Monday, October 25, 2010

Food gifts inspire holiday memories

(ARA) - What are your most wonderful childhood holiday memories? Anxiously waiting for Santa to arrive? Picking up each brightly wrapped package and giving it a gentle shake? Sneaking in the kitchen to get the first taste of Grandma's special prime rib? The memories are so vivid it's hard to pick just one.

It's that time of the year when many people are starting to get their holiday gift-giving lists together. But rather than relying on ties, candles and candies, why not aim a little higher? This year, when putting together your holiday gift list, try starting a new tradition of creating memorable moments for your family and friends that they can look back on, years from now, with big smiles on their faces.

Many memories revolve around the family dinner table, especially the guest of honor at all meals: the meat. Whether it's a mouth-watering prime rib, a melt-in-your-mouth turkey or a flavorful ham, the family holiday meal evokes many heart-warming memories.

Evoking memories with food gifts is easier - and less expensive - than you might think. Here's how to get started. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper. Divide it into two columns and jot down your favorite holiday memories in the first column.

In the second column, add the individuals on your gift list. Then, start to match the memory-making items you'd like to share. To make the gift even more special, write down the memory in a special card for the recipient.

Ed Scavuzzo, president of Kansas City Steaks, says he receives notes every year from customers who are trying to re-create that special holiday meal. "One gentleman wanted to find a Beef Wellington his mother used to serve on Christmas Eve. A young woman called, asking if we had a special Hickory Smoked Turkey, like the one she remembers from Thanksgiving with her great aunt Mary," says Scavuzzo.

The scents of the holidays may also inspire some holiday food gifts. Cloves, cinnamon, sage and garlic are just a few of the wafting scents that greet you when you step into your memory holiday kitchen. Look for food gifts that bring those scents to life to add another dimension to your holiday present.

Look for items to extend the giving, and the memories, throughout the year. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is becoming popular in many areas of the country. Gift certificates for fresh produce throughout the year to supplement the main entree is a great new way to give - and to give back to your community at the same time.

There are many online holiday gift resources to help you make these memories come to life. One great resource to help you re-create those special holiday meals is, where you can order all kinds of holiday favorites, from filet mignon to steaks, online. They'll do all the leg work for you, providing direct delivery whenever you want it to arrive.

By making memorable food the center of your holiday giving, you'll not only bring your loved one joy this year, but bring them back to the joyful times of the past.

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