The gift that keeps on giving
July 25, 2014 11:18 AM   Subscribe

My best friend is getting married in a few weeks and I need to get her a gift. Since she and her fiance already have most of what they need for their home (consolidating two apartments into one), I don't want to get them a thing, but maybe some sort of subscription where they get something delivered every month. I need suggestions please.

They are both in their early thirties, live in Boston and really enjoy good food and good drinks. Both can cook. I've seen people on AskMe mention wine-of-the-month subscription type things, or deli-whatever-every-month where yummy things are delivered to you. I need some recommendations for something like this, but preferably if someone's tried them before and approves of the quality. My budget is around $300-$350 dollars.
(I also welcome suggestions for any other wedding-gift type things I can get my best friend who doesn't really things for her home, but I could look at and consider some must haves.)
posted by CrazyLemonade to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Three that I have either personally tried or have heard reliably great things about:

Murray's Cheese of the month club
Any of Zingerman's monthly clubs
Zagat wine club - there are discounts for this available, typically through publications like the NYT or WSJ
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:23 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cook Illustrated. I can cook and I fucking love that magazine. It is also dirt cheap (~20$) so you can get this AND something else. But definitely get them a subscription to this.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:25 AM on July 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

How about a one-year subscription to Naturebox?
posted by jbickers at 11:28 AM on July 25, 2014

Fancy Food Box is a lot of fun. It is my monthly treat to myself now that I work from home with my baby and don't get out much anymore. Website description: "Each Fancy Food Box includes five or more food products - anything from cookies and chocolates to teas and sauces - along with a selection of tasty recipes and pairing suggestions."

This website reviews all kinds of subscription boxes (I'm sure there are more/better blogs if you google); you can look at past reviews for the Food Box to see the type of stuff they send.

I used to subscribe to the Tyler Florence Fancy Box, but I found that they sent too many items I already owned (examples: mortar and pestle, a steamer basket, a citrus reamer, a zester). The problem with that box is that if you are enough into cooking to subscribe to the box, then you probably already own a lot of what they would send. If you don't already own it, then you are probably not interested enough in cooking to subscribe. Anyway, for that reason, the Food Box is great since even if you already have a jar of artisinal lemon curd, you can just eat more. I definitely vouch for the quality, everything I've gotten has been insanely delicious and extremely fun to create meals around.
posted by gatorae at 11:42 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I get graze boxes - they're like Naturebox I think, but the snack size is smaller, and it's $6/box at the moment, and you can have it delivered weekly or every other week. Gifting link
posted by Seboshin at 11:45 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

2nding the cheese of the month club. I've purchased it for other people with rave reviews (and personally shop at Murrays a LOT).

We didn't have a "wedding" or a registry or anything but a number of friends bought us some gifts when we got married. One thing I really liked (as an avid cook) was a personally-curated (by the gift-giver) gift basket of really nice ingredients that I wouldn't have purchased otherwise: expensive aged balsamic, truffle salt, nice olive oil, duck fat, etc.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:46 AM on July 25, 2014

Cheese and food sounds awesome. Also depending whether your friend likes that sort of thing, a beauty subscription like Birchbox or similar is fun and cheap - my sister I'm law got that for me last Christmas and it was a little treat I wouldn't have probably bought myself.
posted by celtalitha at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2014

The Zingermans "- of the month" clubs are freaking legit. Highly recommend!
posted by joan_holloway at 11:51 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just in case they're book reading types: Powell's Indiespensables might be fun.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:51 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd get them a year-long subscription to the Hatchery Tasting Box, which would supply them with a monthly collection of small-batch gourmet cooking and drinking ingredients -- spice blends, condiments, sauces, jams, extracts, oils, vinegars, etc.

Here are some reviews to give you an idea of the specific kind of stuff Hatchery includes in their boxes. I've been subscribed for about a year and I love it so, so much.

They include a cute little recipe booklet full of ideas about what to make with each month's ingredients, and their blog is fantastic as inspiration. They individually wrap each item in soft brown paper so it feels like you're getting a box full of presents every month. Really can't recommend it enough!
posted by divined by radio at 11:53 AM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

If they like coffee, Tonx is amazing. If they like vinyl, we have really been enjoying Vinyl me, please. They send a record every month with a recipe for a cocktail pairing. It's a fun at home date type of thing for us where we make the drink and listen to the record and chat.
posted by tealcake at 12:09 PM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Echoing Murray's cheeses delivered! Do that!

Their cheese is SO FREAKING GOOD! I can get it at my Kroger. I'm so lucky!

If they're honeymooning in the US, have a gift box sent to their hotel for in room snacking!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:10 PM on July 25, 2014

Rancho Gordo bean club would leave enough money to do something else in addition. Everyone I give Rancho gifts to is very appreciative.
posted by BibiRose at 12:13 PM on July 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

A CSA box subscription from a nearby farm
posted by aniola at 12:26 PM on July 25, 2014

If they're self-taught cooks and have nice knives, I'd totally suggest a knifework class. Once I really knew how to use and maintain my knives, it made my kitchen time faster and more enjoyable.

My default wedding gift is a really good knife and a knifework class - either of them can take the class and they both benefit for years.
posted by 26.2 at 12:28 PM on July 25, 2014

My husband got me the Mustard of the Month Club one year. It's amazing, provided you love mustard. Also, he got the quarterly one, and we still had like several years' worth of mustard, so do consider how much mustard (or whatever) your friends consume.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 1:19 PM on July 25, 2014

I LOVE my Tea Sparrow subscription. $20 per month for 4 1oz loose lea teas. All the teas have the vendor info on them do you can order more. Sooooo yummy. You can also gift a subscription too.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:37 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

If they cook at all, seconding Cook's Illustrated. A good friend of ours got a subscription for my wife and I at our wedding and it's fantastic. You can pair it with the Cook's Illustrated cookbook or any of the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks.

I'm a pretty digitally-biased person, generally, but we've used the magazines and the cookbooks way more than I thought we would, and I wouldn't hesitate to get them as gifts for other friends who cook.
posted by brentajones at 7:50 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you* get married, my mother will give you flowers every month for 12 months, arranged directly with and delivered by a local florist, wherever local happens to be for you.

*probably not actually you.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:44 PM on July 25, 2014

I feel like opinions on Cook's Illustrated are somewhat divided among people who cook - I find their insistence that there's one right way to do things and their tendency to dumb down "ethnic" recipes rather annoying myself and I know I'm not alone in this opinion. It might help to feel them about this beforehand.

Seconding Zingerman's. Every single thing I've bought from them has been delicious.

Since they're in the Boston area, why not call up Formaggio Kitchen? I've only been to the one in Cambridge but I believe there is one in the South End too. They're like the motherlode of all things delicious in the Boston area.

I also enjoyed taking a couples' cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Admittedly, I didn't feel that I learnt anything hugely groundbreaking (though that may have been my choice of topic) but it was a fun evening out, eating good food and wine with other like-minded couples. For your budget you could do several.
posted by peacheater at 2:33 AM on July 26, 2014

Thanks for all the great suggestions. Seems like Murray's, Zagat and Zingerman's are good choices. I'm telling another friend, maybe we can get a gift together (Murray's cheese of the month for the whole year is EXPENSIVE!!).
posted by CrazyLemonade at 5:58 PM on July 26, 2014

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