Did you receive a lovely basket filled with high fat, high calorie foods from a well-meaning friend or loved one? If eating a dozen tiny sausages and cheese wheels isn?t your thing or you?d rather get rid of them than blow your diet, we?ve got three ideas to help you out. The sooner you get rid of it, the less chance you?ll be tempted to bite into one of those pretty little petit fours.
Cook with it.
Okay technically, this is still eating it, just not all at once. If you get one of those baskets filled with sausages and cheeses, don?t look at them as snacks to munch on. Use them in your usual family meals. Calzones, casseroles, stews, and subs are just a few of the dishes you can make using ingredients from those gift baskets up while still making an overall healthy meal.
This is especially easy when the food basket is a gift from someone far away. Don?t open it. Remove any tell-tale tags or shipping labels. Give to someone who will enjoy it. If you?ve received several baskets, pick out the stuff you want to keep, then combine pieces into one, new gift basket. Just rewrap and include a personal touch, like a handwritten card. Remember that if you choose to re-gift food, it can?t look like a re-gift. You may just gross out the recipient that way. Either use the brand new, unopened basket or create one yourself with elements from other baskets. The second option lets you add other gifts to the basket yourself, so it has a more personal feel.
This might be your first idea when you get a food gift you don?t really want, but you just don?t know where to donate it or how.
- Your local food pantry will likely accept unopened baskets or the individually wrapped food items. They don?t really need the fake grass or decorations inside. If you have a fruit basket or other perishable items, they may still accept them. Call ahead to find out.
- If the basket is fully intact, donate it to any non-profit organization to raffle off. You?ll want to do this before the holiday, of course. Local churches, veteran?s clubs such as Amvets and the V.F.W., and childrens clubs such as 4-H and sports boosters may all be interested in taking your brand new basket as a donation to raffle off for fundraising.
- Nursing homes are usually quite happy to receive donations like unopened gift baskets and gifts. The elderly are often overlooked during the holiday season. Staff and families do their best to make the holiday joyous for residents, but many folks have no family or visitors to brighten their day. You may contact homes directly by phone or go through a program like Adopt a Grandparent. The local Office for the Aging in your town may provide you with information about such programs.
- Shelters are another place where people would be very happy to receive your basket. Domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters usually request personal care items, but during the holiday season adults and children living in shelters don?t typically have money for gifts. Your basket could be the surprise that makes a person or family feel cared about during an especially tough time of year.
Be prepared to tell the basket sender how delicious it was or let them know what you did with it. Knowing ahead of time how you?ll handle being asked about it will help you avoid any awkwardness.