Christmas gifts of the last-minute kind
Next year, Christmas falls on a Sunday, which will make things a whole lot easier.
But there's still time this year. Here are a few more ideas that either landed in my mailbox or that I scouted out on my own.
BIC food-enthusiast classes -- take a look a the spring semester catalog of Baltimore International College cooking classes. The institute launched these open-to-the-public, single-night classes last Fall. $80 Gift certificates are available here, and there's still time.
Botanical "foodie" soaps from Baltimore Soap and More -- I really meant to have posted this before the weekend because the soap-maker sells her perfume-free natural soaps at the Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar. And now the market is done for the season. But here's a link to the Etsy shop for Baltimore Soap and More. Pictured is the Clementine Coconut Cake soap, inspired by the real-life coconut cake at Clementine.
Rheb's Chocolates -- I received this email this morning. The subject line was "Sweet Baltimore Story
Hi, Richard- I just got back from Rheb’s where every square inch of floor space was taken up with people waiting to order their “special” chocolates.(outside the air smelled like pure sugar- production in the basement) It was quite an experience and made me think of your column because people were all telling each other when they had their first Rheb’s, who gave it to them, and what their candy traditions are now. I thought if you had a spare minute in this busy week you might enjoy standing
"Sweet, smoky, and sassy," Hot Squeeze (you can buy it at Whole Foods Market) is garnish, condiment, dressing, sauce, marinade, and glaze all in one little bottle. Do not taunt Hot Squeeze.
For the Sricracha lover -- The Ocean City, MD-based HotSauceDaily.com blogger Brian Meagher recently ran a guest post last Friday by Randy Clemens, the author of The Sriracha Cookbook. Ah, turns out the book is still in pre-order. But take a look at the post anyway.
Restaurant gift card/certificate -- Easy enough. Or is it? Some you can buy online, some you have to call for. But I can't find any website that tells me this: what does the thing look like? Is it a plastic card, or a pretty thing? If you have the card/certificate mailed, is it presented well, with the option of a personal message. Sometimes it's ambiguous whether you can have a certificate mailed to a recipient or only to a shipping address that's different than a mailing address.
I could go on. But if you're a restaurateur, take a look at how you're selling gift cards & certificates on and off your website. Think of everything someone buying one would want to know and go from there. Then, make sure your entire front-of-house staff knows how to process a gift certificate or at least knows who does.