There were a bunch of lessons that came to light during my cookbook tour last fall. Perhaps the most delightful thing was discovering you want to gift food beyond the traditional holidays. I do it every single day of the year, too, so duh – but to hear you ask about wholesome dishes to share any day of the year, well, it definitely reminded me that (1) I love you all and (2) we should be neighbors because that would be beyond everything.
Another thing that came up was how you struggle with gift wrap, and think you’re not so crafty. I remember saying “I’m not crafty either” over and over again. The thing is, crafty is over-rated. I can’t sew a quilt nor stitch together a dress, and I most certainly can’t scrapbook, nor watercolor, nor make an igloo from freshly fallen snow. But I can cook, put what I cook into a jar, and wrap that jar. And I do it clumsily, quickly, and without worry or stress. I’d like you to do that, too.
Since many foods worth sharing are shared in jars, I’m demonstrating the five ways I do it most frequently below. Five ways to wrap jars, folks. Now you can do it all the time, right?! I’m rooting for you. Here goes…
1. Tissue Paper + Ribbon: Lay a jar onto a couple sheets of tissue paper. Then, wrap it and tape it as you would a gift. Cut a piece of pretty ribbon and tie it in a knot around the center of the jar. Voilà! Don’t worry about making a bow or cutting the ribbon short. The longer the ribbon, the better the chance it will be reused rather than tossed away.
2. Newspaper + Twine: Lay a jar onto a sheet of newspaper. (I collect newspaper from every place I visit, or from the local Chinese restaurant, ha.) Then, wrap it and tape it as you would a gift. Cut a piece of string or twine and wind it around the jar vertically three or four times. Tie it off in a knot, and gift it just like this.
3. Tape: This is the simplest gift wrap of them all. Trim a piece of tape to be pressed across the top and down the sides of the jar. If you want to get a little fancy, use scallop-edged scissors to finish off the ends of the tape with a pretty design. If you don’t want to get fancy, I won’t tell.
4. Ribbon + Tag: This is the second easiest style of gift wrapping a jar. Write your tag — with a message or the name of the gift or when it expires, you get my drift — and thread some ribbon through the hole of the tag. Tie it around the top rim of the jar. Leave the ribbon ends long or cut them short, up to you. (By the way, I buy these tags in bulk here.)
5. Linen + Twine: Here’s how you get fancy! Lay the jar in the center of a new or clean (no judgement) kitchen towel. Fold the top up to cover the jar. Fold both sides in once, and then fold them in one more time. Slide a piece of twine under the folded towel, and tie it tight just above the top of the jar to keep it all in place. Gift the jar and the towel. That’s a pretty nice gift.
A Little Thank You:
I’d love to thank Julie Ciollo for these lovely shots. You should check out her photography here. I’d also like to thank my go-to cafe for work-time, coffee-time, me-time: Loyal Nine in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bon Appetit loves them too.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.