My favorite hostess gifts to give and receive are those that come from the kitchen and garden. They aren't extravagant, just something simple and thoughtful like a bouquet of herbs or a little bottle of homemade syrup. Are you attending any gatherings this spring? Here are five lovely gifts to consider.
• 1. Preserved Lemons - This versatile ingredient will delight many cooks. If preserved lemons might be new to your host, include a card printed with ideas for using them.
• 2. Homemade Vinaigrette - The perfect accompaniment to all the beautiful spring greens right now. For a nice presentation, dress up the jar with parchment paper and twine (see post for example).
• 3. Herb Bouquet - Tie together sprigs of herbs from your garden or farmers' market — simple, seasonal, and fragrant.
• 4. Herb-Infused Spirits and Syrups - Lemon verbena, rosemary, lovage, mint ... all these herbs and more can be used to make an infused spirit or syrup.
• 5. Strawberry Basil Syrup - Turn sweet spring strawberries into a gorgeous syrup that your host can stir into drinks and pour over desserts.
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)