Friday, 4 December 2009

Hampers, flowers and blowjobs

Hamper: Contracted from Anglo-French hanaper, itself from Old French hanepier case for holding a large goblet or cup"

There's something particularly exciting about being given a collection of food in a wicker container. Traditionally hampers are used for picnics or given at Christmas.
One Christmas, I must have been about 14 years old, I made up a hamper for my parents...I saved my pocket and paper round money for weeks. I wanted the most luxurious foods, taking the tube down to the red-carpeted Fortnum & Mason in the centre of town, to do research. I was in heaven. Lacking the funds to do it by myself, I got my brother and sister to put in their pocket money too...
My hamper consisted of:
  • a tiny pot of Russian caviar,
  • a pot of truffles (which we all agreed were woody and boring),
  • smoked salmon,
  • lemon marmalade,
  • candied fruit,
  • brandy butter,
  • Xmas pudding,
  • foie gras pate (I ate meat then),
  • a ceramic pot of Stilton,
  • brandy snap biscuits,
  • iced gems!(the height of luxury for a 14 year old in the 70s),
  • liquorice comforts divided into different colours,
  • pontefract cakes (liquorice seemed to form a major part of this hamper),
  • posh tea in tins,
  • liqueur chocolates (probably Mon Cheri, absolutely loved them). I would always get 'Famous Names' liqueur choccies in my stocking.
  • and I made some chocolate-dipped fruit, segments of mandarin and grapes.
My parents, needless to say, were thrilled.

But if you don't have time to make your own hamper...two of the nicest gifts you can give are food and flowers...both reminders of nature and Earth's bounty. Flowers at Christmas are a luxury, there is little left in the garden...other than a few sprigs of holly and mistletoe. I love David Austin roses, I have a few growing in my garden. They are without a doubt the hardiest, easiest to care for, most fragrant and beautiful roses. You can't lose with them....Interflora sent me a bouquet of these pink blossoms...just breathing in the scent transported me to sunnier seasons.
Having a conversation about this post with another food blogger, a male divorcee, he said:
"I'd never think of getting a woman flowers. My ex-wife used to have to nudge me to get them"
"What would she say?" I asked
"Oh you know, she'd drop big hints about Valentines day, how her friends had received beautiful bouquets.." he said dismissively.
"In my opinion flowers and blowjobs save marriages" I opined "If men gave more of the former and women the latter, the divorce rate would fall dramatically".
I've removed the mention of Interfloras hampers on this post, as they promised me one and never sent it. So perhaps they are as crap as people said on Twitter. Never again.

10 comments:

  1. I love hampers. If I have something special to celebrate or good friends to give gifts to, I head to F&M. They have fab hampers! Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How much pocket money did you get for goodness' sake? And where were you delivering papers to? The moon? I'd have had to have saved my pocket money for about 800 years to afford half of that! Lucky, lucky parents.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally agree! I'm such a fan of hampers. Made a load last christmas for relatives (the notoriously hard to buy for Aunties!) and inexpensive if you make some or all of it. The only prob I find is the cost of the actual hamper - any ideas??

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I love flowers more than I do Hampers, especially Roses. I have some in my front garden. I will often buy flowers for myself and others, just for the pure joy they bring. They never fail to lift your spirits.

    ReplyDelete
  5. baskets can be quite cheap can't they? Pound shops...
    Some markets/ethnic veg shops use baskets for certain veg then chuck them...could use them?

    Bakelady: so agree, flowers like fires, always lift the spirits...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now you know why I bid for that Harvey Nicks hamper! I LOVE HAMPERS. (Or gift baskets, as we say in my country.) It's like a surprise every time, all those little packages hidden in there.

    I ignored the Interflora email...sounds like I maybe shoulda responded!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Like your snippet of wisdom re the divorce rate. I am a very happily married woman...Need I say more?.x.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love your observational wisdom re the divorce rate..I am a very happily married woman..need I say more?!.x.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love your hamper, I bet your parents were so thrilled by the thought, let alone the actual contents. My father in law is incredibly difficult to buy for, but a Dickinson & Morris hamper, complete with pork pie, seems to do the trick.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Something weird going on with my comments,I don't seem to get them delivered to my email anymore so apologies for late publication and thanks for your comments...
    My parents were quite mean with the pocket money actually (their excuse was 'well you get foreign holidays')but I was always quite thrifty...
    Krista: haven't actually received the hamper yet! So we'll see...
    Anon: LOL

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)