Monday, November 15, 2010

What?! A German Potato Salad Lesson?! For Me??? Get out of town!

You remember when you were a little kid and you noticed that mommies and daddies and grandparents didn't get as many gifts at Christmas as kids did and it seemed so perplexing that the grown ups still seemed happy and festive as they opened their slippers and boxes of chocolate and small appliances . . . Maybe your mom even told you that all she wanted for Christmas was to have her family all together.

Now, I don't want those with my name on their Christmas lists to get the idea that I won't accept presents because I certainly will, but I am starting to feel like a real adult -- the kind who could just be happy with some new slippers and a good spread of food. Yes, I like stuff as much and probably more than the next gal. I do like presents and happen to be an especially enthusiastic opener/receiver of gifts, NTB. But it's liberating to realize that there's nothing I really need and that the gifts are only the icing on an already-tasty holiday cake. Increasingly, the holidays are more and more about spending time with family, eating, and sharing in the joy, wonder, and excitement of my children.
I'm starting to field requests for lists for me and the family and to put feelers out to discover what those on my list would like.
I was thinking this afternoon though that there are quite a few gifts that would cost little or no money that I would be happy to receive.
Since I started this blog post a little too close to bedtime, I'll just share a few items on MEP's Free/Almost Free Gift List.

MEP's Free/Almost Free Gift List
* Recipe Collection -- I love looking through cookbooks, magazines, and food blogs/websites. A free/almost-free gift I would love would be a collection of favorite recipes from someone else's kitchen. The collection would not have to be fancy or scrapbooked or bound or painstakingly copied onto pretty cards -- any old mish-mash of photocopies of cookbook pages or recipe cards, online printouts, pages out of magazines, and/or word documents would be great. A line or two like "the boys love this" or "my favorite app to bring to a cookouts" or "don't use cheap wine" would be a bonus, but just the recipes (and an invitation to call or email with questions) would be a really delightful, welcome gift.

* Cooking Lesson -- Another free/almost free gift I'd love would be a specialty cooking lesson in a home kitchen given by a friend/family member. I want to know, for example, how to make my Grandma's German Potato Salad. I don't think she can teach me at this point, but I'd love it if my mom and I carved out some time for me to learn this specialty from my mom. Similarly, I've never roasted a chicken or a turkey on my own. I know, I know, "It's so easy, MEP," many of you are thinking. Probably it is, but if someone I knew was an experienced poultry roaster, I'd love for them to walk me through the process. If someone has a culinary specialty they are willing to teach, I am willing to learn. The gift would be the knowledge and the time spent together.

Even though my November posts tell a different story, I promise that there is more to my life and on my mind than food.
There are lots more free/almost free gift ideas that I plan to share in future posts so please stay tuned. You've heard of re-gifting, but how about FREE-gifting!?
Please leave a comment sharing any free/almost free food-related gift ideas. What cooking lesson could you offer and to whom? What are some of the recipes you might include in a collection?
Start brainstorming more free-gifting ideas. I'll post again on this topic a week from today.


Heather said...

GREAT idea, and I know exactly what you mean. I have been blessed with more than I could ask for; anything more is just "icing on the cake".

BTW, I'm ready when you are for our mutual post. Let me know...

LAP said...

I've already shared with you most of my go to recipes. In reponse to the free gifts, I would love nothing more than free babysitting, with specific allocations like one per quarter or something instead of "whenever you want." Because, with the latter, it's sometimes awkward (or seems like a favor, not a gift) to cash in. That sounded a little greedy, but I mean, you asked...:)

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me. I can provide gifts without going to the mall. Not that I ever mind that! I appreciate the time invested in being creative and picking a meaningful gift. I, too, (without trying to sound sappy) am so incredibly blessed, there is nothing I need and being surrounded by family and friends is what I love. m

Anonymous said...

this is a fun idea! i'd love for someone to teach me how to sew a straight line with my sewing machine and a straight hem by hand. i'd love for someone to teach my how to REALLY iron those dress shirts and how to fold the fitted sheet. i did have someone show me her "system" for towel folding and it has improved my life :) rita

btw: i'd pay for the sitter if someone else would call and ask for me....hate making the call

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