Monday, November 17, 2008

Autumn Gifting

In yesterday's post, I told you about the book Sentimental Living by Alda Ellis. Ms. Ellis likes to give out "friendship gifts" to those who visit her home. I think that's a very gracious idea and I am keeping these bags of party mix right by front door to give out to guests during Autumn. My husband loves this mix and so does his Pinochle group! It is quite tasty and easy to prepare. The recipe* is from my mother-in-law, Mary Gibson.

Friendship Gifts

Friendship Gift--Party Mix

*Recipe for Mary Gibson's Party Mix
2 cups corn chex
2 cups wheat chex
2 cups rice chex
1 1/2 cup nuts
2 cups broken pretzels
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
Garlic salt to taste
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, blend melted butter and Worcestershire sauce, and pour over mixture. Stir all in a 13 x 9 x 2 pan. Add garlic salt and mix well. Bake one hour and stir every 15 minutes.

The thoughtful guest always brings a gift for the hostess. My mother taught me that you should never arrive at someone's door empty handed. The gift says "Thank you for inviting me." Of course, afterwards, a thank-you note should be sent to the host/hostess, thanking them for their hospitality. Here are some gifting ideas you might consider for your host/hostess:

~Pumpkin bread is yummy to eat at this time of year! I baked this pumpkin bread in a coffee can, wrapped it in cello, adorned it with a festive pumpkin-motif label, and tied it with ribbon. This is a great idea for a hostess gift and the recipe* is from the Alda Ellis book, Sentimental Living. The label is also found in the book and can be printed onto cardstock.

Alda Ellis's Pumpkin Bread

*Recipe for Alda Ellis's Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
1 cup salad oil
2 cups (16-oz. can) pumpkin
1 cup pecans, chopped
Combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, water, oil, and pumpkin. Stir until blended. Add nuts and mix well. Butter and flour three 1-pound coffee cans. Pour mixture evenly into cans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Cool slightly in cans and turn out on cooling rack to cool completely.

~This is a quick gift if you are in a rush--whip up some pumpkin cookies, wrap them in cello, and put them back into the pumpkin mix can. Attach a gift tag (found in Sentimental Living) and print the cookie recipe on the back.

Pumpkin Cookies-To-Go

~If you are an overnight guest in someone's home, Ms. Ellis's book, The Gentle Art of Hospitality, is a sweet gift to leave behind for the gracious hostess. Simply wrap the book with a ribbon and leave it on the bed. Don't forget to inscribe it with your message to Make it Memorable.

Hostess gift after an overnight stay...

Our friends, Nicoletta and Jeff Puklavetz, travel the world extensively. After a recent visit in our home, they left a framed photo of themselves--looking so happy during one of their travels. This gift is a great idea and what a pleasant surprise to find when you are cleaning up the guest room!

Framed photograph left behind as a gift...

When I was young I would always ask my mother "Why do you always take something to people when we go to their house?" She said "That's what my mother taught me to matter how small the gift--take something"!


Designs on 47th Street said...

Janice, I LOVE this post! Yes, my mother certainly taught me to always leave a hostess gift. That book is a great idea. I will definitely look for that. I like the idea of just wrapping it in a pretty ribbon. Also like the idea of the framed picture. That is a really nice idea, too. Thanks also for the recipes. It seems I don't have that many people stop by my home, but maybe if I gave them a gift they would come more often! LOL! Loving your blog, new friend. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent ideas. I love the book idea. That would be such a nice little surprise when the host spiffs up the guest room once the guests are gone!

a. said...

My very thoughtful mother always taught us to always bring a hostess gift even if it's just a little something. I wish all mothers were like ours because so many people look at you like you're crazy when you mention it!

PAT said...

Wonderful post with great ideas. Thank you so much!

Lady Katherine said...

What lovely gifts. I love the book just tied in a ribbon. Pumpkin bread in the can is a wonderful idea. My friend Hazel is 90 years old and never fails to bring something when she comes to visit. She bakes up cinnamon bread to keep in the freezer, and when she visits she brings a loaf or a lovely little jar tied in ribbon of plum jelly. My husband wiil love your friendship party mix. Thank you for sharing the friendship party recipe. I have been giving books, the last few years. Another I have enjoyed, friends bring magazines, yes some have already been read, but its still a lovely gift and recyled and usually one that I do not subcribe to. I hope to start baking gingerbread cookies with my grandchildren and place the cookies in pretty package and bows to give out. Love the black table at the door and mirror.

Melissa Miller said...

What a wonderful gesture. I am going to remember this one. I love gift giving so much. :)

Stephanie said...

I love this idea! My mom always did something similar, but not in the fall. is definitely a steal-able idea for our table by the door!

brettinsky said...

I love the "friendship gifts" My mil and I always do this-now I have a title!
For fall I give out "blessing mix" You can find the recipe at
For Christmas I give out snowflake ornaments and a card about the history of the snowflake.

Cynthia's Cottage Design said...

Hi Janice,

I love that idea, so sweet! and your gifts look so yummy and I adore the book idea too! its the little things we take with us that will always remind us of a wonderful stay! Thanks!

Hugs, ~ Cynthia ~

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post, Miss Janice. I really must look for the Sentimental Living book as well as The Gentle Art of Hospitality title. Your blog has become a favorite to visit. I am praying that your upcoming move will be smooth and that you find many joys at the end of your road!

Anonymous said...

Afternoon, Miss Janice. I just loved this post today. Everything sounds so yummy! I do think your mother taught your 'right'! My mother used to give me a little card to take each time I spent the night with a little girlfriend. Before I left I was to write a little note thanking the mom and sneak into her bedroom and put it on the dresser!
Thanks for your visit today!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :0

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Thank you for some great ideas for this holiday season!


Nancy Rosalina said...

Miss Janice, I love this post!!! I want to be a guest at your home...I would be coming over all the time. BTW, what is the etiquette, for visiting with friends or it okay to show up unanounced? I have that Sentimental Living book, It is one of my favorite! I think I will go find it and enjoy it for a while...LOL Blessings to you, Nancy

Anonymous said...

i love the pumpkin cookies to go! what a cute idea. thanks for the inspiration!

Bo said...

Hi Miss Janice...another wonderful post with brilliant ideas to honor guests or hosts. Thank you. ;-) Bo

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

I love party mix and so does my dh. I'm afraid there would be none by my front door when a visitor arrived, because we would have eaten all of it! I may have to think of something we don't like to put by the door! laurie

Stacey said...

You are so smart! When I was first married I didn't know about the gift. As people would come to visit it made me very uncomfortable that they would bring me something. We just wanted their company.

I soon discovered that surprising your hostess with something is 1/2 the fun.

CIELO said...

Good morning.... just hopping from house to house from Susan's to see all the lovely tables... ;) So nice meeting you! Please visit the house in the roses for more Tablescape Tuesday!