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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/23/2010

Last-minute food gifts: You're not desperate. You're selective.

By Bonnie S. Benwick

A simple bottle of good stuff. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Today and tomorrow: The very definition of crunch time if you’re trying to find a food-centric present for someone you a) just met b) just received something from or c) just decided to appreciate. These are small gestures of flavor and fun, but they will be well received.

Zary's Pomegranate vinaigrette ($4.99) at Yas Bakery and Supermarket in Vienna. Well balanced, not sweet, with a beautiful color.

Le Creuset large silicone spatula spoon ($12), at Sur La Table. Its slightly concave head on a sturdy wooden handle will quickly make this a go-to utensil.

Large stainless-steel and glass salt cellar ($19.95; just like Alton Brown uses on “Good Eats”), at Spice and Tea Exchange; Georgetown and Alexandria locations.

Wayne Thiebaud confections notecards (set of 20, $14.95) at the National Gallery of Art gift shop. Classic images; prove to your pals that penmanship is not a lost art.

“Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong,” ($12.99) at Barnes & Noble and Borders. An autograph-size, fun recap of what blogger Jen Yates does at

Baby romanesco cauliflower ($3.99 per pound) at Balducci's. They're about 2 1/2 inches long. Fun to cook and/or decorate with.

Got more ideas? Add to them in the comments below.

By Bonnie S. Benwick  | December 23, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Holiday, Shopping  | Tags:  Bonnie S. Benwick, holiday, shopping  
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