A Few Last Minute Gift Suggestions

December 22, 2017

It’s a little late to mail a gift for Christmas.  But it’s not too late to pick up a gift.

Here are a few things you can find at the supermarket or hardware store that would make really welcome presents.

Pyrex clear custard cups

The workhorse vessels of the kitchen, these might be the bowls I use the most.  Perfect for mise en place, for separating eggs, to hold olives for hors d’oeuvres, for custard, or to serve pate (recipe below).  And, of course, for leftovers. Most supermarkets sell them by the set.

A bouquet of herbs

This time of year I tend to use herbs the way most people use flowers. A bouquet of mint, rosemary and parsley looks very pretty on the table.  Put some herbs in a small vase or jar and take them along to Christmas dinner.

A small paring knife. 

Because you can never have too many.

A bottle of really good vanilla

It’s become as expensive as perfume. And everybody always needs a little more.

A bird feeder and some seed.

Unless you’re in an extremely urban area, every supermarket sells them.  This time of year there is nothing quite as pleasant as watching birds come flocking to a feeder. If you’ve never experienced this particular pleasure, you’re in for a treat.

A chance to help someone help themselves. 

There are hundreds of great charities dealing with hunger.  But one of my favorites is heifer international, which lets you buy an animal for a far away family.  You can buy sheep, ducks, rabbits, pigs, even fish – and change a family’s life.  But I really love the idea of a water buffalo.

Should you be offering those custard cups to a friend, you might want to fill them up.  Here’s my favorite recipe for chicken liver pate.

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  • Patti Lynch says:

    Ruth: Thank you so much for all of your gift suggestions. I really enjoy reading them every year! Have a wonderful holiday, and many blessings for the New Year! Peace, Patti

  • Jane Nebo says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the small custard bowls, I use at least one every day and yesterday after a family dinner my son took one of my paring knives because I have several and he had broken the blade on his. You always need more than one good paring knife.

  • Terry says:

    There is a recipe for Mom’s Chicken Liver Pate in the December 2008 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. The author is Andrew Knowlton, current restaurant Editor. I’ve made it a few times and find it to be one of the best. A few additional ingredients, including marjoram & hard boiled eggs.