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Thanks for nothing or simply: I’ll bet Aunt Martha would love this!

December 23, 2009 - Taste Buds
IT’S THE time of year that flies by in a flurry of wrapping paper and bows. When children squeal with delight at the sight of a new toy and grandparents’ faces are practically frozen in a smile as their little apple dumplings shower them with thank-you hugs and kisses.

Yep! Christmas! We love it!

We love getting gifts, too - in case anyone is still debating whether or not to get us anything!

Still, we have been the recipients of gifts we can not use, do not like and/or seem like they were picked out for us while the giver was intoxicated or suffering from some sort of mental lapse.

Which leads us to a somewhat touchy subject: regifting.

Did you know there is an entire website devoted to the subject? Yeah, there is!

It’s Look it up!

According to the site, the word regift is a verb meaning to give an unwanted gift to someone else; to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift.

Regifting has gained in popularity since comedian Jerry Seinfeld first coined the term a decade ago. According to the Macmillan English Dictionary, the increasing popularity of the word and its recent link to online auctions has made the phenomenon of regifting more acceptable. In fact, more than half of adults recently surveyed by Money Management International (MMI) find regifting acceptable.

Even the etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute approve of the practice in some circumstances.

The site offers the following advice:

If you are thinking about regifting this holiday season, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the gift regiftable? Never regift handmade or one-of-a-kind items. Signed books and monogrammed items are off-limits. Do you have to be told not to regift free promotional items? Some gifts that are good candidates for regifting include good (unopened!) bottles of wine, new household items and inexpensive jewelry.

How is the condition? Only new, unopened gifts in good condition should be considered for regifting. Never give partially used gift cards. Don’t give items that you have owned for a long time. A general rule of thumb: if you have to dust it off, it is not regiftable.

Is this going to work? Successful regifters use common sense. If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver. Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.

Do you have good intentions? Don’t just give a gift to give a gift. Be sure that the recipient will appreciate the item. Remember, if you feel that an item is undesirable, the recipient probably will too. If you are regifting simply because you ran out of time, gift cards are simple to obtain and always well received.

How does it look? When it comes to gift-giving, go for show! While gift bags in good condition can be reused, wrapping paper is a one-time thing. Always spring for a new card or gift tag.

Can you handle it? If you don’t plan to announce the gift as a regift, ask yourself if you can keep the secret. Never feel guilty about regifting once you’ve done it. H

ave you considered your options? An unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization. It is also an option to suck it up and keep an unwanted gift—after all, it was a gift.

Finally, if you suspect that a gift you’ve received has been recycled, take comfort in the fact that MMI survey respondents regift because they know the gift is something the recipient would really like.

We wish everyone gets exactly what they want this season and if not, remember Aunt Martha loves candle holders and Bud Em would never, ever regift a bottle of wine!

In the meantime, here’s a real gift of a recipe from Ann Marie Grayzar of Dillonvale.

Chocolate Sponge Cake Yule Log

Oil a 10 by 15 baking pan. Cut a piece of waxed paper to fit the bottom, lay it in place and oil it well. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

5 eggs separated

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice (lemon juice is also fine)

2/3 cup cake flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup heavy cream whipped and sweetened with powdered sugar to taste and a teaspoon of vanilla

Beat egg whites to soft peaks and then gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating constantly to a stiff meringue stage.

Set this meringue aside and without washing beaters, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Add the orange juice and remaining O cup sugar and continue beating until yolks are very thick. Sift the flour, salt and cocoa together and stir it into the egg yolk mixture. With a bowl scraper gently fold batter into meringue.

Spread the mixture evenly over the pan and bake 13 minutes at 375 degrees.While it bakes, cut a piece of waxed paper larger than the pan and lay it on a table. Sprinkle the paper generously with powdered sugar. When the cake is done, immediately, turn it onto the sugared paper. Gently remove the oiled paper and trim the edges of the cake so that it will roll easily. Roll it up, paper and all. Let it cool on a rack.When it is cool, unroll it. Spread it with the filling and re-roll it.

Chocolate glaze:

1 square unsweetened chocolate

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup unsifted powdered’ sugar

Dash of salt

2 tablespoons (about) hot milk

Melt chocolate with butter in saucepan over low heat; remove from heat. Add sugar and salt; add milk, small amount at a time, until mixture is of glaze consistency. Blend well. Spread over cake while warm.

Yield 1/2 cup.


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