Food Network Staffers' Go-To Gifts for Their Thanksgiving Host
Hammered Copper Mugs, $30
"This year, I'll be giving Williams-Sonoma Hammered Copper Collection mugs, which are perfect for Moscow Mules. To make the gift complete and eliminate work for my hostess, I'll pair it with a bottle of Myer Farm Ginger Vodka and a six-pack of Saranac Brewery Ginger Beer. Since I’m from New York, I like to keep it local!"
— Cameron Curtis, Editor-in-Chief, Snapchat Discover, FoodNetwork.com
Bee Raw Honey Flight, $45
"This year, instead of candles, I'm gifting every hostess in my life a honey flight. Bee Raw makes flights of four specifically designed for cheese lovers (all my friends) and tea lovers (my mom). I'm planning on buying one of each flight — to tackle both my Friendsgiving and family Thanksgiving plans — in the hopes that it'll make an everyday cheese plate or cup of tea feel like a holiday treat."
— T.K. Brady, Online Editor
Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky — American Oak, $37
"The last thing I want to do is bring something that is just going to collect dust or add to clutter, which is why I always bring either food or booze as a hostess gift. My other rule of thumb is to bring something your hosts wouldn't necessarily buy themselves — something indulgent and perhaps a little frivolous. For a Scotch drinker, I would bring a nice Auchentoshan (pictured). Champagne, sparkling rosé or Lambrusco are great catchall booze options. From a food end, I like to bring lard bread from Brooklyn or [the Bronx's] Arthur Avenue — it's so deliciously gluttonous — along with super-indulgent cheeses like a triple crème with fig jam, wine-soaked cherries or gianduja spread. Of course, if the host is a sweets lover, you can't go wrong with some handmade chocolates or truffles in interesting, seasonal flavors."
— Alexis Markowitz, Recipe Developer
Hedley and Bennett Apron, $70 to $145
"If the host is a cooking enthusiast, I would gift them a new apron from Hedley and Bennett. They're key to protecting your outfit during any last-minute final touches to the meal, and preparing the feast will definitely do damage to their current apron. For the first-timer who doesn't normally cook much, you can't go wrong with a gift certificate for a massage. They'll need recovery time!"
— Toren Weiner, Social Media Manager
Maple Bottle Rocks, $22
"Almost everything from this stylish Charleston, South Carolina, shop is giftworthy, including these reusable stoppers. Hand-carved in the U.S., their smooth planes and rounded edges just beg to be touched. One of these will elevate any bottle of wine or carafe of water on a dining table. And when it’s not in use, the palm-size piece is pretty enough to keep out on a kitchen shelf or bar cart."
— Lygeia Grace, Director, Culinary Editorial
Laurie & Sons Toffee, $24
"My favorite hostess gift (and holiday gift!) is Laurie & Sons toffee — it's super-high-quality chocolate-covered toffee with really interesting flavors. The sea salt-and-Tellicherry is my favorite, but the licorice flavor is really good too. Plus, it's made in New York, and I always like to bring local gifts with me when I’m traveling."
— Michelle Buffardi, Site Director
Murray's Assorted Meats and Cheeses, $17 to $20 Each
"I like to give (and receive!) a little crate of cheeses and meats from Murray's Cheese, one my favorite places in New York City. You can often find me bellying up to the counter at their West Village shop and tasting as many cheeses as my cheesemonger will allow. When I'm shopping for a hostess gift, I opt for two or three kinds of cheese, plus one cured meat. My all-time favorites are Fromager D'Affinois (mild and super creamy), Roomano Extra Aged Gouda (nutty and almost sweet with little caramelized bits inside) and Valdeon (a blue cheese that's wonderfully stinky but not overwhelming). For the meat, I keep it simple; Creminelli Wild Boar Salami (pictured) is a go-to pick. Then, when I arrive at the party, I tell the hostess to stash these in the refrigerator and save them for later; they're almost too good to share!"
— Maria Russo, Online Convergent Editor
Homesick Candles, $30
"This sweet line of candles is perfect for the host who just moved to a new home (or, really, anyone who loves their state). The scents encapsulate the essence of many places across the country, from sea (the redwoods of Northern California) to shining sea (Georgia peaches and sweet tea). There are a couple dozen varieties of these handcrafted, made-in-America candles right now, but you can sign up to be alerted when a new state becomes available."
— Lauren Piro, Online Editor
Salt & Straw's 5-Pint Thanksgiving Collection, $65
"Ice cream: It may not be the first thing you think to gift your Thanksgiving hosts as November temperatures drop, but what good is pie if not a la mode? The pies at our feast are always scratch-made, but breaking out the ice cream machine is a stretch when there's so much else to prepare. We always send high-quality pints ahead to our hosts, sometimes changing up the shops we order from. If your crowd is somewhat adventurous, opt for Portland-based Salt & Straw's whimsical flight of five Thanksgiving-themed pints. This year's flavors include everything from Spiced Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Pie to Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey (a sleeper hit)."
— Sara Levine, Senior Managing Editor
The Coffee Registry Ration Pack, $8
"My family’s Thanksgiving feasts have always been casual and intimate, and my uncle usually volunteers to host. He’s a big coffee drinker, so I like to bring new beans for him to sample (or to serve at the end of the meal). The Coffee Registry, an eco-friendly roasting company based in Portland, Ore., offers a set of three different whole-roasted beans, which yields just enough coffee for a small or mid-sized group to enjoy — two for the host to serve after the meal, and one to savor all by himself the next morning. The price is reasonable, and I love that the ration allows you to try new flavors. The set rotates seasonally, so you never know what you’re going to get. But I think that’s part of the fun."
— Emily Lee, Digital Content Producer
Matryoshka Measuring Cups, $12
"With a sweet tooth like mine, I never miss the opportunity to attend post-meal dessert parties on Thanksgiving. And since my eye is always on the pie (and cake and cookies), I love to gift a whimsical take on that classic set of kitchen tools essential to every baker: measuring cups. It's especially fun to find a set whose design is perfectly suited to my host's aesthetic, such as the year I scored measuring cups shaped like the traditional Russian nesting dolls for my matryoshka-obsessed hostess. When not putting them to use in the kitchen, she keeps them displayed on the countertop."
— Erin Cassin, Online Editor
Luxardo Cherries, $20
"If my hostess likes making cocktails, I'll bring a bottle of Luxardo or a jar of Luxardo Cherries (pictured). With a rich red hue so deep it's almost black, and a nutty amaretto finish, these luxurious Italian cherries are a far cry from the sticky and acrid taste of the waxy, neon-bright American version that you'll find at the bottom of a Shirley Temple. Spoon a few Luxardos over ice cream and they're out of this world."
— Heather Ramsdell, VP, Culinary Editorial
Salt Starter Set, $24 to $54
"I give fancy versions of pantry staples, like really good olive oil, tea or a salt sampler from The Meadow. That way you know your host will be able to use it, but it still feels special."
— Betsey Brownfield, Senior Digital Editor