Thursday marks one of America's most celebrated holidays: Thanksgiving. Unless you're hosting a fabulous feast yourself, you will no doubt be making your way to a friend or family member's home to celebrate. You can't show up empty-handed. Remember that your host or hostess will be slaving away in the kitchen, so sure to bring a gift that doesn't require any attention yet shows gratitude for the invitation. Here are some of my favorite no-fuss gifts that are sure-fire way to put a smile on any host's face.
1. Bottle of Wine
Wine is an obvious choice, but how do you go about picking the right one? Beyond Bordeaux has an amazing tool for wine-enthusiasts as it lets you choose your price range, tasting notes, and occasion. They offer a great selection under $30- wine that tastes expensive but is easy on the wallet. Once you find the perfect wine, you'll need to find a distributor near you, so head to www.Wine-Searcher.com and enter your city and state. If you plan to drink it during Thanksgiving dinner, I like a rich Merlot to balance the array of sweet, savory, and decadent side dishes.
2. Flowers and Vase
Flowers are another common choice for host gifts, but you'll need to get a bouquet that comes in a vase. Your host or hostess is going to have his/her hands full and won't have time to situate your stems. Head to your local Flower Shop and choose an arrangement that comes with a vase, or get a little crafty and put your personal spin on it. I love these: handmade rope vase, vintage tea tins, and personalized mason jars.
3. Homemade Pastries
Many guests offer to bring dessert, but I recommend checking with your host first. I, for example, LOVE baking, so I find it a bit annoying when everyone offers to take away the best part of the meal. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with bring some goodies for the host to enjoy the next day. Pastries are great as they travel well and keep well. Sausage rolls, pumpkin cranberry scones, or freshly baked artisan bread are always appreciated.
4. Quality Culinary Accessories
If you're not the crafty/cooking type, do not fret. Just head to a quality culinary store like Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table. Your host or hostess most likely LOVES to throw dinner parties, right? Otherwise, you wouldn't have gotten that invitation! Why not give them something they can use at their next party. If baking is their specialty, consider a beautiful, festive dish or these adorable cupcake kits. Are they they glamorous type? Consider this elegant wine stopper (and bring the aforementioned wine too!) Think about what would make their lives easier or more enjoyable in the kitchen.
5. Quality Ingredients
Taking the culinary theme a step further, why not bring your host(ess) some quality ingredients? Think: salts, spreads, and oils infused with gourmet herbs and unique flavors. My favorites include truffle sea salt, rosemary honey, or maple bacon jam. They've given you the gift of a beautiful meal, and it's time to return the flavor.