It’s the season to party down! During the holidays, people go all out to host the best seasonal soirees for their nearest and dearest. These are the coups de grace of the year’s parties, and your hostesses aren’t skimping, so be sure to extend your gratitude with a special something. We’ve scoured Birmingham’s shops and boutiques to find a diverse collection of creative culinary hostess gifts. From salt and pickles to gorgeous linens and art, these fabulous hostess gifts will not only satisfy tummies and enhance kitchens, but they will ensure that you make a gracious and memorable entrance at each holiday party this year!
Holiday farmhouse breakfast set
Give your hostess the gift of an easy and delicious pancake or waffle breakfast the morning after hosting a festive fete with this holiday farmhouse breakfast set by Stonewall Kitchen. Enjoy wild Maine blueberry jam, pancake and waffle mix, and maple syrup, along with a red and green plaid tea towel for a touch of woodsy holiday charm. Find it for $49 at A’Mano.
Stone Hollow Farmstead cannery pickles
It’s always nice to add something interesting to the cheese plate at the last minute. Bring a dash of the unexpected to the party with sweet and savory pickles from the Stone Hollow Farmstead cannery. These pickled okra offer a savory, briny crunch, while the pickled peaches have a tart sweetness that complements the saltiness of many cheeses. Find these large jars of pickled goods for $22 each at The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead.
Infused extra virgin olive oils
These fine, extra virgin olive oils from Spain, Italy, Tunisia, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Portugal, Argentina, Australia and California are infused with rich and exotic ingredients, like wild mushroom and sage, Tuscan herbs and chile peppers. These flavors in the olive oils add a subtle, yet complex, nuance to any home cook’s cuisine. Find them at Oli.O, ranging in price from $12.99 to $29.99.
Earthborn Pottery’s backyard honey
When Tena Payne isn’t busy running her wildly successful earthenware company, Earthborn Pottery, she and her son, Nathan, act as beekeepers to their backyard hives, harvesting honey to sell at local farmers markets. This beautiful, amber-colored honey is local, meaning it contains naturally occurring pollens, enzymes and antioxidants that give honey its healing and rejuvenating properties. Find it for $10 a quart at Earthborn Pottery.
Alabama Goods mug and cocoa
Pair this handhewn Alabama state mug with this homegrown hot cocoa mix by Loving Cup Hot Cocoa. Pastor Bill of Birmingham created a hot cocoa recipe that evokes the sweet experience of the “loving cups” his mama used to make with real cocoa, whole milk and sugar. Give this cup of Alabama love to your hostess as a warm, comforting nightcap after hosting a successful holiday party. Find the mug, $23, and the cocoa mix, $12, at Alabama Goods.
Simon Pearce sea salt and mustard
Elevate your dishes with these next-level epicurean accents by Simon Pearce. This verjus and maple mustard is the perfect addition to any charcuterie board. And Simon Pearce’s Meyer lemon and rosemary sea salt will intensify the flavors of your main courses, while his Irish cream chocolate sauce is dazzling when drizzled over your favorite dessert. Find them for $15 each at Table Matters.
Bang Candy Company simple syrups
This Nashville-based company is making waves in the sugar world with its forward-thinking marshmallows, chocolates, treats and simple syrups. With flavors like peach-basil nectar, hibiscus-orange blossom-ginger, habanero-lime and ginger rosemary, these simple syrups are the perfect addition to cocktails, homemade sodas and dishes like fruit salad or parfaits! Find them for $9.95 a bottle at Lamb’s Ears.
Fox Point Farms’ goat’s milk caramel and fudge sauces
Fox Point Farms is a sprawling 40-acre farm in Kellyton that is home to Pat and Christie Jamison, their five children, four goats, three dogs and now more than 300 animals. Fox Point Farms is also becoming well-known for its unique indulgences made from goat’s milk. This Cajeta Caramel Sauce is a traditional Mexican confection made by caramelizing goat’s milk, and their award-winning Faabulous Fudge Sauce is chocolate-y perfection. Find them for $14 each at The Village Poodle.
Charleston Tea Plantation teas
Nestled in the heart of historic Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina’s low country, Charleston Tea Plantation is proud to be America’s only tea garden. The 127-acre tea plantation produces more than 320 varieties of black and green teas. From fruity to herbal to classic, these teas are the perfect little slice of Americana for any tea-loving hostess. Find them at The Dande Lion for $10 per box.
These lovely linens can be used on tablescapes for a dash of decadence or they can lend a touch of finery to a well-styled kitchen or bathroom rack. Fun Stuff carries a wide range of napkin and linen styles and colors, with prices starting at $8.99 apiece. Fun Stuff’s monogramming, in a wide array of font and color choices, is $10 per line of letters.
Cookie recipe tea towel and spatula
This adorable cotton tea towel features holiday cookie recipes, such as candy cane cookies, almond spritzes, jam-filled cookies, gingerbread men and more. It comes with a silicone and steel spatula. Pair it with recipe ingredients for added cookie-making fun! Find it at A Little Something for $15.
Elegant kitchen towels
Not one to go crazy with traditional red and green decor? These kitchen towels in neutral tones with touches of metallic thread lend an understated holiday elegance to any kitchen. And you’ll get more bang for your buck, because they can be used year-round! Find them for $18.50 each at B. Bayer & Co. Monogramming & Gifts.
UNIQUE SERVING PIECES
Marble cutting board
This marble cutting board is a lovely display piece for last-minute charcuterie meats and cheeses, perfect for the multitasking hostess, as well as the passionate epicure. Pair it with the hostess’ favorite cheese and crackers to add a personal touch! Find it for $35 at At Home Furnishings.
Versatile serving piece
Whether it’s serving salsa, hummus, pickles, olives, relishes, jellies, nuts or candies, this versatile serving dish is sure to be your hostess’ new favorite entertaining piece. It can be dressed up or down all year round. Find it at Stray Cats for $21.99.
Tea set by local artist
When you want to extend an extra special thank you to your host, you can never go wrong with art, especially functional kitchen art. This gorgeous teapot with matching tea cups was created by local Leeds-based artist Larry Allen. His functional works of art incorporate African and Native American influences, and one of his vases was presented by the Alabama State Council on the Arts to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee. Find this teapot, $120, and tea cups, $30 each, at Artists Incorporated.
Fork cheese markers
Timid cheese eaters rejoice! No more reticent moments of bravely cutting into an unknown cheese and praying for Swiss rather than Stilton. These clever fork labels demystify those ambiguous hunks of cheese, ending cheese board anxiety once and for all. Find this set of four at The Cook Store for $25.
Baguette cutting board
This ingenious baguette cutting board, made of 100 percent American pine, has premade cut marks to help you create uniform crostini quickly for your hungry guests. Cut down on time spent in the kitchen while you also cut perfect bread slices! Find it at Bromberg’s for $38.
WHEN THE PARTY’S OVER
Shop Local: InstaGift eCards
Your hostess has cooked and entertained everyone else, so treat her to top-notch service at her favorite local restaurant or shop with an instantly available eGift card from InstaGift. Located at Innovation Depot, Instagift is one of Birmingham’s top startups, promoting the Shop Local movement through their online gift cards. The fantastic roster of participating restaurants includes Cafe Dupont, Brick & Tin, Daniel George, El Barrio, Iz Cafe, Little Savannah, Mafioaza’s, 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar, Ollie Irene, OvenBird, Paramount and The Pantry, among others. And the participating shops include Cahaba Cycle, Mountain Brook Sporting Goods, The Pants Store, Smith’s Variety, Sugar, the Trak Shak and more. InstaGift’s eGift cards start at $25. Learn more at bhamgiftcards.com.
Show your hostess your gratitude with a striking kitchen plant that will last long after the party’s over and the decorations come down. These simple paperwhite bulbs in a clear vase with pebbles offer low maintenance, quick growth and beautiful, fragrant blossoms. As its natural beauty unfurls, your hostess will be reminded of your kind gift of thanks. Find this vase, with bulbs included, for $15 at Leaf & Petal.
Gift that gives back: Aveda hand relief gift set
In this season of giving and thanks, give a hostess gift that gives back. With this limited edition hand relief trio, Aveda gives $1 to the Nepal earthquake relief efforts, and your hostess can nourish her skin after cleaning up from the evening’s festivities. And these rich creams are fabulous to keep next to the kitchen sink to keep your hands hydrated. Find the set for $28.50 at Tonya Jones SalonSpa.
Here’s to our holiday hostesses! Happy shopping!