Summer is entertaining season and chances are you’ll be invited to someone’s backyard barbecue or pool party. Don’t show up empty-handed. While a bottle of wine is always in good taste, here are five fresh ideas for hostess gifts that show your appreciation for an invitation:
1. Flowers. Everyone loves cut flowers, and they’re even better when they came from your garden. The one caveat: Make sure the bouquet is already in a vase. Your hosts will be busy; don’t send them searching for a place to put your gift.
2. Gourmet Grilling Rubs. People who like to grill will enjoy trying new seasonings for their meats and vegetables. It’s easy to mix your own blends. Present them in a nice jar with a ribbon. Check out these recipes.
3. An Apron. Fancy aprons are all the rage. Or choose one with a cute saying, such as “Kiss the Cook.” Your host will love your gift and might use it right away!
4. Cookies. Homemade cookies are always welcome at an informal summer gathering. Your hostess can set them out for the guests or stash them away to enjoy when the party’s over.
5. A Loaf of Bread. This is another gift you can make yourself (it’s even more fun if you bake it in a terracotta pot). You could also visit a great bakery and pick up a rustic loaf of olive bread or sour dough. Wrap in a kitchen towel and tie with a bow.