When invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, what do you usually bring for the host? A bottle of wine? I don’t know about you, but as I’ve aged my tastes have become more refined, which means I can no longer choke down “three-buck Chuck.” Which also means that I feel uncomfortable bringing cheap wine as a gift. Which, of course, means that I’m spending at least $15 on a good bottle every time I go to someone’s house.
That can add up!
Consider a country alternative—bring some jam that you made! I used to buy half-pint jars for that purpose, so I didn’t lose the super-thick old-school jars that my friend Catherine mailed to me from her grandmother’s house. Easier than asking for your good jar back.
Another country gift: I used to saw an egg carton in half with my bread knife and pack six eggs. Since we had Ameraucanas and Barred Rocks, our friends received beautiful green and brown eggs. You can make it fancier by tying some ribbon around it.
Be sure that you are not casting your pearls to swine—only give a lovely country gift to someone who will appreciate (and eat) it. Before Mike and I lived in the country, a friend once brought us a jar of plums she had canned. We were afraid to eat them, thinking them somehow suspicious and unsafe. Once I brought one of my little egg-gifts to a friend’s house, and I could tell immediately that she was afraid of them.
“How long will they stay good?” she asked, eying the carton carefully.
“Weeks,” I assured her. “Those are way fresher than any you’d buy in a store.”
I knew she would never eat them. Oh, well. Sacrificial eggs. Other friends would squeal with delight.
So—give your magical country gifts to people who will appreciate them, and save some money on store-bought treats!