Over the past few weeks, three “save the date” wedding postcards arrived at our Sloan Abode.
While we understand the value of a gift registries (and cash), sometimes we like to go off script and give something meaningful. After all, we are foodists first and foremost who know the value of a good set of knives or a Dutch oven versus a flash in the Copper Chef Pan. (No judgement.)
To our mind there are two types of nuptial gift recipients — youngsters who don’t know any better and mature established folks who have practically everything. Both tough to shop for.
With that premise in place, we reached out to three places — Ten Thousand Villages, Premier Gourmet and Williams-Sonoma — for unique food-related gifts.
Our request was for functional items a couple might not splurge on for themselves that would be beautiful additions to any kitchen. A gift that might even be passed down through generations with proper care.
And for those who are planning on getting married, all the retailers have gift registries that couples can sign up for.
TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES
We love Ten Thousand Villages in Williamsville not only for its unique items, but also because it’s a fair trade retailer that carries objects from around the globe. A purchase helps under- or unemployed workers in a variety of countries.
“Ten Thousand Villages carries fair trade wedding items from over 30 countries. We have everything from time honored traditional handicrafts to trend-forward eco-friendly pieces,” said store manager Emma Gietzen-Kane.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s hard to miss that the cocktail culture revival. This glass pitcher and matching glasses checks both the functional and aesthetic boxes. And when not in use, we can also envision the pitcher being used as a flower vase on a dinner table. Include a few recipes for sangria, whiskey lemonade or a nice watermelon gin punch.
ALSO RECOMMENDED: For those who may host holiday meals or entertain, a tablecloth or runner is a quick way to jazz up the celebration. Ten Thousand Village stocks beautiful table cloths and runners. The Rustic Textiles table runner comes with matching napkins ($59.99) as well as a matching bar apron, towel and napkin set ($49.99). Simple yet elegant.
Along with entertaining goes serving. A functional platter is always useful no matter the skill level in the kitchen. The Tree of Life Serving Platter ($89.99) will work just as well for Thanksgiving turkey in November as for burgers in July. There is also a separate salad bowl and dish. All are made in the West Bank, by artisans of a family business that dates back to 1890.
Ten Thousand Villages
5596 Main St, Williamsville
Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Housewares buyer Leslie Harrington of Premier Gourmet said they are always ready to help customers pick out items for soon-to-be couples.
“I always love a good challenge,” said Harrington. “We are in the business of providing quality goods to last a lifetime. We have great timeless and functional items that I believe would work really well for just about anybody.”
Harrington loves the idea of the Emile Henry Chicken Baker ($149.99) to help the couple roast the perfect chicken. The odd lid fits the chicken so that the heat is diffused all around the meat. The ridges in the base keep the meat from soaking in the juices. While sold as a chicken roaster, any type of meat can be roasted in this beautiful cooker.
“In a sense, the chicken baker is a symbol of love. If you opened up your cupboard right now, you might see Gram’s casserole dish. This baker could be passed down through generations much the same way,” said Harrington.
ALSO RECOMMENDED: Made of reclaimed granite diverted from a landfill in Colorado, Premier sells one-of-a kind boards that can be used to serve cheese, fruits, sushi or used as a cutting board or trivet. The slab can be heated in an oven to keep brie or other appetizers warm. River rock feet elevate the slab allowing for easy handling. Slab comes with a bamboo spreader. Cost $179.99.
3904 Maple Rd., Buffalo
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
Traditionally, a gift of wood represents the fifth year of marriage, but in this case, we say go for it and give the couple something to shoot for. Personally, we love the versatility and functionality of wood utensils. They can be used in a non-stick pan without worry and they are tough enough to withstand lots of use.
Williams-Sonoma carries a variety of wood cooking utensils. We love the idea of giving both utensils and a holder, if you can swing it.
ALSO RECOMMENDED: For the serious cooks, the wood Littledeer Cooking Utensil Set ($99.95) was designed by Tom Littledeer, whose items are inspired by canoe paddles. Made from solid North American maple, they can be ordered for either right or left handed users.
Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.