When we go to dinner we usually take a contribution..It is custom here to offer a dish to add to the menu, and some wine. If the hosts seem to have dinner well in hand we might bring something from our home along with the wine. In the summer we usually take a bouquet of flowers or strawberry jam. Maybe a sachet or lavender basket. One winter we took a few choice pieces of arbutus wrapped in a plaid ribbon. When the cupboard and fridge were bare and the garden unexceptional I offered once to bring a half a cucumber, another time an onion.
When we first moved here, a truck arrived at our studio door with two neighbours dropping off a beautiful load of firewood.. Welcome to the island. This weekend we had two original hostess gifts brought to us. Gifts with a practical nature like firewood and jam are extremely welcome in an off grid environment.
My sister-in-law was raking the leaves at SoHo and had the good idea to cut the lawn and mulch the leaves at the same time. She filled three garbage cans with shredded maples leaves crammed in tightly. When they arrived for dinner she brought the leaves to us.. It was an awesome gift and very thoughtful…. I quickly spread them on the rest of the vegetable garden on top of the seaweed.
Bringing anything over to the island is an ordeal. Whenever you are contemplating a purchase you consider its practical value and weight before you buy it. I buy just about everything in bulk to reduce packaging and eliminate garbage. I buy very few canned goods and am a big fan of tetra everything.
It came then as a huge treat to have our next dinner guests arrive with an extremely heavy pond liner which they brought up from Victoria for my garden.. In one of my dream worlds I picture a small solar-powered pond in the corner by the Die Welt rose to further attract the birds. CH had it left over from one of her projects and kindly offered it to my garden scheme. She has an ulterior motive I think, because now that she lives so close we expect to be drinking wine in that garden a great deal and the pond will giver her as much pleasure as me… I hope..
We appreciate all offerings but remind everyone that we really just want your good company when we ask you to dinner. If it is our good fortune to be invited to your home, I would suggest you investigate first if our garden is in bloom or if we have been to town recently to stock our pantry. Otherwise it maybe your bad luck to have us arrive with our
half eaten vegetables