Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ask the Internet: Unused Christmas Food Gifts - What to do?

This week’s Ask the Internet question comes from right here at home, and addresses an issue many of us might be facing in our post-Christmas hazes.

Q: Two years ago, I received several bread mixes and a jar of chocolate sauce for Christmas. The breads were baked and eaten within a month, but the sauce still lingers in the bottom of my pantry. What should I do with it? What do YOU do with food-based Christmas gifts you don’t use and/or never intend to?

A: While the generosity and thoughtfulness of a food present is wonderful, there are zillions of pepperoni sticks and Jordan almonds that will go uneaten this year. What makes it tougher: many of them (see: chocolate sauce) would be of little use to a food bank.

So, readers – what’s your plan for this stuff? Will you re-gift? Will you bring the edibles to a party, or try to pawn them off at the office? Will they simply go in the garbage? Any and all suggestions are welcome in the comment section.

P.S. Good Christmas food stories are highly encouraged.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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Nora Howley said...

In our area we have Freecycle. Great way to pass this stuff on. Also, check with the food pantry before assuming they might not want.

CJ said...

Drop them off at your local food pantry. Someone would LOVE to have those items.

Kathryn said...

With the chocolate sauce being 2 years old, be sure to check the "out" date before considering doing anything further as it might not be good anymore. If it doesn't have one listed, I would discard contents and recycle the container or use it in a craft project.

Agree with above posters that a the food bank or Freecycle are good options. The food bank can use it as long as it has an "out" date listed and it has not expired. There are also church food pantries and it might be easier to donate to one of those if you have just one item.

Where I used to work we frequently had carry ins and if it was something I thought someone else would like I would take it in. If it something offbeat, like a shrimp flavored salsa, you could leave it out with a "free to take home if you will use me" sign in a break room - I never had anything that lingered when I did this.

Robyn 'My Middle Name Is Awesome' said...

Personally, I would try to turn a pancake/waffle etc. mix into muffins with a can of pumpkin and add some spices. Chocolate sauce works wonders for milkshakes. Like the post above, something odd like shrimp salsa could be turned into a dip (maybe add velveeta) and taken into the office or a super bowl party. I hate to waste stuff, so I try to be creative with gifts like this, but sometimes there is no other option but to donate or throw away.

MadZak said...

It is quite sad that all those items end up going to the trash. I usually find myself trying my hardest to use them up.

Nuts make great salad toppings if you do a bit of chopping. I've been known to throw the smoked meats into some stir frys and the flours are interesting when you make cookies out of them.

There is always something you can throw these food items into, you just have to use your imagination like we did when we were kids!

RossS said...

Into the deepest darkest corner of my pantry it goes! Then, in about 5more years after it's completely separated into something entirely different, and only then, could I bring myself to throw it away.
So whip me with your wet noodle if I don't do the PC thing with it. I don't need tp hear "it's not about being PC, it's about being socially responsible blah blah blah". It's chocolate sauce, I threw it away. Get over it. :)