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BarbaraD

What do you bring the host and hostess?

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By this morning, there were rose petals all over the table. It saddens me that this obviously expensive bouquet didn't last as long as it should have.

Your fault. If someone is thoughtful enough to drop about $50 clams on a bouquet of roses for you, one STOPS what one is doing, and prepares the bouquet with care and attention. As well as appreciation. It takes less than 5 minutes to cut stems and plop in vase. Think of them as an appetizer someone brought that requires a bowl and a serving spoon or cheese knife.

I remember reading somewhere that bringing flowers to a French hostess was considered rude as they would have to take their attentions away from their guests. It further mentioned that proper form was to send flowers the following day as a thank you.

I remember this as I thought it was a good point.

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Someone with a decent cellar would probably appreciate a gift of wine more than someone without.

Maybe something fortified, and slightly unusual? Madeira, sherry or port always go down well, and maybe something that can be opened before/after the meal and won't interfere with the perfectly matched wines they have probably already picked out!


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Every time I've brought flowers to someone's house, I always put them in a simple vase beforehand so that the host/ess doesn't have to stop and take care of the flowers.

The teas are a great idea. Might have to use that next month :)

Something else I've seen get great reactions are gifts of food/wine/microbrew items from the state that the host is originally from. It might be a better gift here in Florida, where it seems like everyone is from somewhere else, but it's very neat. A friend once brought me a bottle of Texas wine, some salsa, and Shiner Bock beer. I don't drink beer, but the thought that went into the gift made me want to open one and toast her thoughtfulness :)

Diana

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A bottle of top-notch EVOO or well-aged balsamico would always be welcome in my kitchen.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Some excellent suggestions. I should have given more information. These are friends. As well as being an amateur cook, the hostess is also a gardener. They have a fruit, vegetable, and flower garden. Both are originally from Minnesota. We live in a suburb of New York City. I'm sure they would love the teapot and assortment of teas. Also the suggestion about Garden Design (I'll have to find out if they already have a subscription).

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this takes a little time but comes out nice in the end. a friend of mine makes her own baileys irish cream. then she puts it in a nice bottle and ties the recipe on with ribbon. if the hosts drink baileys it's a nice gift. then after dinner everyone can have some.

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Wine is always a good gift to a wine enthusiast so long as it is an interesting wine to which some thought has been given. It doesn't really matter if they already have a ton of it. If it is a really good, well known wine or something unusual and interesting it will be appreciated. If it is a bottle off the supermarket shelf, it will most likely be re-gifted or relegated to cooking. In this scenario, a target of $50-100 is appropriate, although interesting wines can certainly be found for less.

The kind of dinner party also is important. If it is a more formal, sit-down dinner, the gift should be more elaborate than if it is a casual, spontaneous breaking of bread.

I too would never mind being on the receiving end of a top-notch evoo or balsamico, but once again, if these are going to be given as gifts they should be good ones.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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By this morning, there were rose petals all over the table. It saddens me that this obviously expensive bouquet didn't last as long as it should have.

Your fault. If someone is thoughtful enough to drop about $50 clams on a bouquet of roses for you, one STOPS what one is doing, and prepares the bouquet with care and attention. As well as appreciation. It takes less than 5 minutes to cut stems and plop in vase. Think of them as an appetizer someone brought that requires a bowl and a serving spoon or cheese knife.

Hmmmm... Interesting that you didn't think about what I might have spent on ingredients that might have been at a critical point in preparation.

We all have differing opinions on these things. That's what makes the world go 'round! :smile:


Deb

Liberty, MO

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By this morning, there were rose petals all over the table. It saddens me that this obviously expensive bouquet didn't last as long as it should have.

Your fault. If someone is thoughtful enough to drop about $50 clams on a bouquet of roses for you, one STOPS what one is doing, and prepares the bouquet with care and attention. As well as appreciation. It takes less than 5 minutes to cut stems and plop in vase. Think of them as an appetizer someone brought that requires a bowl and a serving spoon or cheese knife.

Hmmmm... Interesting that you didn't think about what I might have spent on ingredients that might have been at a critical point in preparation.

I didn't think about your having "critical" points of preparation with your meal, because I just don't cook and entertain that way. When my guests are arriving, all my prep work is done so I can greet them properly. I don't like them hovering around me and saying hello and hugging etc. when I am doing anything "critical." Next time, why not anticipate a need for a full vase of water, and prep that along with all your expensive ingredients. Kill two birds with one stone.

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Wine is always a good gift to a wine enthusiast so long as it is an interesting wine to which some thought has been given. It doesn't really matter if they already have a ton of it. If it is a really good, well known wine or something unusual and interesting it will be appreciated. If it is a bottle off the supermarket shelf, it will most likely be re-gifted or relegated to cooking. In this scenario, a target of $50-100 is appropriate, although interesting wines can certainly be found for less.

The kind of dinner party also is important. If it is a more formal, sit-down dinner, the gift should be more elaborate than if it is a casual, spontaneous breaking of bread.

I too would never mind being on the receiving end of a top-notch evoo or balsamico, but once again, if these are going to be given as gifts they should be good ones.

No one has ever turned down a bottle of Chateau d Ychem,

I gave a bottle of the '83 as a wedding present last year.

Even though I do not drink, I do buy some wines when they are at a good price and hold onto them to give as gifts.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Wine is always a good gift to a wine enthusiast so long as it is an interesting wine to which some thought has been given. It doesn't really matter if they already have a ton of it. If it is a really good, well known wine or something unusual and interesting it will be appreciated. If it is a bottle off the supermarket shelf, it will most likely be re-gifted or relegated to cooking. In this scenario, a target of $50-100 is appropriate, although interesting wines can certainly be found for less.

The kind of dinner party also is important. If it is a more formal, sit-down dinner, the gift should be more elaborate than if it is a casual, spontaneous breaking of bread.

I too would never mind being on the receiving end of a top-notch evoo or balsamico, but once again, if these are going to be given as gifts they should be good ones.

I like this whole post.

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No one has ever turned down a bottle of Chateau d Ychem,

I gave a bottle of the '83 as a wedding present last year.

Even though I do not drink, I do buy some wines when they are at a good price and hold onto them to give as gifts.

With gifts like that, you're welcome to come to my house or share in major celebratory events at any time. :laugh:


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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No one has ever turned down a bottle of Chateau d Ychem,

I gave a bottle of the '83 as a wedding present last year. 

Even though I do not drink, I do buy some wines when they are at a good price and hold onto them to give as gifts.

With gifts like that, you're welcome to come to my house or share in major celebratory events at any time. :laugh:

I have always believed in the "Bread cast upon the waters" philosophy!


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Our guests arrived bringing a lovely bottle of Port and an enormous bouquet of roses. Both gifts were lovely, quite appropriate and very much appreciated. However here's the problem I always have when someone arrives with a bouquet of flowers:

I'm busy in the kitchen. I have to stop to search for a vase. And in this case, it took some looking to find one that was large enough for this particular bouquet. It's quite warm here this time of year. As they arrived late morning, we hadn't yet turned on the a/c. The flowers laid on the kitchen counter whilst I located a vase. Once I found one I realized that I did not have time (nor space) to go thru the bouquet and trim the stems as is always recommended, so they were simply plopped into the vase with some water.

By this morning, there were rose petals all over the table. It saddens me that this obviously expensive bouquet didn't last as long as it should have.

OK, so the moral of my story is when you're selecting a hostess gift, please make it something that doesn't require immediate action on the part of the hosts. Something that takes no effort on his/her part will be appreciated much more!

That is precisely why, when about to buy a bunch of flowers for our friend's mother, whom we were meeting for the first time, I opted for the bunch already in a vase. It is obviously a cheap glass vase, as the bouquet only cost about $4 more, but when I got to the house, all they had to do was plop it down as a centerpiece, no futzing necessary.

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Back to the original question. Do your friends only drink wine? What about a fine bourbon, Scotch or Cognac. I have never turned down a bottle of any fine potable. :biggrin:


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I remember reading somewhere that bringing flowers to a French hostess was considered rude as they would have to take their attentions away from their guests.  It further mentioned that proper form was to send flowers the following day as a thank you.

I remember this as I thought it was a good point.

i'll remember this the next time i go to a dinner party in france. until then, though, i'll continue to bring, and appreciate the gift of, flowers. :laugh:

and a bottle of champagne is a pretty standard token as well. it helps if it's something besides that stuff in the orange label...i like to put some thought into it and have a brief backstory as to why i chose the wine.

i should note that my friends know that i go to popeye's for chicken and eat it with prosecco. at a recent party, they brought over a bottle of cava and a 20 dollar gift certificate to Popeye's. it always fun when the gift is, well, fun.


Edited by tommy (log)

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wine or flowers. and then send a nice note afterwards. They of course, make appropriate cards for the occasion these days.

:blink: Jeezus, when did my mother sign up for Egullet?!

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By this morning, there were rose petals all over the table. It saddens me that this obviously expensive bouquet didn't last as long as it should have.

Your fault. If someone is thoughtful enough to drop about $50 clams on a bouquet of roses for you, one STOPS what one is doing, and prepares the bouquet with care and attention. As well as appreciation. It takes less than 5 minutes to cut stems and plop in vase. Think of them as an appetizer someone brought that requires a bowl and a serving spoon or cheese knife.

Hmmmm... Interesting that you didn't think about what I might have spent on ingredients that might have been at a critical point in preparation.

I didn't think about your having "critical" points of preparation with your meal, because I just don't cook and entertain that way. When my guests are arriving, all my prep work is done so I can greet them properly. I don't like them hovering around me and saying hello and hugging etc. when I am doing anything "critical." Next time, why not anticipate a need for a full vase of water, and prep that along with all your expensive ingredients. Kill two birds with one stone.

To each their own, with styles of entertaining and menu planning. :smile:

I understand wholly empathise with Maison R.

Showing up with already vased flowers is the way to go, but often is easily forgotten.

I would never feel guilty or be made to feel guilty about not tending to the flowers to only end up overcooking X or have a sauce break. Yes, I'd feel that bit of 'aw, too bad' when all of the petals fell off these lovely things, but oh well.

I remember reading somewhere that bringing flowers to a French hostess was considered rude as they would have to take their attentions away from their guests.  It further mentioned that proper form was to send flowers the following day as a thank you.

I remember this as I thought it was a good point.

i'll remember this the next time i go to a dinner party in france. until then, though, i'll continue to bring, and appreciate the gift of, flowers. :laugh:

pffffft. :rolleyes::raz:

I hope with the addition of a utilitarian vase. :wink:

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With regards to the flowers isssue- I've been known to resort to just whipping out a bucket and plopping them in there temporarily. (We have a couple of buckets that hang out in the ultility area just off the kitchen, so it's pretty trival to grab one and put some water in, or even direct someone else to do so.)

It's not as nice as arranging them and putting them out on the table, but I figure people should understand that I might have my hands full. :)

If I have time after I've done what I was doing, I'll put them out as soon as possible, but I do like to take my time and get them arranged nicely. I always make a point of thanking the giver later, and making a comment about where they ended up. ("They really liven up the table." "The mantlepiece looks so bright and springlike with the flowers there." etc.)

I've been known to pick up fairly plain vases when they're on sale, so I have some on hand for gift giving, with a bouquet.

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I hope with the addition of a utilitarian vase. :wink:

aboslutely. i'd hate for my host to have to stop their cleaning/cooking/whatevering for 3 minutes to chat with me and pull a vase out of the basement. :blink:

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Myself, I don't own any vases, nor do I have a basement!


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Myself, I don't own any vases, nor do I have a basement!

note to self: don't ever bring redfox flowers. :raz:

After this, I ain't bringin' nobody no stinkin' flowers.....anyyyyy....mooooooore. :raz:

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Not everyone makes it to the greenmarkets in the summer months. So what about bringing your host an array of heirloom tomatoes in a pretty basket?


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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When I don't know someone well, or don't know what they already have in their house, I try to give a gift that they might like even if they have one of them already! So a teapot doesn't quite fit the bill, but food or drink gifts certainly do. Things like towels and placemats are out because they would need to fit the decor.

A pretty basket with fresh fruit and some cheeses might be nice. (Most people don't grow those at home!)


*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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