Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Few Gift Ideas

I do love giving presents. My favorite spouse watches our stock of jams, marmalades, pickles, and shus like a hawk to make sure there is enough left in the larder for us to enjoy as I tend to lift jars out on the spur of the moment for sharing. And this time of year, of course, finds me pilfering our stock left and right. It is a double pleasure to see our shelf space open for future jars of goodness and later see the delight on the faces of those receiving the gift.

So, in that spirit I'm going to share a few ideas for gifts that I would love to receive.

Green Curtain Kit – Give the gift of summer shade with a homemade green curtain kit. Easy to assemble – one pretty pot, some seeds, and a bit of netting – all packed up in a pretty furoshiki, the kit is sure to please. Choose morning glories for their heart shaped leaves and brilliant blue blossoms or the classic goya for a curtain that supplies the main ingredient for scrumptious chample. Cucumbers, gourds, watermelon (a little heavy, but so yummy!) or other vining plants make fantastic curtains, too.

Winter Salad Set – If summer feels too far away, why not consider a few winter vegetables? A wide variety of edibles enjoy winter's cooler temperatures and friends will enjoy a fresh taste of the season. Leafy greens such as komatsuna, mizuna, or spinach adore this time of year as do peas, kabu, violas, and herbs like cilantro and parsley. Head over to a nearby nursery for seeds or even seedlings, a cute pot, and give an edible gift that's green in more ways than one!

Handmade Tokyo – A creatively written work documenting a community workshop examining one of the best and greenest things in this metropolis: its gardens. Braiterman and Berthelsen's work combines photography and text to share and explore green spaces large and small and their meaning to Tokyoites and beyond. Arriving in its own handmade wrapper fashioned from cast-off kimono's, there's no wrapping to worry about!

Tokyo Flower Walks – Sumiko Enbutsu's classic should be in the hands of any resident of Tokyo or visitor who happens to be a garden lover. Her seasonal walks range over the city and guide followers of her detailed directions to some of Tokyo's best corners. Clear maps mark the route as well as local points of interest, recommended restaurants, and shops. Each section introduces a particular flower or plant with a narrative description of its relevance to Japanese culture. A great way to explore the city and start developing satoyama sense!

Got some ideas of your own? Let me know and we'll add them to the list!

Photo credit: The favorite spouse took this during our trip home in February while out for a ski on the family land. It was a perfect, perfect day.


Unknown said...

What lovely ideas! Many of the items I've never heard of. And I also like the idea of canning food. Have never done this myself. It would be fun to try it some day.

Rhizowen said...

Is Christmas big in Japan? Knowing the Japanese and their eclectic tastes, I bet it is :)

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Canning rocks, Jackie. Give it a shot. So satisfying and yummy to boot.

Rhiz, Christmas is popular, but more in the way of Valentine's Day in the West. Much of the spirit we associate with it can be found in their celebrations of the New Year. It's still lovely to hear all the songs everywhere, though!