What do you take as a host or hostess gift when you’re invited to dinner? Or to spend the weekend with a friend? The usual? A bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers? We’ve got three suggestions to get you out of your gift-giving rut.
One of Georgia’s Most Beloved Products – the Pecan
We think a great host or hostess gift is one that requires no scramble to find a vase, no making space in the refrigerator and no need to consume in the next 30 minutes. At our next dinner party, we’d love to receive the “Taste of Pecans” gift box from Georgia’s Pearson Farm. Deliver it yourself or send it on ahead (and then the hostess might have time to get out a few bowls and share some). Your gift will come in a pretty gray-blue box tied with grosgrain ribbon. Inside are four packages of Pearson Farm’s pecans. Included are the classic toasted and salted variety along with cinnamon, Southern praline and seasoned. These are fresh pecans from just down the road in Fort Valley. Who doesn’t love pecans? Our photo shows 12-ounce bags, but the box is now available in two sizes: $35 for four 8-ounce bags. $53 for four 16-ounce bags. pearsonfarm.com
A Cookbook That’s a Good Read and a Jar of Compote to Go with It
Restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina, have been doing farm-to-table for a very long time. Tupelo Honey is one of Asheville’s exports to metro Atlanta, with a relatively new outpost in Sandy Springs. Generous with their recipes, they’ve published two cookbooks and there’s a third on the way. The first features recipes that use local produce including a number of cafe favorites like six recipes for gravy and plenty of the brunch favorites they’re famous for like their “Ginormous Biscuits” and blackberry breakfast pudding. For someone who loves to cook, or just enjoys reading a fun cookbook, pair one of the cookbooks with a jar of their blueberry compote. The compote is made from just blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and a little lemon juice. Just like you’d make it if you had time to do it yourself. $29.99 for the cookbook, $8.95 for a 9-ounce jar of compote. Buy the first and second cookbooks together for $49.99. Tupelo Honey, 4600 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 404-649-6334. tupelohoneycafe.com.
A Trio of Hot Sauces
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is filmed in the Atlanta area, is in its seventh season and has as many as 18 million people for fans. So chances are good at least some of your friends fall in that group. For them, we have the perfect host or hostess gift – The Walking Dead Hot Sauce Tri-Pack from Palmetto, Florida’s Tabanero. The pack contains their Original, Extra Hot and Agave Sweet & Spicy flavors. The sauces aren’t vinegar-based but are made with a variety of peppers, carrots, onions and Key lime juice. The agave version in particular lures you in with its smoke and sweet flavors, then brings on the heat at the end. The result is flavorful hot sauce, not nuclear blast hot sauce and you’ll probably score points for being the first guest original enough to arrive with bottles of hot sauce and not wine. It’s so good even your friends who don’t know anything about this show will love the gift. $24.99 for a box of three 8-ounce bottles. tabanero.com.