Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Easter looming

March 23, 2010

I should feel more excited about Easter, I guess.  But I grew up in a household that didn’t really celebrate it, other than going to church on the relevant holy days.  So we missed out on chocolate easter bunnies and easter egg treasure hunts – and somehow I never really noticed or minded.

Which makes it a little harder when you marry into a family that loves to celebrate Easter.  Everyone exchanges Easter eggs, the fancier the better.  I still find it a little confusing, and have to ask my husband who I need to buy for and what date to give the eggs on.  This festival just doesn’t come naturally to me.

The one place I did feel relaxed about Easter was, funnily enough, Spain.  I lived there for a while a few years ago, and my time there happened to coincide with Semana Santa (“Holy Week” in Spanish).  There I found that Easter was a wholly uncommercialised, totally religious festival.  If chocolate bunnies and eggs were available, I never saw them, either advertised or for sale.  (And I was fortunate enough to be in Malaga for the fabulous, completely-over-the-top Semana Santa parades– a mind-blowing, top 10 life experience.)

So now, I watch Easter approaching with a little apprehension.  I’m gonna have to get my head around buying and giving those Easter gifts once again, but for me, this is one gift occasion that just doesn’t come naturally.  I guess you have to grow up with it.


“Eat me”

January 15, 2010

There’s a great example of creative gift-giving in Marian Keyes’ latest novel, The Brightest Star in the Sky (Michael Joseph, 2009):

Laid out on…the counter was a series of gifts for her.  A bottle of champagne with a Post-it saying ‘Drink me’; a kilo box of Godiva chcolates saying ‘Eat me’; a huge bunch of roses saying ‘Smell me’; and a pink beribboned box of wispy underwear saying ‘Wear me’.

What a great way to give presents when you can’t be there in person!  (The giver of this lovely loot had unfortunately to be overseas on business on the day of his girlfriend’s birthday.

Definitely worth emulating, even if on a smaller scale – not all of us can afford kilo boxes of Godiva chocolates, etc.

And the clever, instruction-based labelling is itself probably inspired by the food and drink that Alice discovers in Alice in Wonderland (or is it Through The Looking Glass?  I’m never sure!)

Dessert, anyone?

October 3, 2009

P1050165I’m panting to sample Lindt’s petit desserts – they look divine.  They also make a pretty, delicious and slightly unusual gift, so I think I’ll be giving a few of them away at Christmas. 

Note to self: buy one for me too!

Related post: Something sweet.

Chocolate: it adds up

July 2, 2009

Introducing the “Chocolator”. 

The photo says it all: a calculator that looks like a block of chocolate.  In fact, it also smells (very convincingly!) like chocolate.

A great stocking filler for a chocolate lover, or for wrecking the diet of that annoying office colleague…the choice is yours.

Available from funky gift stores.

Something sweet

May 19, 2009

Candy – an ever-popular gift.  Also one of the most clichéd.  When somebody gives you a box of leading brand chocolates, it’s nice – but usually also suggests that they couldn’t think of something more original. 

Yet I still have a soft spot for candy – both giving it and eating it!  And it needn’t be boring.  Here are some ideas on how to put a new spin on candy:

  • Luxury: a selection of fine, handmade chocolates
  • Nostalgia: old fashioned ‘sweet shop’ candy such as lemon drops, barley sugars, jelly babies, sherbet, aniseed wheels, gobstoppers, etc. 
  • A taste of home: my British relatives love UK-imported sweets, which remind them of the candy of their childhood
  • Exotic: such as genuine Turkish Delight, made with real rosewater.  Or French nougat.  Or Scottish toffees.  Or Russian chocolates (recommended!)
  • Novelty: like chocolate figurines or gourmet jelly beans – or the “anti-establish mints” that I saw recently!
  • Home-made: try making it yourself – fudge, taffy, rum babas, peanut brittle, etc.

Hopefully that’s got both your digestive and creative juices flowing!  The trick is to find the speciality candy stores in your area (and websites) that stock more than just the same old mainstream brands. 

Happy gifting!