Since our family and friends are spread up and down California and Oregon, and giving gifts in person is just not possible this year, we have started sending more gifts of food. Companies like Pittman and Davis, Hickory Farms, Harry and David, The Fruit Company, Temecula Olive Oil Company, Nut Cravings, and Barnett’s make and send pastries, nuts, and fruit that are not inexpensive, but always delicious. Food is the perfect gift to send to folks you love but don’t see very often. It doesn’t clutter up the house (at least not for long!), it is always the right size, and it makes for interesting snacking.
This year, with so many wonderful treats coming to our front door, I have gotten good at making whole meals out of them! The Chipotle cheese from Auntie Bridgett’s brother became a spicy quesadilla, eaten alongside an orange from her Aunt Chris. Afternoon snacks of almonds and dried fruit from your own family make for healthy mid-afternoon eating, and the lemon olive oil from Julie will help turn some weary kale into a tasty salad.
Besides the professionally packaged gifts, we have gotten boxes full of wrapped presents. Auntie Christy and Cousin Kyle sent theirs padded with pages and pages of the Los Angeles Times newspaper! It was so much fun reading the articles. She even included the funny pages, and we saw that that clever woman does the LA Times crossword and Sudoku…in ink! Very impressive.
Of course, with three of us in the house, and all of us ordering some things that we couldn’t find in town, the new rule is, if it’s not addressed to you, don’t open it! We don’t want to spoil the surprise.
I hope you get lots of wonderful presents!