Options are nice. And experimenting with a taste of something prepared one way and a taste of that same thing prepared in an entirely different way can be an exercise in sensory exploration that’s at once comforting and liberating.
Chefs have caught on: an abundance of acorn squash at the market? Try it two ways: Folded into a rich risotto or roasted and tucked into tacos. Cauliflower going bonkers? Bathe it in a rich coconut curry or slice it through the middle and serve it like a steak.
For my part, I’ve been thinking about holiday gifts as having similar potential for flexibility and creativity. And so, here are my ideas for holiday gifts, presented in two different ways. The rules aren’t steadfast. You could give the gift in both ways of course, or a third way if better.
In hopes that they offer jumping off points for a friend or lover or sibling or parent or perfect stranger on your list, my ideas for holiday gifts with a twist…
Breakfast in Bed, Two Ways + A walnut tray for serving fresh-made biscuits and coffee. + A pound of coffee beans and a handwritten voucher for the service on a day of the recipient’s choice.
Cheese Plate, Two Ways + A slate board that’s just right for serving your favorite bleu. + A gift-certificate to a nearby cheese shop.
Surf Lessons, Two Ways + A subscription to inspire getting out on the waves. + A day in the surf. Night at the Ballet, Two Ways + A subscription to Mary Helen Bower’s Ballet Beautiful for practicing in your living room. + Tickets to see the professionals on the big stage.