Food Gift Love
By Maggie Battista
(Houghton Mifflin, $24.99)
Think giftable homemade treats for all occasions: a thank you for a gracious hostess, a comforting offering, a welcome to a new neighbor, or simply a warm thoughtful surprise. Award winning author and website curator Maggie Battista, who created her blog Eat Boutique for shipping food gifts and hosting pop-up retail markets nine years ago, shares 100 of her best ideas for edible gifts.
Gifts are organized from easy ideas that come together in minutes (Brown Sugar Rub, a secret weapon for meats and veggies, comes together in ten minutes) to more ambitious creations that require a little patience (Grapefruit-Elderflower Marmalade has thirteen detailed steps and takes three hours) for year-round gift giving.
Gift wrap supplies are suggested as a starting point – you are advised to have an arsenal of ribbons, strings, tapes, papers, stickers, baskets, jars and other odds and ends. Maggie uses the New York Times Wednesday food section for wrapping paper; try using your local newspaper. Headnotes are filled with suggestions and ideas, and mix and match gift wrapping instructions are included with each recipe.
“10 Tips to Make you the Quintessential Food Gifter” suggests you master one of the recipes in the book to make it your signature food gift. Aptly-named chapters such as Fresh, Pantry, Candied, Baked, Preserved and Spirited Gifts fill the book. Whip up a quick tomato jam, try drying herbs, attempt infusing sea salt, or make rubs, extracts, oils and vinegars. Candied gifts include popcorn variations, spreads, sauces and chocolate-dipped everything (including spoons). Baked goodies, preserves, jams and marmalades round out these small-batch recipes. The many pages of lovely photographs will be sure to spur your creative energy and generosity.
Be inspired to create and share a slice, bite, or sip of happiness!