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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Two slamdunk hostess gifts

When I worked at a coffee shop during college, we wore half aprons like this, and they were weirdly flattering. So, you feel really pretty while making dinner (or preparing a cheese plate), and of course they're functional, too, since you always need a place to wipe off your hands and don't want to get your jeans dirty. Perfect hostess gift.
This old-school salad dressing comes with a story. Crane Crest’s Real French Dressing has no website, just a phone number (617-277-1325). You leave an answering-machine message with your address, and they'll send you a case of six jars, along with a handwritten invoice for $18. They trust that you'll mail back a check. How rad is that? They've developed a cult following, since, as Pilar says, the vinaigrette is incredible on salad, fish, chicken...Aren't you curious to try it?

(Salad dressing via Momfilter)

55 comments:

RosieB said...

I love half aprons like this! There was the sweetest Cath Kidston one with a cartoon deer on for sale last Christmas, and I've regretted not buying it pretty much every day for the past year!

www.ciderwithrosiebee.blogspot.com

Chianne Hood said...

I'm totally in love with that apron and the story behind the dressing is really neat! You've come up with some great ideas!

http://thehonestfox.blogspot.com

allmussedup said...

I wear something like this every Saturday, where I work in my family's organic lunchroom -- they ARE oddly flattering! At home, I wear the vintage aprons the older ladies in my life have gifted me over the years.

Kassie said...

I love my apron! I wore one at my last job, and now I can't bake without it. Pretty cool dressing I must say! Perfect hostess gifts, now I just need someone with a house on the coast to invite me to stay.

Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog - Girlie Blog Seattle said...

A handwritten message? Now that's good service.
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Emily said...

I'm intrigued by the dressing! Now I guess I'll have to phone them.

Emily | Sparkle Meets Pop

annaofgreengable said...

Lovely apron, and what a nice change from the old bottle of wine idea.

xo Green Gable
http://annaofgreengable.wordpress.com

Anna said...

I love the look of aprons, I always used to wear one when I helped my dad in the canteen where he worked as a chef! They add a certain status too, I think! Great idea!

Leslie @ And Then The Doorbell Rang said...

Great apron! My favorite hostess gift idea: a rustic loaf of bread (homemade or storebought) wrapped in a pretty tea towel.

And Then The Doorbell Rang

katilda said...

I waited tables in high school at a 1930s parlor & grill and the half aprons were the best! I always wish I had one on...always....after that. haha

slip4 said...

Thanks for sharing. I love these kinds of posts!

Chloe Moon said...

I have one of those half aprons and I love it! It is totally a great hostess gift!! I'll have to remember it!!

Ergo - Blog

Monica | Hola!design said...

Oh I've always wanted an apron! I don't why I haven't bought one yet, but I'm going to put it on my to do list. Also, I want to try the salad dressing!

Melissa said...

Huh...I've never heard of Crane's Crest dressing and it's from my neck of the woods. While $18 isn't very expensive at all having 6 jars of a dressing you don't love would be a bummer. Will have to think about this one.
xMelissa

Sarah said...

Oh my, I bet Crane's is about to be inundated with orders from Cup of Jo-French Dressing -fiends! :)

Unknown said...

Hi, I'm a huge fan of your blog! I almost fell off my chair when I read this. I work with Sam, the owner of Crane Crest. He wants to clarify he updated prices.
With shipping, the cost is now closer to $41-$46 for a 6-pack and $24 for a pick-up from the door
Thanks for the mention!

Julie said...

These are both such good ideas! I'd love one of those aprons, I'm constantly wanting to wipe my hands while I cook.

www.jbound.com

Janika R. said...

Gifts that work..
Great Post.

http://lovelybusybee.blogspot.com/

Amie Willoughby said...

I love the story behind the dressing!!! That is so wonderful!

Charli said...

the salad dressing idea is amazing!!!! I love it!!!!!! how on earth does your blog stay so wonderful!

Jesse said...

seriously all my pants are always covered with whatever i'm cooking for dinner; i need that apron!

Jeneric Generation said...

Hostess gifts can sometimes be tricky, but these are perfect! Only...forget giving away that apron. I want it!

Inari said...

What a curious idea, that dressing!

Lucy said...

i think EnviroSax reusable grocery bags are also a great host(ess) gift!

Kate said...

Does this make anyone else think of the I Love Lucy episode where she and Ethel make salad dressing to sell????

tellmeastoryjosie said...

The salad dressing reminds me of an I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel start a mail order salad dressing business for about a day, then Ricky does the math and they're making no profit because of the ridiculously low price they chose. So they return to the TV show where they'd promoted it the prior day for Lucy to taste test again and react as if it's disgusting, hoping people would cancel their orders.

tellmeastoryjosie said...

haha, Kate, yes! I just commented the same thing!

jm said...

I must try that dressing!!! And I agree that environsax shopping bags are a great hostess gift, too!

A and J said...

That's my husband's godparents' dressing and I can vouch for it. It is delicious!

Heather Patton said...

Great idea! I'm so glad to see that businesses like this are still around and going strong!

http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com

Anne S. said...

That dressing is the most delicious, addicting stuff. I LOVE it.

Michelle said...

That is my neighbor's favorite dressing. I've been taste tasting to try and remake it homemade! No luck yet!

Catherine Masi said...

Ode to half aprons! They're among my most favorite things; in fact, I wear them daily both for working around the house and in my work studio- best if they have pockets. And if you ask my husband, he'd say I have far too many- but they're functional so he knows to back off :)
And, oh my gosh, how cool is the process to get that dressing? Funny how that concept wouldn't have been so odd ten years ago!

Alexa said...

Half-aprons? Unlike poster above, I think they're utterly impractical. I always end up with stains on my t-shirt when wearing one of those. What's so wrong with the old-school full apron? Covers the top half as well.

Alexa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Clark said...

Crane Crest is AWESOME! I first tried it when I was pregnant and so nauseous with my first baby. A friend introduced me to Crane Crest and I was obsessed! It was the only thing I could eat (and ice pops). And their customer service is the best and so friendly, it feels like 20 years ago!

anniecardi.com said...

Aprons are my favorite! They're so practical, and can be really lovely, too. I never thought of them as a hostess gift before--great idea.

theblackmariah said...

Hi there! I inquired direct from Crane about the price and $18 is incorrect. I was quoted $44 for a six pack with shipping.

Catherine Masi said...

I can see how impractical half-aprons can be, especially when a person cooks/bakes more often than I do or has an art that's messier than what I do. Because I'm smaller up top, the full-aprons always fall off my shoulders, so I just adapted to the half-apron. Now I find them incredibly easy to use and really functional, for what I do with them anyway. And, luckily when I cook I don't get too many top stains for whatever reason- sure gets everywhere else though! A matter of personal taste, I guess.

Alexa said...

Definitely a matter of personal taste! I don't bake very often and I'm smaller on top, too, but I find those annoying red sauce splashes on my white tees otherwise. Interesting that you don't!

Sobrina Tung said...

that salad dressing sounds amazing! one of these days I'll have to look into ordering some.

Margaux said...

as a French reader, let me say that you will NEVER find any trace of suger in our vinagrette !
Simply : salt & pepper, mustard (strong one) vinager and olive oil...
You can also add shalotts or parsley or chive if you like, but no sugar ;-)

Catherine Masi said...

Ah well. At least we've got something to suit each our preferences... enjoy!

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Erin Z said...

I hope that Joanna get's this message and updates her post!! I called to order and about fell of MY chair when I heard the $45 price tag!

Thanks!

kiki said...

Yes! I placed an order and they kindly called me back to call out that the article had gotten the price wrong and wanted to confirm I still wanted them. I did...thought my hubby about had a heart attack when I told him I had just committed us to almost $50 worth of salad dressing...LOL

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Jessy said...

I'm new to vegan, so I'm just using a good quality red wine vinegar right now. I always have frozen oj and apple concentrate in the freezer, mostly for baking. I combined a little vinegar and frozen oj. It was tart, so I added a little honey. I'm thinking I could dilute it a little with water. The key to good eats is the sauce, dressing, or spices, isn't it :-)

Dressings Company

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