With the holiday gifting season upon us, there is no better time than now to share a few pages from Maggie Battista‘s lovely new book, Food Gift Love. Maggie is the founder and owner of Eat Boutique, and this book has the same beauty and generosity of spirit for which her work has long been known.
Maggie and I have been friends for a long time now. She opened up her home for a celebratory potluck when my first book came out, and has often fed me and put me up in her cozy guest room when my travels have taken me to the Boston area.
A cornerstone of our friendship is the time we’ve spent talking about making, writing, and being businesspeople (she’s better at it than I am). Even when this book was just a wee spark of an idea, I remember thinking that it was going to be a grand addition to my bookshelf. Little did I know just how gorgeous and useful it would be!
Food Gift Love is far more than just a cookbook. It is the guide to gifting that so many of us have often needed. There is advice on how to stock your pantry for easy gift making. Suggestions abound for simple items that will allow you to present your gifts beautifully (as someone who has long hated to bother with fussy wrappings, I’ve found this guidance infinitely helpful, because it has helped me elevate my game while managing to avoid the fuss). And, Maggie offers plenty of help in choosing just the right food gift.
As a canner, I often fall into the trap of thinking that ever food gift I give needs to be a pickle or preserve of some kind. Even just a quick flip through this book helps rid me of that notion. Not everyone wants a jar of jam, but I am certain that I know half a dozen people who might like the Vinegar Sauce that’s pictured above, or the Jam-Swirled Marshmallows in the picture below (and what a brilliant way to show off your homemade spread in a new way!).
Other things you’ll find in this book include a handful of infused sea salts (orange-fennel! vanilla! saffron!), extracts and infused oils, chocolate-dipped spoons, pizza rolls (I’ve had these straight from Maggie’s oven – ridiculous!), a lovely selection of fruit preserves, limoncello, and rompopo (a Latin-style eggnog that is beloved in Maggie’s family).
Just one more thing! If you’re in the Boston area, make sure to get yourself over the Eat Boutique Market. It’s popping up at 267 Western Ave, North Allston, MA (near the Harvard Business School), Wedneday through Sunday, with the last day being December 20. Having been to an earlier incarnation of Maggie’s holiday market, I can promise that it is well worth the trip!