mean is that someone will post a thread like this one, with clear foodie slant. They didn't post it in mannerkatz.com or graciousgifting.org. But they get responses, even lectures, on those topics rather than sympathetic foodie noises.
                                                              But everyone has a right to post whatever and the OP rarely determines the thread content.

                                                              1. re: Lillipop
                                                                The Chowhound Team Nov 2, 2012 05:46 AM

                                                                If you check out the stickied posts at the top of each board, you'll find some great info, The ones at the top of this "Not About Food" board, for example, give information on our posting etiquette as well as an overview of what this particular board is about. Stickies on other boards have information relevant to those boards, and we'd recommend you check them out when posting to those boards.

                                                                You should also have received a link to our posting guidelines in the email you received when you signed up for the site.

                                                                We don't encourage hounds to tell each other how to post, so if you see a post like that, or posters making personal attacks on another poster, please use the "Report" link at the bottom of the post to bring it to our attention, and we'll take care of it. If you see a post that you think is on the wrong board, we ask you to use "Report" rather than tell another poster where you think they should post. Thanks, and welcome!

                                                            2. re: Michelly
                                                              rockandroller1 Nov 1, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                              Good clarification. I am happy to say that I do not know of any such instances. The places we've gone where we bring a gift, such as to relative's houses for hosting holidays, are generally hosted by people who we know like boxed wine and cool whip so we just don't bother buying anything really nice and foodie-like, as we know they wouldn't appreciate it and might even mis-use it. I'm fortunate not to have an answer to this post is what I'm saying, I guess.

                                                              1. re: Michelly
                                                                l
                                                                latindancer Nov 3, 2012 08:39 AM

                                                                <but rather the WASTE of a great food gift in ANY situation>

                                                                You mentioned Spam "dug out of the can with a spoon (I did say he is my "ex"). I don't think I'm better than him I just appreciate the joys of food more>
                                                                I have friends, on Oahu, who think Spam is the end-all. It's cultural. My friends are professional, intelligent and creative people. It's what they will bring to a dinner prepared in a 1,000 different ways. As a brilliant poster, an hour ago, mentioned....food is subjective. What makes great food? I could ask 100 different people I know and each one of them would give a different answer and, trust me, it would have nothing to do with price or popularity or anything else. Tastes vary and it's nothing more than that.
                                                                "APPRECIATED in the way that it should.", you say. My friends on Oahu say the same about Spam.

                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                  l
                                                                  lagatta Nov 27, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                  Spam is a delicacy of sorts not only in Hawaï but throughout much of the South Pacific / Pacific Islands. There are many foods contemporary, middle-class urbanites in the "Western World" appreciate that weren't at all gourmet or rarified in their original contexts.

                                                                  No need to even get exotic. I knew a gentleman from a very poor background in Northeastern Italy who couldn't understand polenta being served at restaurants. When he was a boy, it was what people too poor to afford wheaten bread consumed to survive.

                                                                  I would have raised my voice about the champagne though. Asti Spumante is simply not Champagne, they are different beverages.

                                                                  1. re: lagatta
                                                                    Michelly Jan 18, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                                    Yes, food is subjective, and I meant no offense, nor wish to be considered "uppity" or a "snob" (not completely, anyway, LOL). I was trying to describe my ex as a non-foodie; spam and filet mignon was the same to him, and whether he drank it down with a grand cru or a bud light, it wouldn't matter a bit...it would all taste THE SAME to him. I don't dine only on high-end, gourmet food, but I like the cheese in my fridge to be real cheddar as opposed to Velveeta, which sufficed for him. I wish him well, and in a way, I envy him; his food bills will always be lower than mine.

                                                              2. Lillipop Nov 1, 2012 03:43 AM

                                                                I have been a dinner guest a couple of times at fairly large dinners (12-16 people) and I have brought expensive fruit basket cakes from the speciality bakery or a couple of fairly decent bottles of champagne to share and the host has taken it back ferreted it away for themselves.Call me polite and well mannered BUT if my guest brought a huge luscious expensive fruit basket cake to my dinner party I would set it out to go with coffee or champagne.

                                                                17 Replies
                                                                1. re: Lillipop
                                                                  j
                                                                  julesrules Nov 1, 2012 06:06 AM

                                                                  I don't like serving cake at parties because it has to be sliced and plated and can get quite messy. If I had my meal planned out just so I would not deal well with a last minute menu addition. Or a huge cake in my fridge afterwards. Of course some people are more relaxed about unplanned changes than others but it's the host's perrogative.

                                                                  1. re: julesrules
                                                                    Lillipop Nov 1, 2012 06:52 AM

                                                                    I was asked to bring the cake.The host served French Vanilla Ice Cream and Pepperidge Farm Tuiles cookies instead of my cake which was intended to be served with ice cream.It was greed and that cake was expensive.She was having house guests from out of town coming in the next day for a weekend visit so she was sort of "hoarding" food items to serve. She confessed...it was fine...we worked together as R N's in an ICU. She reciprocated my cake donation by taking me to Alioto's on Fisherman's Wharf at a later date and we had a great meal...cocktails and dessert.Very pleasant:)

                                                                    1. re: Lillipop
                                                                      c
                                                                      cleobeach Nov 1, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                                      "so she was sort of "hoarding" food items to serve"

                                                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      You made my day. I laughed out loud.

                                                                      I had a guest take food (after I told her "no, you may not have the leftovers" more than once) from my house because she was having guests at her house two days later and didn't want to cook for them.

                                                                      1. re: cleobeach
                                                                        k
                                                                        KSlink Nov 1, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                        I'm still trying to pick my chin up off the floor--taking food after being specifically told NOT to.......?!!?!??

                                                                        1. re: KSlink
                                                                          c
                                                                          cleobeach Nov 1, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                          Yep. I can laugh about it now but back then, the food theif was going through a rough time (emotionally) and was prone to really bizarre behavior.

                                                                          What is even more chin-dropping is she told me several days later how much everyone enjoyed it. (it was a pasta dish) When I couldn't help bringing up the incident some time later, she denied it happened.

                                                                          1. re: cleobeach
                                                                            k
                                                                            KSlink Nov 1, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                                            Hee hee--I wonder if she claimed "authorship" of the dish???

                                                                            Hope she's back on track these days...:)

                                                                      2. re: Lillipop
                                                                        j
                                                                        julesrules Nov 1, 2012 07:19 AM

                                                                        That is indeed very different. I am glad you were able to get over it!

                                                                        1. re: julesrules
                                                                          Michelly Nov 1, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                                          +1!! Jeez, that was pretty rude of her!

                                                                    2. re: Lillipop
                                                                      Jay F Nov 1, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                                      What is "fruit basket cake"?

                                                                      1. re: Jay F
                                                                        rockandroller1 Nov 1, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                                        I was wondering that too. Is that like fruitcake?

                                                                        1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                          Jay F Nov 1, 2012 02:07 PM

                                                                          It actually looks wonderful. I guess you can use whatever fruit you like.

                                                                          https://www.google.com/search?q=fruit...

                                                                          Thanks, Lillipop.

                                                                          1. re: Jay F
                                                                            rockandroller1 Nov 2, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                            wow, that looks really good!

                                                                            1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                              Lillipop Nov 2, 2012 05:29 PM

                                                                              wow, that looks really good!
                                                                              ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ThThat cake is one of the reasons my former slender frame is now shall we say "curvier":):)

                                                                              1. re: Lillipop
                                                                                Jay F Nov 2, 2012 05:59 PM

                                                                                Yeah, I couldn't believe how good those cakes look. At first, I thought you meant some kind of cake that came with a fruit basket, and I was, like, "that'd be small...like half-pound cake or something," so I googled, and OMG, those cakes look so good.

                                                                                Thanks again.

                                                                        2. re: Jay F
                                                                          KaimukiMan Nov 1, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                          I wondered that also, and who would want to eat week-old cake, let alone serve it.

                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                            d
                                                                            dmjordan Nov 1, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                                            She said that the guest were arriving the next day so it was only day old cake.

                                                                          2. re: Jay F
                                                                            Lillipop Nov 1, 2012 09:38 PM

                                                                            Fruit Basket cake is a white layer cake that looks like a fruit basket.There is fresh sweetened whipped cream with fresh sliced berries....banana...kiwi.....mandarin oranges and simple syrup between maybe 4 or 5 layers.The top is concave and filled with rows of sliced fresh fruit in whipped cream. Google it.Luscious and decadent when prepared accurately and consumed as fresh as possible. To me it is one of those "quiet moments of reflection on the joys of life " foods that is meant to be served properly on your "good" china with pretty silverware to enhance the joy of it all.

                                                                        3. t
                                                                          The Big Crunch Oct 30, 2012 01:16 PM

                                                                          Last Christmas, my sister got me a box of whiskey stones and a box of those wobbly tumblers that supposedly allow for greater agitation and thus greater aroma and taste from your whiskey. Nearly $50 total. I thanked her, and a few weeks later thankfully managed to find a way to return them without a receipt and eventually get cash out of them.

                                                                          They weren't bad gifts in intention, but I almost always drink my spirits without ice and just a bit of water to open them up, so chilling whiskey stones would be a waste. Furthermore, I use glencairns for most of my drams, and the idea of wobbly tumblers just seems like an invitation for my drink to get splashed everywhere.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: The Big Crunch
                                                                            j
                                                                            julesrules Oct 30, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                            And that was a very well-intentioned gift. I think it's really hard to buy for the hobbyist/enthusiast. They already have what they want, which tends to be very specific. I'm a fairly avid home cook. My hubby tried to get me a new spice storage system once. I was actually pissed off (tried to be gracious but it was hard).

                                                                            1. re: The Big Crunch
                                                                              c
                                                                              ceekskat Oct 31, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                                              Got DH a Macallan 25 for his 50th a few years ago. I noticed he hadn't opened it after a couple of weeks but didn't say anything. Waited a bit more...didn't say anything. Finally after about 5 months, I asked why he hadn't opened the bottle. He said he stopped drinking Macallans about 4 years prior & had I not noticed?!! The guy loves scotch & seems to have a gazillion varieties in his cabinet. I had no clue :) I serve it to my dad when he visits or to very close friends; of course only with DH's permission.

                                                                            2. c
                                                                              ceekskat Oct 30, 2012 11:22 AM

                                                                              Reminded of a story a friend once told me long ago when her SIL gave her a gift of flatware. Friend was happy to use it, but when SIL visited eventually (live on opposite coasts), she was disappointed/offended to see her gift being put to use...everyday. Apparently, it was meant for special occasions! I learned then that a gift is a gift.

                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                              1. re: ceekskat
                                                                                Miss Needle Oct 30, 2012 01:06 PM

                                                                                I think it's a compliment that they used it everyday. I gave DH a bunch of really nice wine glasses. He first said that he was going to use it on special occasions but then decided to use them on a daily basis as he loved them so much.

                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  dmjordan Oct 30, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                                                  I was going to buy my husband some nice rocks glasses for Christmas one year. But then I remembered the $200 crystal wine carafe that we bought in Dublin and that we never use, and I thought about the nice brandy snifters my SIL bought for my husband that he never uses and instead bought a box of 4 rocks glasses at Macy's for $10. I had to keep reminding him that they cost nothing and now he uses them. Maybe I'll get him a cheap wine carafe this year.

                                                                                  1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                    meatn3 Nov 1, 2012 12:35 AM

                                                                                    Sometimes we view something as too precious to use.

                                                                                    I had inherited some beautiful older china including the padded cases for storage. I was always afraid to use it or the occasion didn't feel special enough. After a while I just forgot about the option. After many years and multiple moves most of it was destroyed. I was sick about it. Then I felt even worse when I realized all the years I denied myself and others the option to enjoy using it.

                                                                                    Now I try to remind myself that I am not a curator! Life is short and there's no harm in enjoying what you have.

                                                                                    1. re: meatn3
                                                                                      Miss Needle Nov 1, 2012 06:04 AM

                                                                                      Exactly. I believe in planning for tomorrow but still enjoying today. I've been around enough people who were saving things for later only to find out that later never came around.

                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle
                                                                                        d
                                                                                        dmjordan Nov 1, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                        I totally agree meatn3 and Miss Needle. What was the point of blowing $200 on that carafe if we don't even use it or see it. It's all bubble wrapped in its box. What a shame!

                                                                                        1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                          a
                                                                                          Astur Nov 2, 2012 06:18 AM

                                                                                          Just start making it a habit to use the carafe. Make it a Tuesday night tradition where you buy open a bottle, use the carafe on a certain ritual night of the week. It can be used with pasta and sauce out of a jar. Your husband will get over it quickly enough.

                                                                                          1. re: Astur
                                                                                            d
                                                                                            dmjordan Nov 6, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                                            I did use it a few times but since I'm the one who washes it I'd rather not take the chance of breaking it. (I know, make him wash it.) Then to take it out of the box and the bubble wrap and then wrap it and box it again....I'd rather get a cheapo carafe. You think that that is extreme? We have a Stickley dining room table that NO ONE has ever eaten at! My husband is a wonderful man, but this is one of his quirks!

                                                                                            1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              cleobeach Nov 6, 2012 06:34 PM

                                                                                              Argh! I remember shopping for dining room furniture back when we were first married and Mr. CB loving a $12,000 cherry Stickley table. We didn't buy it but he STILL talks about that table 20 years later.

                                                                                              We had a large Tiffany platter that I dread the day it is dropped/broken. I know that day will come but oh well, such is life. He will probably freak out.

                                                                                              1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                                g
                                                                                                gentlyferal Dec 28, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                                                "Then to take it out of the box and the bubble wrap and then wrap it and box it again"

                                                                                                ... Wait, what? The bubble wrap is for shipping. Throw it away -- you'll never need bubble wrap until your next move! Unless you live in earthquake country, keep it on a shelf where people can admire it!

                                                                                        2. re: meatn3
                                                                                          PattiCakes Nov 9, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                          meatn3: a similar story here. My mom had a beautiful set of Blue Willow that my sister and I had added to over the years. When she passed away, I boxed up the dishes and figured they would go to one of my kids. One day I opened a box and they just "spoke" to me. I changed out all of my every day dishes in the cabinet & replaced them with the Blue Willow. Yep, I've chipped a few and broken a couple, but I have used and enjoyed those dishes so much! Every time I open my dish cabinet, they bring a smile.

                                                                                          1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                            meatn3 Nov 9, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                                            I love your story! I wish I had possessed your wisdom. Your experience illustrates how wonderful a passed down object can be. I have many kitchen hand tools passed from family members and always feel connected to a long chain of cooks when I use them or look upon them.

                                                                                            It is so nice being at a point in life where I have learned enough lessons to get out of my own way! Hopefully that is a trend which will continue. :-D

                                                                                            1. re: meatn3
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              cleobeach Nov 10, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                                              I took drinking glasses from my grandparent's farm. They didn't have anything particularly "nice" but the glasses represented great childhood memories. It was hard for me to use them.

                                                                                              My husband was so sad when he broke the first one but I assured him my grandmother would have been happy to know we were enjoying friends and a good meal when it got knocked off the table.

                                                                                              1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                flourgirl Nov 11, 2012 05:49 AM

                                                                                                There is absolutely no sense in having stuff that is too precious to use. After all, it's the memories that are created that matter the most, just as you pointed out about your great childhood memories. Anything else just makes us a prisoner of our stuff and that's not good.

                                                                                                That said, I have a few kitchen items that I refuse to let anyone else wash but me. From past experience, most of our serving pieces etc. that have had unfortunate accidents happened when they were being washed by my husband. I know it's not the end of the world when a well-loved item breaks into a million pieces - but it still sucks, especially if it would be hard to impossible to replace. I still always strive to remember that people are lot more important than stuff - I'm just not always perfect at it. :)

                                                                                  2. olyolyy Oct 29, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                                                    Not exactly a gift but I had a friend in town visiting from the East coast a few years ago...Was well warned in advance that she was a picky eater (which I knew anyway) so I had planned something safe for dinner.

                                                                                    During the day visiting friend was hanging out with a local friend of mine who was showing her around while I was at work. I came home to cook a very "safe" meal for the three of us that consisted of, roasted chicken breasts -the only meat she would eat- with a side of mac and cheese, that had some veggies mixed in.

                                                                                    Apparently the meal had been discussed by visiting friend and local friend during the day and as I was cooking, local friend and I were alone in the kitchen for a few minutes. Local friend looked at me and asked quietly, "Does the chicken have bones in it?" I told her no. "Good," she said, "she doesn't eat chicken that has bones in it." The look on her face told me she had heard an earful on the merits of boneless chicken that day. Visiting friend had been a picky eater since childhood...she was raised on chicken breasts and rice-a-roni. Wouldn't go on a culinary tour of Spain with her, but she has the biggest heart of anyone I know.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: olyolyy
                                                                                      iL Divo Oct 30, 2012 07:10 AM

                                                                                      olyolyy, love your story

                                                                                    2. iL Divo Oct 29, 2012 06:42 PM

                                                                                      I've mentioned on here before that we took as a gift 4 bottles of different flavored Vodka.
                                                                                      At the party they never got opened and went into their bar.
                                                                                      That was a little unexpected but like you, we knew the $$$ we'd spent and if they didn't want to break it out, it was our gift for them to do with it as they wished.

                                                                                      1. Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2012 08:39 AM

                                                                                        I know what you mean. I have given a Johnny Walk Black (nothing too expensive or too good) because someone said she would like to learn and try Scotch. I thought Johnny Walker Black is a good start -- just my opinion. Later I found out that she used it to mix drink, and only to mix drink.

                                                                                        I have also given a person a decent kitchen knife. In that case, the person just does not cook much, so it is sitting idle, I assume.

                                                                                        Here is the deal. There are $200 Scotch and there are $20 Scotch. If it is to mix drink, then one does not need a good Scotch. It is like ground beef. Can I use Japanese Kobe beef to make ground beef? Of course I can, but it would be a waste because many cheaper beef can be used without negative effects. Japanese aogami super (blue paper super) steel is a great steel for kitchen knife. It is especially good for precision cutting. It should be a shame if I were to give someone a aogami steel knife only have the person to use it to open cardboxes and damage it. Can it serve this purpose? Of course it can, but so can many other inferior and cheaper knives.

                                                                                        I think some of us just have to realize that we (CHOWHOUNDER) sometime know a bit too much about foods, and that not everyone appreciate foods the same way we do.

                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          Michelly Oct 29, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                                                          THANK YOU, CHEMICALKINETICS!!

                                                                                          That was the point; during our previous visit with these people, the subject of a good ie: sipping tequila vs an okay ie: mixing tequila, had arisen, ending with the wife sighing and saying "Well, I guess I've never had a good tequila."
                                                                                          So we presented her with a good tequila (and while we didn't exactly say "This is for sipping ONLY", we did hand her the bottle telling her we were giving her something special). If we had known that when she went to "go get glasses", that meant that she was also reaching for the bottled BM mix, we would've immediately stopped her. They were okay bloody marys, but bloody marys can be okay using a $18 bottle.
                                                                                          And agreed that, since it was a gift to her, she had the right to do anything she wanted with it including pouring it down the drain. But we're not made of money; $75 gifts are not something we nonchalantly hand out.
                                                                                          To use Chemicalkinetics' analogy, she used Kobe beef to make meatballs.

                                                                                          I was hoping to hear from the people who spend a month hand-curing and smoking cuts of meat to give to someone, only to find the meat was given to the dog....("Fifi really loved it!"), or similar things.

                                                                                          Here's a similar non-food situation. I feel like the daughter in youtube:sohowdoyouliketheipadIgaveyouPapa?

                                                                                          1. re: Michelly
                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 29, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                            This one? It is funny.
                                                                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUCpO...

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                              Michelly Oct 30, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                                              That's the one! Thanks again, Chemicalkinetics!

                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                KaimukiMan Oct 30, 2012 12:02 PM

                                                                                                sometimes no translation is required

                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 30, 2012 12:12 PM

                                                                                                  That's what some people say about this one too (although this one requires a bit more imagination). Same actors and actresses:

                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...

                                                                                                  I wonder where these coming from? Must be some TV shows.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                    linguafood Oct 31, 2012 10:25 AM

                                                                                                    Yes, both clips are from the German comedy show (I know! what a contradiction!!) "Knallerfrauen".

                                                                                              2. re: Michelly
                                                                                                l
                                                                                                latindancer Oct 29, 2012 05:24 PM

                                                                                                <during our previous visit with these people, the subject of a good i.e.: sipping tequila vs an okay i.e.: mixing tequila, had arisen>

                                                                                                I think you could have included this in your original post explaining how/why you came to bring the tequila in the first place. It could have avoided alot of speculation on the part of people who responded. If you'd had previous discussions it's easy to understand why you were annoyed the way you were.

                                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                  Michelly Oct 30, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                                                  Sorry for the confusion.

                                                                                                2. re: Michelly
                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                  MagicMarkR Oct 29, 2012 06:55 PM

                                                                                                  Last year my sister and I got my folks a wine club membership for a gift, and we were debating on how high quality (er, high priced!) we should go. I was up for giving a more expensive membership, being a bit more of a wine afficionado than my sister. She voted for the cheaper one, arguing the reasonable argument of why spend so much more (it would not have been that much more) on people who will not really appreciate it? Well maybe. I relented (and my parents quite enjoyed the cheaper stuff). Of course wine is not likely to be mixed --at least it would not have been what my parents would have done with it, so there could have been an opportunity for them to try out and appreciate something better (and I happen to believe that generally a $35 bottle is going to be usually better than a $12 bottle).

                                                                                                  Knowing your audience --and knowing the possible ways of ruining the gift-- is sound advice; and I do not think there is anything wrong with suggesting to the recipient in a diplomatic way how a good food or drink might be appreciated, if you have reason to suspect they may not know. I brew beer and give it as a gift (and it does take at least a month, like the meat-curing example). When I give it, I suggest that it would be better served from a glass rather than swilling it from the bottles: it tastes better and you avoid yeast sediment.

                                                                                                  For tequila (and I love a good sipping tequila), in my experience, people who have never experienced it do not even realize it is meant to be sipped. All they have ever known is mixing or doing shots, and even cringe at the idea of sipping it (horrors!). So I think it is partly incumbent on the giver of the gift to diplomatically educate the recipient. (I agree with "thegforceny" about a gift being nice, and not to make the giver feel good about themselves, but I think it can be nice for the recipient to be introduced to something new if not done in a condecending way.) Next time, invite your neighbors and serve them the exact same tequila to sip. See what they say.

                                                                                                  1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                    latindancer Oct 29, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                                                                    <recipient to be introduced to something new if not done in a condescending way>

                                                                                                    How do you give a very expensive wine to a person who's struggling to make a mortgage payment that equals the price of the wine? In my opinion, thegforceny makes a very valid and important point. Many years ago I made the mistake of taking very expensive artesian chocolate to a very old friend who I love and admire. We both grew up in a lower class neighborhood and we'd gone our separate ways earlier on in our lives. She never left that neighborhood and I knew, the minute I gave them to her, she was offended and she was very entitled to be. I should have known better. It came off as condescending and I'll never forget my very big mistake. See's candies is what she considers a very big deal. She's absolutely thrilled when she receives them. I would never consider giving her 'something new' ever again.

                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      tastesgoodwhatisit Oct 30, 2012 03:38 AM

                                                                                                      It can come down to knowing your recipient.

                                                                                                      If you know someone really loves good scotch, but can't afford to indulge the taste, then a gift of a good bottle of aged single malt at an appropriate occasion, between good friends or family, can be a thoughtful and deeply appreciated gift.

                                                                                                      On the other hand, an attempt to introduce someone to "the good stuff" in order to improve their palate, when they're not in a position to feed that taste, can be seen as either condescending (what you can afford isn't good enough) or kind of mean (isn't it wonderful! too bad you'll never get something this good again!).

                                                                                                      I know that I have deliberately not developed a sophisticated taste for wine, and tend to drink stuff that is in the $10-$20 a bottle range. I have a tendency to develop expensive tastes when introduced to it (Scotch, cheese, beer, art), and given the price curve of good wine, I figure off I'm better being happy with okay but inexpensive wine.

                                                                                                      And expensive gifts are a tricky thing in the first place - getting a very expensive gift from someone when you can't reciprocate can be very awkward.

                                                                                                      I figure if you want to introduce someone to something like good scotch, or high end tequila, and you want them to drink it in the appropriate fashion, then the best thing to do is to invite them over, and say "Hey, I know we were talking about sipping tequilas the other day - we've got a really good bottle here, want to try?" and pouring it out, rather than giving them a bottle and either expecting them to figure out what you want to do with it, or giving it along with detailed instructions on how to use it properly.

                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                        Michelly Oct 30, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                                                        Latindancer,I'm so sorry your friend took offense. Part of me understands it (I guess), but you know, if a friend came over and brought a tin of osetra beluga caviar, I would NEVER take it as a jab...I'd say "Ohmigawd! Thank you, thank you! WHERE'S THE SPOON??!!"

                                                                                                        Artisan chocolate, you say? How about coming to my house? :)

                                                                                                      2. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                        julesrules Oct 30, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                                                                        Michelly knows these people best but personally I would drop the tequila education in this case. It may be they are just not interested in being so educated. I mistook my MIL's questions/comments about my cooking and food interest as a desire to learn/improve. It was not and the more I talked about it the more I alienated her (not in any awful way, but she just can't relate/feels intimidated). She is happy with her habits and I am happy with mine. I can just imagine her making a similar comment such as "well I guess I've never had good parmesan cheese". It would NOT mean she wanted me to show up with it! Quite the opposite.... "well I guess I have no interest in good cheese" would be a much more accurate interpretation. And she's not being snide either.

                                                                                                      3. re: Michelly
                                                                                                        danna Nov 1, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                                                                        Speaking of Tequila, a friend of mine is famous for her margaritas. In keeping with the theme, i bought her a bottle of fancy (to me at least) tequila for her bday...Milagro maybe? I think i mentioned it was "sipping" quality, but I'm sure i never suggested she not mix it 'cause it's her business. Anyhow, she made mega-margs out of it, and still talks about it years later (she's fun to give things to).

                                                                                                        Anyhow, recently she told me she got into a tif with a bartender because he refused to upgrade her marg. to that brand when she saw it on the shelf, saying what a travesty that would be. I wish I'd been a fly on the wall.

                                                                                                      4. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        The Big Crunch Oct 30, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                                                                        I disagree with this. My house mixing Scotch is JW Black. It's a decent enough sipper, but honestly, I primarily use it for cocktails. To say one does not need a good scotch to mix good cocktails is also pretty questionable. There is no doubt a point of diminishing return, but good liquor generally makes better cocktails.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                                          YAYME Nov 3, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                                                                          What's wrong with a quality cocktail? I buy good booze for making cocktails. I like a good tasting cocktail, I use only the best ingredients to make drinks no mixes, homemade grenadine, etc. So why should I skimp on booze?

                                                                                                          1. re: YAYME
                                                                                                            Michelly Nov 17, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                                                                            Nothing...if it TASTES like a quality cocktail. Thanks to all the mixings she added,these tasted exactly as if she used an $18 bottle of 1800.

                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                          sedimental Oct 28, 2012 02:55 PM

                                                                                                          Sounds like a lesson in "know your audience" in terms of gift giving.

                                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                                            cleobeach Oct 28, 2012 10:44 AM

                                                                                                            Yes, we have had similar experiences.

                                                                                                            One sticks out in my memory. We were invited to a holiday dinner. When I asked what I could bring, the hostess said champagne would be very welcome.

                                                                                                            We took two bottles of nice champagne and the hostess was delighted, thanked us then turned, walked out of the room with the bottles and returned with Asti spumante.

                                                                                                            When we got in the car for the ride home Mr. CB said to me "didn't she specifically ask for champagne?"

                                                                                                            It was odd but we figured that her version of "champagne" was Asti and when we showed up with something she didn't recognize, it threw her off.

                                                                                                            The next day (Christmas) my husband said "I wish we had that champagne...."

                                                                                                            While I fully agree that a gift is a gift and to be enjoyed on the reciepents own terms, it struck us as odd.

                                                                                                            This is an annual event and I now take a couple of bottles of mid-range reds that I know will be openned and enjoyed (by me)

                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                              chowbabychowbaby Oct 28, 2012 07:30 PM

                                                                                                              "While I fully agree that a gift is a gift and to be enjoyed on the reciepents own terms, it struck us as odd. "

                                                                                                              I don't agree with that. If the context of the "gift" is that you're bringing something to drink to go with the dinner, I think it's pretty much accepted that it will be served with the dinner (unless people just bring too much). I would be offended if I brought a nice bottle of anything to a dinner party only to have the host keep it for himself, while serving something inferior to the guests.

                                                                                                              From the context of your story it seems like this is the case - it's not as if you just got it for them as a holiday gift.

                                                                                                              1. re: chowbabychowbaby
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                latindancer Oct 28, 2012 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                <"I would be offended if I brought a nice bottle of anything to a dinner party only to have the host keep it for himself, while serving something inferior to the guests">

                                                                                                                I always bring very nice bottles of wine to the home of my host. I have honestly never kept track of whether my wine is being served or not. My wine was meant as a gift. Once my wine was accepted as a gift of thanks for inviting me to their home....it was left at that. Who has the time or interest in wondering about such things?

                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                  chowbabychowbaby Oct 28, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                  I don't know, I'm not actively thinking about it, but generally I'll bring something that I want to drink so it's natural to notice if it's served or not (even if it's not something I'm particularly interested in, I would still notice, just because I brought it so the image of the bottle is fresh in my mind).

                                                                                                                  It depends on the context I guess. If it's a holiday party, or if I'm just visiting a friend during the holidays (or at any time) and want to bring something, then sure, it's a gift and I forget about it.

                                                                                                                  But when it's an intimate dinner party, the normal thing (at least among my friends) is to bring a bottle to be served *with* dinner. Furthermore, in cleobeach's post, the host specifically asked for champagne - I think that's a very strong implication that that was something they could use to go with the dinner.

                                                                                                                  In that case, yes, I'd be somewhat offended, and I wouldn't be spending any time or energy making an effort to actively keep track of it or not.

                                                                                                                  1. re: chowbabychowbaby
                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                    tastesgoodwhatisit Oct 28, 2012 08:56 PM

                                                                                                                    If you bring something as a hostess gift, it's up to the host whether they want to open it at the dinner, or keep it and serve what they had planned in the first place (so if your guests bring a bottle of two buck chuck, you're not obliged to serve it, either). This does not depend on the perceived quality of the item you've brought vs what the hosts are planning on serving, either.

                                                                                                                    However, if you're bringing something based on the request of the host - either an outright request, or a response to "Can I bring something", then not serving it is pretty bizarre, and not very polite.

                                                                                                                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                      chowbabychowbaby Oct 28, 2012 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                      Right, I guess that's my point. If you're bringing wine to a dinner party, especially if it's at the host's request, then I don't see it as a "gift", per se. It's generally a "I'm making all the food, you guys bring the wine" arrangement.

                                                                                                                      More often than not this is explicitly mentioned in the invitation, but even if not, it's nearly always an unspoken rule. Actually I can't even remember the last time I went to the dinner party and all of the alcohol was supplied by the host.

                                                                                                                      1. re: chowbabychowbaby
                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                        Kat Oct 29, 2012 06:15 AM

                                                                                                                        LOL, I am the one who always hosts the holiday dinners in the family (by default!) and I rarely serve the wine that folks bring as a gift to the dinner. I always choose the wine in advance to accompany the food I am serving. I only open the gift wine if guests drink more than I anticipated and we run out of the wine I bought. That said, the wine my family brings is usually whatever plonk is on sale that week, if they brought a nice bottle I would feel differently!

                                                                                                                      2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                                                        danna Nov 1, 2012 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                        exactly! What if the answer to "can i bring something" had been "salad" and then your salad was whisked away and replaced? I'd be...hurt? annoyed? but definitely curious as heck!

                                                                                                                        While it's a fine distinction between "contribution to party" and "hostess gift", there IS a distinction in my mind. In this case, i would bet the hostess realized the champagne was the good stuff, and decided to CONVERT it from contribution to hostess gift on the spot! :-)

                                                                                                                    2. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      julesrules Oct 30, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                      The difference to me here is that cleobeach was asked to bring something specific. I mean, I can't imagine being specifically asked to bring dessert and then that dessert not being served. It's different of course if I brought it unasked or volunteered it insistently. But if I ask "what can I bring?" and am told "dessert" or "champange" - I am expecting it to be served.
                                                                                                                      cleobeach, I think you reacted very graciously however - assuming it was a misunderstanding of sorts, not a greedy grab by the hostess.

                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        sandylc Nov 1, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                        latindancer, you are right, according to a manners column I read a while back. A host is NEVER to feel obligated/expected to serve any food or drink gift at their event. An exception might be if they, at your offer, request you bring something specific FOR that event.

                                                                                                                    3. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                      robt5265 Dec 22, 2012 10:25 PM

                                                                                                                      It is not really appropriate to serve a bottle brought by a guest on that evening. The premise being, that you already had your wines chosen. This was not in bad taste.

                                                                                                                      1. re: robt5265
                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                        JonasOftoronto Jan 13, 2013 11:22 PM

                                                                                                                        Maybe that's true in a formal, cultured etiquette that both parties observe and understand. Regular folks don't observe that, the host may have no clue. They may just overlook their guests for a long time unless someone speaks up saying 'anyone need more wine?' or other casual initiative. 'Oh look it's empty! (for the past 20 minutes...)'

                                                                                                                        So in principal, not in practice I think. Practice is much more wiggly and hard to pin down. Sometimes you can be downright casual with certain friends.

                                                                                                                      2. re: cleobeach
                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                        JonasOftoronto Jan 13, 2013 11:33 PM

                                                                                                                        "One sticks out in my memory. We were invited to a holiday dinner. When I asked what I could bring, the hostess said champagne would be very welcome."
                                                                                                                        It is so usual for people to call just about any bubbly wine Champagne, the hostess probably made her extravagant request not expecting you would spend eighty or even over a hundred dollars on a few bottles.

                                                                                                                        It would have been clever if you were to ask her 'oh what style would be good (Brut or off-dry) or is there a brand that you like?'

                                                                                                                        Because it's a double tragedy if she later opens the $$$ extra brut and finds it far too 'sour' for her $14 Muscat bubble-water tastes.

                                                                                                                      3. juliejulez Oct 28, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                        To be honest, I wouldn't know what to do with a fancy bottle of tequila either, as I don't drink tequila...same for most liquors except vodka. The whole point of giving a gift is because you want to, not because you think it will impress somebody...and she DID thank you profusely.

                                                                                                                        In the future usually a decent bottle of wine is better, as most people do know what to do with wine :)

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                          KaimukiMan Oct 30, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                          yes, they mix it with cool aid, a can of pineapple and call it sangria.
                                                                                                                          true story.

                                                                                                                        2. ipsedixit Oct 27, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                          Were the Bloody Marys any good?

                                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                                            thegforceny Oct 27, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                            "The wife thanked us profusely..."

                                                                                                                            Sounds like she greatly enjoyed your generous hostess gift. Wasn't that the point? I always thought gifts were about a nicety for the recipient, not the giver showing off, educating or the like.

                                                                                                                            Ugh.

                                                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                                                              latindancer Oct 27, 2012 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                              'Yup....they get the Cuervo 1800 next time!>

                                                                                                                              Why didn't you give it to them in the first place, knowing they were 'non-foodies'? It's as if you set it up to be disappointed.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                lynnlato Oct 30, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                That's exactly what I was thinking!

                                                                                                                                Worst food gift I ever got, beside the occasional bottle of swill, is truffle salt. That shit is straight up nasty.

                                                                                                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                                                  hill food Jan 15, 2013 02:34 AM

                                                                                                                                  even Cuervo in a bloody? how about Everclear?

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