The Very Best Brunch
One of my favourite emerging traditions (or trends, as it were) for the holiday season is to host a holiday brunch post-present opening. Whether it’s in lieu of a giant turkey dinner with the whole family or a more intimate affair for your household, I love the idea of gathering around and basking in the holiday spirit for a few precious hours after the wrapping is torn off. I chose today’s gifts to either bring with you as a hostess gift, if you’re indeed attending a brunch, or to simply complement your giftee’s kitchen accoutrements for when they host a brunch any time of year. Enjoy!
Vegetable Keep Sacks – $8.99 – $11.99 @ Mastrad
When your mind drifts to brunch you may immediately think of pancakes and bacon, but don’t forget about those savoury side dishes that make this mid-day meal what it is. I’m talking garlicky scrambled eggs, onion-loaded quiche, and seasoned homemade hash browns, to name a few. Keep your root veggies from going rotten with these clever ‘keep sacks’ which hang up to save cupboard space. Their ingenious design allows air to flow in but blocks out the light, to keep your most steadfast of ingredients from sprouting.
Snowflake Pancake Pan – $34.99 @ Sears
Just like the snowflakes outside, these ones will quickly disappear when you cook up a batch of homemade pancakes for your loved ones. This non-stick griddle pan is easy-as-pie to use. Just whip up some batter and pour it into the molds, set it on your stovetop, and bingo, a plate’s worth of pancakes is ready to serve up.
Fresh & Creamy Butter Kit – $20 @ Roaring Brook Dairy
You may never be able to go back to store-bought butter after making it yourself with this simple and charming farmstead-style butter kit. Complete with salts, seasonings, and all the tools you’ll need to make a pound of butter, all you need to do is spring for the cream and soon enough you’ll have butter to spread on your toast, pancakes, and other breakfast sundries come your holiday brunch. Bring it along and gift it to the host, or buy it for yourself and bring some homemade goods instead.
Hot Sauce of the Month Club – Packages start at $59 from @ From Mild To Wild
True story, it’s rare to find many ‘of the month’ subscriptions here in Canada. But if you’d like to spice up the life of your giftee, you may want to indulge in the ‘Hot Sauce of the Month’ club offerings from saucy supplier From Mild To Wild. Choose your hotness and the length of your subscription, and prepare to scream from the spiciness every single month. Why is this included on the brunch list? Well hot sauce and breakfast have been like two peas in a pod as of late – from sprinkling it onto your eggs to marinating your taters in it, you can liven up any sleepyheads with just a drop or two of these potent tongue-burners.
Buy Local Calendar – $24 @ Claudia Pearson
New York-based artist Claudia Pearson is known for her whimsical watercolours, which are used to great effect in this ‘Buy Local’ calendar. The idea? While keeping track of dates, you can also keep tabs on what local produce should be available from your farmer’s market or well-stocked supermarkets. Want to move away from paper? There’s also a reusable tea towel incarnation that can pull double duty as either wall art or kitchen cleaner.
Mr. & Mrs. Holiday Cocktail Glasses – $24 for the set @ Furbish
I love these glasses because they could be applied to multiple scenarios. Not that big into gift-giving, or are you just dating someone but still want to give your significant other’s parents a present? Consider this an affordable, festive choice. Want to bring a hostess gift for the parents apart from their big under-the-tree surprise? Also great. Did you splurge on a luxe bottle of liquor and want to include an accoutrement? Bingo. As for why these are on the brunch list? Well if you’re going to indulge in a mimosa or sangria with brunch, what better time of year to do it than Christmas? Note that Furbish doesn’t have an official Canadian shipping policy, but does say they do international shipping – just contact their customer service before going for these golden glasses.
FreshPaper – $4.99 for 8 sheets
Look below those ripe-as-heck strawberries and feast your eyes on the simplest yet smartest invention (and cheapie gift idea) ever. What is it? Essentially, it’s an organic piece of paper filled with all-natural spices. When you toss it into your fruit bowl or produce drawer – or anywhere you store fruits or veggies – it will actually preserve your fresh food for up to 4x longer. When it’s out of its potent powers (which can be detected by a distinct maple scent), simple compost the sheet and swap it out for a new one. Seeing as how no brunch is complete without a bowl of fresh fruit (and the requisite leftovers), this is an ingenious hostess gift that’s oh-so-affordable.
Canvas Text Bread Basket – $14.50 @ Indigo
Serve up freshly baked muffins or rolls in this charming literary bread basket, made from breathable, natural canvas and imprinted with a famous quote from Alice In Wonderland. Not only is this a cute addition to your tabletop, it also happens to have a genius practicality about it as well – instead of adding yet another piece of serveware to your already crowded cupboards, this foldable bag can easily tuck in next to your oven mitts, or whatever nook or cranny you’ve got left in the kitchen.
Kate Spade ‘Say The Word’ Mugs – $20 each @ Horchow
Start morning every morning off with a heartwarming beverage and an uplifting message from design star Kate Spade. Each of these crisp, colourful porcelain mugs feature a cheerful affirmation you’ll drink in as you sip your favourite coffee, cocoa, or tea. They may be a little on the pricy side for the full set, but consider grabbing one in your hostesses’ favourite colour for her desk so she can recreate the brunch experience every single day.
BeaverTails Pancake Mix Gift Set – $15 @ Winners & Homesense
Consider this your new go-to hostess gift this holiday season. For less than $20, you’ll get a substantial, prepackaged gift featuring organic pancake mix, all-natural strawberry spread, and a bottle of what I consider the world’s most precious liquid, Canadian maple syrup. It’s everything you need to actually get brunch started, and it’s oh-so-yummy to boot!
If you’re salivating at this post (or at least adding a few more items to your own wish list) you may be in luck: I’m giving away a $75 gift set of goodies from Beavertails, including the pancake mix, four chocolate bars, a tee, a baby onesie, and a tote bag to carry all your loot to and from your festive fete. Here’s how to (potentially) score:
1) Leave a comment by December 31st with your top brunch-themed pick from this list!
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around January 1st to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Follow me on Twitter (@cdngiftguide) and send out a Tweet about this contest tagging me in it for a bonus entry!