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Christmas hampers and their wicker ways

Food! The gift of food! The gift of food delivered Authentic Prada Handbags Wholesale to the door at a time of year when you can Best Prada Outlet In Florence never have enough cheese biscuits! The Christmas hamper concept just keeps getting better and better. Or does it? Flipping through this season’s hamper brochures, heavy as always with the promise of Ultimate, Supreme, Connoisseur and Imperial epicurean experiences, left me as lukewarm as a pat of brandy butter out in the winter sun. If a rich patron was going to send me a hamper, which one would I want? Hmmm. It turns out that I am more ungrateful than I ever thought possible.As Oliver Thring observed last year, hampers may have a point if they are Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Messenger Bag ridiculously OTT, charitable (and think about donating here) or personal, of which more later. The traditional ones, all wicker baskets and storecupboard-stuffers, enjoy a reputation as a thoughtless gift. A feature of British diplomatic life, they also have a whiff of colonialism about them. Most crucial of all these days is the money question; the majority of hampers cost far more than buying the contents individually: see our breakdown for the full horror story.

But my objection to hampers is chiefly as a cook. You can’t make a meal with most of them, and Bicester Village Prada Refund that makes me uncomfortable. In one of their early incarnations as travelling picnics, we’re told, hampers did contain bread, butter and fruit, the basics of many a meal. We now live in a world where efficient delivery logistics, shelf life and the frankly rather spoilt wish to avoid e coli comes before the cook’s ease and delight.

Opening a traditional Christmas hamper is like walking round one of those pretendy farmers markets dominated by jars of jam and chilli oil. Non-perishable is safer, easier and makes more financial sense, so it dominates. Good pasta and sauce, the obvious non-perishable meal solution that’s no longer exotic, is nowadays a rare occurrence in the traditional hamper. You’re basically looking at snacks, or a sugar high, with nary a nutrient in sight: tea but no milk, jam but no bread, cheese and biscuits but no butter, smoked salmon but no lemon, Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Messenger Bag finished with a pint of wine (there’s always plenty of wine) and a surprisingly small top-iced cake.

Call me lazy, but I want to be able to throw a hamper open and make dinner, without having to go to the shops. I already have mustard, but I wouldn’t mind some lovely fresh veg, great organic eggs, happy-as-a-pig-in-shit sausages and a bar of fine cook’s chocolate. That’s a gift for someone who likes food, not a mulled wine sachet and a three-pack of mince pies.

But, Authentic Prada Leather Handbag guided by Word of Mouth commenters prada saffiano, I have discovered the acceptable face of Christmas hampers: the Christmas day hamper. Daylesford Authentic Prada Bags Online Singapore Organic’s Christmas lunch box is one of only two Christmas food boxes in our test to come in cheaper than buying its contents individually. You pay £150 for food that would cost £167.31 and which covers Christmas lunch for 8-10 people: turkey, ham, sausages, stuffing, cranberry sauce, veg, cheddar and Christmas Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Uk Sale pud. £150 is still tasty, but given Daylesford’s reputation for high quality and corresponding prices, that’s a surprisingly good deal.

Northern Harvest is the other winner. Their Christmas Day Hamper is £330 for contents worth roughly £303, and it’s a triumph of sense over savoury biscuits: you get a huge amount of fresh stuff, including the makings of a celebratory breakfast with sausages, bacon, eggs, croissants and juice, smoked salmon, lots of very good cheese, a (slightly ridiculous) kilo of pâté, a free-range Barberino Factory Outlet Prada 5.5kg turkey, stuffing, a whole ham, booze galore, cake, pud, chocolates and, crucially, fresh veg, fruit and salad.

I know at least three households – who have just moved, have a new baby, or are doing a family Christmas for the first time – for whom Authentic Prada Clothing that hamper would be the most useful and appreciated gift ever to walk the earth. Now all I need is £330.

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