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herb baskets

August 2, 2010

Have you ever played Bunko?

I think I sat in on a game once, several years ago, but I can’t honestly remember how to play.

Mama bear plays with the neighbors once a month, and last Tuesday was her turn to host.  Their monthly bunko get togethers sound super-fun (when you’re not the host) and a little stressful (when you are the host).  See, not only do you have to make sure your house is clean enough to invite 20 of your favorite neighbors over, but you have to come up with a theme and cute prizes for the winners — things that anyone might like.  Tricky.

But I think mama bear nailed it on the head this time.

She put together an assortment of cute herb baskets, and gave little gifts with each one.  I think it’s super-genius.  And (like just about everything mama bear does) it was well-executed.  I’m sure you’ve all probably seen something like these at the grocery store or home improvement store, but why are they so expensive?  I have yet to figure it out, but mama bear managed to avoid much of the expense by putting her own little herb baskets together.

Above & below are soup and salad planters, filled with parsley, basil, chives, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.  Pair the soup plantings with a few little soup bowls, or the salad plantings with salad servers and you’re set.  Wouldn’t this make a super-cute housewarming gift?

Or how about a box of italian herbs + olive oil + a fresh loaf of bread?

Below is a tea basket – filled with mints and sages.  Pair it with a tea infuser or pitcher, and it would be a sweet little summer birthday gift.

What about a sweet bucket of lavender?  Attach this recipe for blueberry-lavender scones (which are delish, by the way – mama bear made some for us while we were home last weekend).

And for the salsa lovers out there, here’s a cute little salsa basket, complete with jalepenos and cilantro.  Attach a few recipes or maybe even a salsa bowl, and this would be a pretty cool thanks-for-hosting-a-summer-BBQ gift.

Aren’t they cute?  I think they’re such a rad summer gift idea, and I think I’ll definitely start extra herbs from seed next year to gift in some of these baskets.  Have you seen these before?  Got any additional herboriffic gift ideas/projects?  I’d love to hear about them…

PS I have no idea why I keep referring to my mom as mama bear since I just call her “mom” IRL.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2010 11:41 am

    Wow, those are adorable baskets! What a fun project!!

  2. August 2, 2010 11:54 am

    This is a super cute idea for a gift! I love herbs and use them quite often in cooking. The smell of basil makes me want to eat the whole plant!

  3. mom permalink
    August 2, 2010 12:24 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, I think the prizes went over pretty well. (I had a hard time parting with them!) If anyone wants to try it, I actually planted these about two weeks beforehand to give them time to fill out and make sure they were going to live! I bought the really good potting soil that the nursery uses for all their herb plants and they thrived in it when I transplanted them. It’s hard to find reasonable baskets WITH liners for plants but if you buy regular baskets, you can take heavy duty plastic sheeting, fold it over a few times and line the baskets with it. On the top basket, I sewed it into place with kite string, weaving it around the vertical slats just under the rim. For the box, I stapled the plastic into place.

    btw, I like being called mama bear; if you ask your brothers they would tell you it fits because I tend to GROWL a lot!

  4. emily permalink
    August 2, 2010 12:39 pm

    mama bear is super crafted. geez. they are super cute!

    i lovin’ the photobooth. what do you use to print the pictures on-site? and do you use a flash set-up? maybe that’s trade secrets. 😉

    • August 2, 2010 12:47 pm

      Thanks, Emily! The set up now has some sort of fancy (read: super-expensive) printer that allows for photos to be printed that won’t run or smear if guests get fingerprints, water, beer, etc on them. I have no clue about the technology, since my mom was the one to put that together. And we totally don’t use flash, since that would create bad shadows. But I’ve seen more homemade set ups where the flash was used, too.

  5. August 2, 2010 7:21 pm

    Your mama bear is a talented lady! 🙂

  6. August 2, 2010 10:35 pm

    I adore this! I love that they all have themes.

    Okay. I need to do this for someone. =)

  7. August 2, 2010 10:58 pm

    What a brilliant idea! I would love to get on of those baskets…..lucky winners.

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