Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DIY Holiday Gift Boxes and Baskets for the Foodie

It's hard to avoid the cookie and candy gauntlet this time of year, and sure I like the stuff, it's hard to resist, but I'm not in the market for a bigger wardrobe, if you know what I mean. That's why I smiled when I opened this lovely box of organic fruit, chocolate and lemonade. It was perfect--organic apples, pears, and a mango, a package of dried organic fruit and one bar of this amazing chocolate.

As I gazed at the contents, I couldn't help wondering how many farmers like this one will ship boxes of fruit for you? Then I started conjuring some possibilities for my own foodie boxes and baskets made of course with local foods.

For packaging and wrapping re-purpose anything you have that looks interesting. Sure boxes like the one above are great, but consider odd boxes or baskets you might have around the house. Some may harbor intriguing histories or stories that can be written and passed on with the gift. My hope is that one day, containers for our gifts will be as valued as what's inside and we'll look forward to giving and receiving amazing baskets and boxes who could tell a ton of tales about the houses they stayed in or where they originated.

For ideas about what to put inside your box check your farmers' market and local stores for value-added farm products that go perfectly into food boxes and baskets.

This handmade bamboo box arrived with flowering teas and is packed for leaving with a honey-scented long-lasting candle from Hive Harvest (Tahuya River Apiaries), a bag of dark chocolate cover Holmquist hazelnuts, a lavender pear sauce from River House Creations on Whidbey Island, Ayers Creek Red Currant Spread, Woodring's Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce, and Rockridge Orchards' Sweet Raspberry Wine.

You could also pack some local fresh fruit, nuts and maybe a package of cheese curds.
This vintage Chinese box, rescued from a garage sale, is a great collectors's item that could be passed along. If you have an antique collectible box, include a brief story about where the box came from and how you got it, so the next person can add to the story.

My Cooking Assistant thinks these apples and tiny seckel pears from this farm and dried apples from this farm should be sampled before shipping.

As for padding--simple or colorful--it depends on what you have at home. You can cut strips of old wrapping paper or reuse tissue from other packages. I've also padded things with colorful dish towels--another gift cooks appreciate.
I found this gift basket from last year still filled with red and green tinsel--a perfect container in need of gifts. Here's an idea for the baker on your list: local flour from this farm and two cookbooks-- The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook, Discover Cooking with Lavender. (Shameless product placement or coincidence?) Toss in a few cookie cutters and maybe a pot holder or dish towel--check your local craft markets for these items.

Discover your own ideas at a farmers' market or local craft show near you.

My Cooking Assistant would rather have a basket of homemade dog cookies, but that's another story, coming soon.


Alejandra said...

Did you know that consuming healthy foods is becoming a trend nowadays? Anyways I am searching various types of fruit arrangements and further arrived at your site then I was plunged into your tips. Looking forward to see more on your site in the future.

Joan said...

Love all your ideas! And no reason dog treats can't be included in the fruitie/food basket if your recipient has a treats for that matter too! :) Merry Christmas!

ddzeller said...

Food baskets are like cards, each person should get something personal they can connect with. Glad you like the ideas.