Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Alcott Autumn: Tea Towel Wrapping

“A weekly meeting will be held at Kitchen Place, 
to teach young ladies how to cook. 
Hannah Brown will preside, 
and all are invited to attend.”

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women Chapter 10 

My husband's very first Christmas gift to me was a kitchen mixer.
 It was not his finest gift-giving day.

Now, to be fair, he had never purchased a Christmas gift for a wife before.  How was he supposed to know that all those hints about perfume and sweaters and shoes between November and December 24th were really his Christmas shopping list "in code"?

In my own defense, when I opened my gift, I didn't leave the room sobbing.  I didn't burn my bra in a how-dare-you-expect-me-to-cook-for-you-feminist fashion.  I didn't even moan.  Nope.  I stayed there.  I stayed there under that tree and willed myself to be grateful for the heap of nuts and bolts and wire and steel that was my first Christmas away from home.  

Sniffle.  Sniffle.

That was 16 years ago.  A lot of things have changed since Christmas of 1996.  I don't wear perfume as much as I used to.  I've shrunk every sweater I've ever owned.  And I have yet to find a pair of shoes that make my legs look sexy.

But I have used that darn mixer almost every day of our marriage.  

My husband is too sweet to rub in the obvious---that the mixer was a good idea after all.  I'm not saying it was the most magical gift.  I think I would have been more spellbound by a brick that I was with that mixer.  But it was a practical gift, and a gift that has blessed our family ever since.

So, in the spirit of simple and practical and lasting gifts, here is a little offering that I've been experimenting with lately.

This is a cookbook wrapped in a tea towel and "garnished" with utensils.

I purchased a 5-pack of these white flour towels at Walmart for under 5 dollars.  After choosing my cookbook and laying it on the towel, I tinkered with the folds a bit to make a pocket for the spoons by overlapping the bottom fold over the top fold.  I also tucked the ends of the towel under to make a "bow" on top.  The basic tutorial for this technique (bojagi or furoshiki wrapping) can be found here

I'm thinking this bundle would make a great hostess or wedding gift.  It might even be worthy of a spot under the Christmas tree.  It's not necessarily the flashiest present, but it is one that your recipients will appreciate for years to come.

If, however, you are a husband considering this for your wife (especially in your first year of marriage), I suggest attaching some jewelry and chocolate to the mixing spoons.

Just to be safe.

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  1. Cute idea! The older I get and the more "stuff" that I collect, the more I appreciate practical gifts that I will actually use.


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