How to Spread Holiday Cheer: Food and Kitchen Gift Giving Ideas

Gentle Readers, welcome to the season of eating. No matter what your holiday celebrations entails, The Practical Cook can guarantee it is food-based. And what better way to say “I’m thinking of you” than something food or kitchen-related? Answer, there is not a better way.

As a side note, and since you all know I’m an unabashed Trader Joe’s fan, they do a lovely DIY gift basket. Look in the very front of the store for the basket and cellophane wrap, and then just pick items to put in it! Cheese tortellini and Two Buck Chuck? No problem. Assortment of chocolates, sure thing. Makes for a great housewarming or hostess gift as well.

Without further delay, here is The Practical Cook’s Top 5 Food and Kitchen Gift Giving Ideas:

1. Ingredients. These should be fun ingredients, like really nice bittersweet chocolate, or almond meal, or something that you can source locally that the recipient can’t. Be it fresh, frozen, or shelf-stable, you are giving the gift of possibility.

Behold the chocolate waterfall.

Behold the chocolate waterfall.

2. Apple Butter. Full details on this upcoming, but I’m a huge fan of the seasonal condiment as gift. It is homemade, specific to the time and place, and tastes like the holidays. If you know me, you’ve probably had some.

3. Rare Finds. From the controversially named Ben and Jerry’s Ice Creams to the highly localized seasonal brews, giving something rare is always a good bet. Be creative! This could also apply to an interesting cookie cutter, a quirky but highly useful kitchen implement, etc.

If you like rum, you'll love Schweddy Balls Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry's

If you like rum, you'll love Schweddy Balls Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry's

4. Field Research! The best gift I’ve received this year, in abundance, is time. Friends new and old have accompanied me on fact-finding missions to eat food all over the country. They’ve shared pictures, restaurant suggestions, and a lot of Fried. It’s a great gift, be it a gift certificate to a local joint, a promise of accompanying and picking up the tab on a food adventure, or some other combination. Interesting food is out there, just waiting to be eaten.

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

5. Fight Hunger. Obviously, I think about food a lot. All the time in fact. It’s impossible to not think about those in need. We can help. Give in honor of someone, give in lieu of presents for close family, volunteer your time, etc. SoFood Bank Social Media Ambassador many ways to help out, and charitable donations are always the right size. If you’re in NC, check out the Food Bank ofCentral & Eastern North Carolina. I serve as a Social Media Ambassador for them, so this is part of how I give. Join me.

What are some of your favorite holiday gift ideas for the kitchen? Post a comment below! (If you’re an email subscriber, you’ll need to click through to do so. Santa is watching, comment today.)

Send questions, quips, and queries to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up tomorrow, Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart Recipe. Not to be missed.

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