Do You Send Food Gifts For The Holidays?

I gift food a lot, especially to older family and friends who already have everything and don’t want more clutter. Last year we gave Spicewalla barbecue and roasting blends to two sets of in-laws, and a cookie baking kit (gourmet chips, spices, extracts, a Dorie Greenspan cookie book, etc) to my MIL. In the past I’ve made apricot ruglach for a Jewish boss for New Year - he also happened to be French and had no idea what they were, but liked them :rofl:.

This year I sent my dad, who’s an adventurous eater stranded in a predominantly white, rural area an assortment of mostly Asian condiments, sauce sachets, and spice blends. I think it was black vinegar, doubanjiang/fermented chili bean paste, spicy chili crisp, canned Thai coconut soup, Evergreen sesame oil, canned Thai iced tea, Chinese soy roasted chicken and other blends, Filipino coconut curry, Sichuan/ma la peanuts, chai tea bags, a Belgian stroopwafel, and an al pastor taco seasoning. Also tucked in a 85% dark chocolate from Aldi (house fave), an engraved Kleen Kanteen insulated cup (he’s a cold drink nut and these are insanely good), and a handmade Christmas stocking. The pistachios didn’t fit in the overstuffed flat-rate box, so they’re my treat. I’ll email him recipes.

For my brother’s serious girlfriend, who I don’t know very well yet, I made a movie-night-in kit with classic boxed candies (Raisinettes, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, etc.), extra-butter and kettle corn popping corn, popcorn boxes, salted peanuts, some other snacks I am forgetting, fizzy drink mix, cozy socks, and an Amazon gift card.

Last year my good neighbor friend got a bottle of Eagle Rare. My plan this year is to get her a gift certificate to our nice neighborhood restaurant that’s been hit hard by COVID, where her buddy works.

This whole food gifting thing goes back to 7th grade when I made Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies for all my teachers. I think I burned the nuts :rofl:.


Wow, Santa! Do you pack all that up? I’d to see how folks pack boxes, especially one of these USPS “large” (ha!) priority mail boxes.

(Those are not my hands).


I think Apricot King chocolate is meh. I split open a slip-pit apricot and insert a piece of good quality dark chocolate.


I feel like marmalade made from sweet oranges just wouldn’t have the zing you get from Seville oranges. Or have I misunderstood, and you do have those?

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Those sound great. I love homemade things. How do I get on your gift list?


Those flat rate boxes are the best. I used to use them to mail gifts to The Sprout when she was away at college. I usually used candy as the filler. The postal worker told me it would have cost over $40 to mail if it was in a regular box.


This year we’re keeping our physical gift list shorter and simpler, because in-person celebrations won’t happen and I’m not going out to a bunch of stores to collect ingredients.

That said, I am planning a virtual cheese tasting with another couple, as a substitute for our usual pre-Christmas get together.

My ordinary local supermarket carries tempting cheeses these days—the product isn’t going to hotels and restaurants—so I can put together a selection in one quick stop. I’ll make foccacia, box up various accoutrements, and include a wine from our quarantine stash (thank you, curbside pickup). This weekend we’ll agree on an outdoor meeting point to hand over the goods.

A Zoom call will follow where tasting and merriment will ensue. Confident this will be fun with these particular friends. Even if we end up talking about how awkward it is!

Here’s hoping the format works out well enough to try on other occasions this winter. For example, chocolate is more easily shippable so a virtual tasting might be fun with long-distance family or friends.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I might be making and delivering a batch of latkes this week as a surprise for friends who celebrate Hanukkah. I know they don’t prepare their own and of course these won’t compare to her dearly remembered mom’s version. But my grandmother made them from time to time and I have a lot of potatoes from our farm share. If only I have time before the expected snowstorm!


I signed up!

What’s your current favorite bean from Rancho Gordo, and how do you cook it?


I made a gift box last week, with umami salt, local chocolate, local maple syrup, a spice blend and maple popcorn , and reused the packaging materials from the gift box the same cousin had sent me!

I’ve also been reusing my boxes from Sephora lately.

I had sent one health conscious cousin a healthy snack gift box in the spring, which cost around $120. Decided this month to buy a flat rate box and fill it with healthyish treats. Around $18 Cdn for the small flat rate box for shipping in Canada, and $30 of treats (protein snacks, trail mix, shelf stable chorizo bites, strawberry quinoa snacks and chocolate energy bites). The $30 of snacks is more food than that $120 gift box had included.

I’m mailing my own stuff from now on.


Prima - I am with you on the flat rate boxes!

Normally I ship folks a few jars of jam and and they are heavy. With the medium flat rate box, I can throw in so many more treats and, ut gets there quickly - so I have been a fan for years.

Recently I had dear friend having to quarantine in Wisconsin (she’s okay!) and she could not do her normal family gathering xmas cookie baking. So I took out a flat rate box and threw in 2 pounds of sliced almonds, a pound bag of my favorite natural brown sugar, a giant bag of organic cocoa, a two pound bag of my favorite mexican whole wheat flour (it’s like cake flour, texture wise, but better for you), a few new ikea dish towels, yeast and a brand new tub of baking powder.

She was over the moon. She loved how heavy the box was, and the fun of pulling more and more useful stuff out of the box. All for around $15 shipping. Way better than any premade box, more fun and, cheaper. Yay flat rate boxes, the gift that helps : )


Wow! Do you make it all?


Here ya go! I haven’t made lime meltaways because I have a lemon tree with really good lemons. :lemon: Recipe is simple which is why I picked it for holiday cookies (that and the tree has fruit in Dec) but my peeps go crazy for them, so now I feel like Betty Crocker.

*I use Spelt flour for a little more texture, and adjusted the Glaze measurements because there’s never enough.

** You can use the cookie press with lace top if you want but it makes them even more fragile. I make balls, flatten them then make cross-hatch marks by pressing with a fork (dip the fork in powdered sugar to prevent sticking).

This is a blurry magazine photo of the cookie press version to give you a visual.


Yay! I like so many, but off the top of my head the ones I hoard the most are the hard to get Caballero (Peruvian white beans), Moro (part of the Xoxoc Project. A cross between black beans & pintos but better :heart:) and the Yellow Indian Woman (small, creamy w/a touch of sweet, incredible bean broth). My least favorite are the Blackeyed Peas (the black eyes are chewy). I stick to Bayou Magic from my local Ralphs (Kroger) for those. I’ll post more about making them on the What’s for Dinner thread. Happy Bean Eating!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. :relaxed:


All except the tea, but not all at once. I made the ketchup and jelly much earlier this year.

For those of you using the medium flat rate boxes, don’t they open at the ends instead of the top? How do you pack them?


Oh my wow! You win! :heart: How much time do you give yourself for all this? Do you make a list of what you want to give folks - for instance your dad - or do you have a general idea and pick what’s available? You really should have your own TV show!!!

P.S. I agree edible gifts are better than cluttery. People and the planet have too much stuff! :earth_americas:


Think about Houseparty. It’s like Zoom with games, which remedies the awkwardness. :partying_face: My gals & I do the trivia games.


Edit: For faster cooking beans @heidicooksandbakes get the Alubia Blanca white beans.

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@shrinkrap, there are two kinds of medium sized flat rate boxes. A flat one that opens on the ends and one that opens from the top. I find the top loaders to be most useful for my needs.

I agree with all who’ve mentioned the flat rate boxes, and sending your own stuff, or items you’ve curated. Way better value, and more fun.

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I stuffed the crap out of this one. Still en route (ugh delays), so hope it arrives in OK condition.

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This is exactly why I made the movie night box. It cost me more, but I got more bang for my buck.