For Your Thanksgiving Hosts…
I’ve been preparing Thanksgiving, since the day my mom decided she was through cooking the big holiday dinner for what had become 20+ people in our family. Mom and Dad had brought us all together for so long that it was just time for Mom to retire from the kitchen… clear out her kids and grandkids.
That first Thanksgiving I was so lost that I went off the grid and prepared lasagna. It wasn’t like I hadn’t ever cooked a bird before; it was just that if the tradition of my last 30 years was now broken, so was my spirit for it. The lasagna was great, still I missed all of my siblings… also my chance to introduce Jose to my family was missed. Then Christmas arrived and all was once again well with the world. Mom never gave up hosting Christmas in her Victorian living room, and then I moved to California.
All of my Thanksgivings, after the first one that changed my life, brought a cadre of people to my own table and Thanksgiving was reborn again in some fun ways. I love cooking for this meal, and I over deliver, because that’s my nature.
When it becomes my turn to step away from the stove, gift baskets are going to be the kind of gift that I’ll be bringing to my host and/or hostess (besides my mom’s pecan pie… now cooked with agave instead of corn syrup). I know the rigors of being in the kitchen for days… I love it, actually. My kids all want to know what to bring for big meals, and I’m okay with them not bringing anything. I want to be the cornucopia for as long as is humanly possible.
I’ll also insist that my hosts can’t cut into the gift basket that day, though. I’ll want them to personally enjoy all the delicacies contained within… for the time between Thanksgiving and the next holidays through to the new year.
I’ve discovered Wine Country Gift Baskets, a great resource for giving your hosts a really lovely present for their hospitality. I like the one in this picture, because I also got turned onto a great wine ~ the 2007 Houdini, Napa Valley, Oakville Merlot. This is a brand that I didn’t know existed until I saw it in the basket. It’s made its way to many of the wine competitions, and came out smelling like a rose:
- Best of Class ~ 2011 North of the Gate Wine Festival
- Double Gold ~ 2011 North of the Gate Wine Festival
- Best of Class ~ 2011 LA International Wine & Spirits Competition
- Gold ~ 2011 LA International Wine & Spirits Competition
- Gold ~ 2011 Monterey Wine Competition
- Gold ~ 2011 Monterey Wine Festival
- Gold ~ 2011 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition
- Gold ~ 2011 San Francisco International Wine Competition
- Silver ~ 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
- Silver ~ 2011 Wine & Food Festival Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Silver ~ 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition
The “Season’s Greetings with Houdini Napa Cabernet Gift Basket” basket costs $89.95, and shipping is included for this one. Prices for all baskets range from $20 to $150. I’d say that everyone is covered in being able to afford this kind of gift for the holidays, if you love this idea, too.
Contained within the Houdini basket are the following complementary items: rosemary olive oil baked herb crackers, garlic herb cheese spread and a cheese knife, smoked salmon, vanilla truffles, artichoke garlic Parmesan cheese straws, olives, French chocolate truffles dusted with cocoa powder, blue cheese twists, hazelnut pralines, walnut shortbread cookies, and a wine stopper. What a lovely gift to receive for anyone who loves wine and all of its accoutrements.
I’ve got two links on my blog, in case you forget the name and want to come back to my site to click through. Check under “Active Retailers” and/or “Amenities, Supplies.” It’s listed as “Wine Gifts.”