Maggie Battista’s first book, Food Gift Love celebrates her expertise in and enthusiasm for small-batch, hand-crafted foods. The book also contains detailed wrapping instructions and stunning photography. There are countless ways to share the pleasures of food with people you care about—from simple homemade infused salts and sugars to instant gratification gifts like fresh ricotta and flavored butters; from jams, pickles, and vinaigrettes to irresistible cookies, desserts, savories, and spirits that will impress fellow food fans. There’s helpful information for creating your own Food Gift Love pantry at home, as well as creative guidance on how to wrap food gifts with style.
For those unfamiliar with Maggie Battista, she is the founder and director of the successful Eat Boutique cooking blog/food-gift retail business, for which she won the 2013 IACP Best Culinary Brand Award. She also writes for Food52, Time Out New York, Style Me Pretty, and other outlets.
Each of the five chapters contains step-by-step recipes that showcase a mixture of food gifts. There are delights as varied as Meyer lemon curd; infused orange-fennel sea salt; basil, sage, and mint oil; or candied jalapenos. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients, any special equipment that might be necessary (or basic kitchen items that can be used in its place), and simple but innovative ways to wrap your gift. The photographs (important for those of us who need a visual to be inspired) are as beautiful as they are helpful, displaying examples of the final gift-wrapped version. Battista provides the guidelines to make the process of food-gifting effortless and natural…less about perfection and more about sharing a bit of yourself.
The packaging ideas are an added bonus for their simplicity and beauty: no need to buy expensive paper, bows, and gift cards! Maggie demonstrates how parchment paper, a paper bag, or a cloth napkin tied with twine and accompanied by a hand-written label can look beautiful and convey the sentiments behind the hand-produced gift.
This book is a visual treat and will inspire cooks, food lovers, and DIY fans to be year-round food gifters. It is also eye candy for the coffee table and would, in itself, make a thoughtful gift.
Now, if you’ll excuse me—I have some Christmas gifts à la Battista to create!
Depot Street Marketplace
Duxbury, MA 02332
Reviewed by Jayne Guitart Westwinds Bookshop in Duxbury and would be happy to help you choose gifts for the naughties and the nice and everyone in between.