Have you started holiday shopping yet? I envy those folks who plan far, far in advance. You know the types. The ones who come across an interesting craftsperson in June and clap their hands with glee, “oh, Aunt Bernice will love this sweet little birch basket for Christmas!” Wow, I’m lucky if I have a present for my husband’s August birthday bought by July.
If you still have some shopping to do, I am here to help—not only with a gift idea, but a personalized gift idea. I am extremely touched when I receive a handmade gift. My friend Amoreena makes beautiful homemade pillows, thoughtfully choosing fabrics for each recipient. I treasure each one she has given me. But unfortunately not everyone has the time nor inclination to craft holiday presents.
Here’s a clever compromise: customized recipe platters. You can create this unique gift for a friend or family member with little time commitment. Through a company called customsepia.com, you can have recipes, photos, or really any .jpg file permanently transferred to a platter or plate. These custom-printed platters make a beautiful display and are functional too; food safe they may be used like any other dish.
Janet Reeves, the owner of Custom Sepia, will work with you to create your own design. You can scan a family-favorite recipe card (water stains and all!) and she’ll transfer the file as is. You’ll be creating a family heirloom and preserving family history—that recipe will have a better chance of surviving if saved in more than one place.
I had one of my all-time favorite calligraphers Nancy Howell illustrate my great-grandmother’s doughnut recipe.
While the doughnut-recipe platter resides on a display shelf, it’s a durable piece and I certainly don’t hesitate to use it. I keep a stash of plate hangers on hand too and usually include one when I gift a plate.
While Custom Sepia’s FAQ states a ten-day turnaround, Janet says to allow three weeks (including delivery) this time of year. She is lovely to work with and responds promptly to questions. Prices vary according to size, from a five-inch round for $25 to a ten-inch square plate for $65.
Good luck with your holiday shopping and please let me know if you have any thoughtful, personalized gift ideas.