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Easter is right around the corner and who’s to say all that colored-eggs-and-chocolate-bunny business is just for children?
Adults love treats, too, so why not surprise a grown-up in your life with a customized basket that shows you care? You will definitely score points in the thoughtful department and might even end up with a snuggle bunny yourself, if you play your cards right.
Baskets for the budding chef
If you want to surprise a cooking enthusiast, the Kitchen Shoppe, 101 Shady Lane, Carlisle, can customize your “basket” to satisfy any budding chef. Know a fan of The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars who loves to bake? Kitchen Shoppe staff will customize a basket based on a cupcake theme.
“We might start out with a bowl as the
“basket” and add decorating items like icing tips, sanding sugar, sprinkles, dragees and a cookbook,” said retail manager Tracee Clepper. “If the customer gives us a dollar amount and tells us a little about the cook’s interests, we’ll either walk them around the store or put together a gift basket for them,” she said.
Ladies, take note. Grilling season is on its way, so you might consider giving a special male a gift basket containing a few items to help him master the art of preparing the perfect steak. Consider a stainless steel spray bottle, a grilling mitt, a laser surface thermometer and a monogrammed tool set. Add some spice to his life with a variety of hot sauces and rubs.
Picks for the pet lover
Pet lovers will flip over
baskets made with their little friends in mind. Vanessa Hovetter, owner of Fi-Dough Bakery, 19 W. Main St., Walnut Bottom, said she prepares an Easter basket for special pups which contains peanut butter rabbits, a turkey-and- cornbread cookie, a beef-and-cheddar bone and a pumpkin cookie.
“Pumpkin is excellent for a dog’s digestive system,” she said.
Everything in Hovetter’s shop is created with canine health in mind. “Our treats have no dyes, preservatives or added fats, so they’re extremely
healthy,” she said.
The Pet Store, 1710 Lincoln Way East, Chambersburg, can also help you tailor a basket for a wide variety of pets. For cats, Keila Fitz, general manager, recommends Feline Greenies, described as dental treats cats love.
“Another big seller is the cat wands that have feathers on the end and Kong Kickeroos, which are toys with catnip in them,” she said.
For birdwatchers, a gift from Duncraft is always welcome. The online, wild-bird superstore offers everything from suet to seed to squirrel-proof feeders. Include an issue of Birds Blooms magazine and you have the perfect gift for your favorite bird lover.
Scent-sational choices for the candle craver
Any candle lover will delight in a basketful of tea-lights,
pillars, tapers, votives, tins and tarts. All of these and more can be found at stores such as Keystone Candle, 7241 Paxton St., Harrisburg, where staff will help you put together a custom selection for your candle lover. You can visit their brick-and-mortar store to choose from a mind-boggling assortment in all shapes, sizes and smells, or shop from home at http://www.keystonecandle.com.
Get growing with gifts for the gardener
Nurture a relationship with your favorite gardener by putting together a gardening basket. Add gardening gloves, seeds, sloggers (gardening clogs), a decorative yet sturdy spade, a gardening book and a cute little garden fairy to complete the theme. Such whimsical items are available at gardens shops such as
Ashcombe’s Farm and Greenhouse,906 W. Grantham Road, Mechanicsburg.
“Christine Teichman, who works in retail plant sales at the store, said, “With 24 hour’s notice, we can put all your choices in a decorative clay pot and shrink wrap it.”
Gourmet and all grown up
For the discerning palate, Mark Miller, owner of Gypsie, 21 E. Main St., Chambersburg, recommends items from the Stonewall Kitchen Gourmet line priced at $7.95 each and available year round.
“Substitute a chocolate bunny with a gift of Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, our delicious Raspberry Liqueur Hot Fudge, or our Cherry Cognac Sauce,” he said.
Or why not treat the entire family to an indulgent breakfast?
“The highlight of Easter morning is still family
time, and nothing says family like a delicious breakfast of our Farmhouse Pancakes with butter pecan syrup or fig and walnut butter,” said Miller.
Noshes for the nibblers
For the nosher, bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, dried fruit mixes and chocolate-covered pretzels will appeal to nearly everyone. Think about your recipient’s interests as you decide on creative packaging and custom ingredients. For a sports enthusiast, you might fill a football-shaped bowl with bags of mixed nuts. Cater to the movie buff with a popcorn bowl full of treats such as Sno-Caps, Twizzlers and Raisinets.
Be sure to keep an eye out for unique “baskets” while shopping throughout the year. You never know when you’ll stumble upon that perfect vessel for gift presentation.
With a little thought and ingenuity, you can please the even pickiest person with the perfect Easter basket, so hop on out there and surprise that special someone.