Yikes, I wrote this post weeks ago but forgot to publish it – doh!
We really are quite a foodie family and it’s common for us to give each other gifts based around food and drink and if not, then things to eat and drink with.
This was one of my favourite past gifts to give, it’s a nibbles box based around the Iittala Thule range.
I bought two of the nibble bowls and two champagne glasses.
It was a kind of tongue-in-cheek gift as my Sister (who they were for) is well know for her ability to knock over and break glasses to the point of being ‘banned’ from red wine and anything with a stem. I figured these flat bottomed little glasses are quite sturdy and make her usual breaking habit a little harder. They have been used on Finnair, First Class, since they were designed in late 1960s and I just LOVE them (I have quite a few bits from the collection myself).
The blurb on Iittala’s website reads:
Legend Tapio Wirkkala was the pioneer of modern Finnish industrial art. Internationally recognised for his glass designs, Wirkkala’s greatest inspiration always came from his native Finland. Wirkkala defied the rules of glassblowing with his iconic Ultima Thule collection. Inspired by ice and snow, Wirkkala spent nearly a thousand hours with the glassblowers at the Iittala Glass Factory, to recreate a unique slice of Nordic nature. Characterised by a rounded base supported by three ice peaks that float above the surface, the groundbreaking Ultima Thule brings a piece of arctic nature into any interior
I filled the rest of the box with champagne and nibbles to go with the glasses and bowls and the card is us when we were kids; I’m the one with short legs. I really enjoyed putting this gift together. These are on sale at Nordic Nest right now (well they were weeks ago when I wrote this post, who knows now!).
Another similar gift I’ve given is The Aviary cocktail book.
It’s a bit like having the Heston Blumenthal ‘The Big Fat Duck’ cook book (which I have received as a gift one year) in that it looks great and is fascinating to read but you need a LOT of kit to make most of the contents so it’s more of a coffee table inspiration book. Saying that, I found a few cocktails that were worth attempting and bought all of the booze and kit to make them and included this as part of the gift.
There are loads of cocktails that involve making flavoured ‘spheres’. It all gets very scientific but it’s loads of fun.
Here was my attempt at creme de menthe spheres before adding a frozen wasabi and white chocolate base to make a ‘Kyoto Winter’ cocktail. Sounds revolting but it was lush, like an adult slush puppy bubble tea. I was too busy drinking it to take a nice photo, clearly.
This year one of gifts I received was gin and new ‘matching’ (gorgeous) LSA Dusk balloon goblets. Loving these.
As always the boys are no exception to the food giving. F has decided he likes tea and as the only tea drinker in the house he got loads of tea themed gifts for Christmas, including a tea advent calendar and a Pukka tea selection box. He also got some lovely loose tea from The Tea Makers of London, with a new glass teapot and some very pretty flowering tea bulbs which have gone down a storm.
Finally C also got food gifts in the form of a Velvetiser from Hotel Chocolat. Technically it was a ‘house’ gift as it lives in the kitchen but it was really for him as he’s taken to daily hot chocolate making over winter and (if I am being very honest) I was a bit sick of cleaning the pans afterwards, so after MUCH deliberation I decided this would be a gadget worth buying. You can get the same machine by the same makers, I understand, as a milk frother for half the price elsewhere but as it was a gift it seemed important it was branded as a hot chocolate maker and he got a little hamper of sachets and biscuits to go with it, lucky boy. I really am reluctant to add anything new to our already crowded kitchen and this was expensive but it has proved its worth in the short time we’ve owned it already.
I only noticed this unpublished post as I was sitting down for a moment between baking cake for the weekend and clearing all the open windows on my laptop. It’s Eurovision on Saturday night and we like Eurovision in this house. I grew up watching it, thrilled at being allowed to stay up late and (don’t call Social Services, it was the 1970s/80s!) drink some Lambrusco whilst revelling in the sequins and songs I couldn’t understand the words to as they had to be sung in the countries local language back then. I have just made Nigella’s Marzipan Loaf Cake which you can find here on the BBC and I’m now looking for the best Rosti recipe so I can make giant ones for our Eurovision party as we like to have fancy food, I’ll then add Scandi toppings and salads. We know how to live.
Right, off to print off some score cards!