It’s Christmas Eve Eve, which means stores are PACKED with last minute shoppers. This also means there are still gifts to be wrapped, so here’s some last minute inspiration from the pages of the Winter Issue of TABLE Magazine.
That’s A Wrap was a story full of inspiration for having friends over to wrap presents together, dress in layers, drink cocktails and eat wrap-themed appetizers and desserts. To make the story come to life, we used my apartment and my friends. Though it may be a little late for the party, it’s not too late for the wrapping ideas, so here are the magazine pages, extra photos and even a local news segment we did on the story.
Best of luck with all your last minute holiday to-do’s.
At the end of a big project, such as filming a movie or compiling a magazine, it’s traditional to have a “wrap party.” It’s a time for all the contributors to come together, relax a little and relish all the hard work that went into the project. Whether or not you were part of a crew or flew solo this year, you deserve to celebrate the closing of the year with your own wrap party.
Wrapping presents can often feel like a last minute chore, but scheduling a time to wrap gifts with friends creates a deadline (which we creatives often need), provides some extra gift ideas and makes for a truly enjoyable experience.
Pair the crafting time with a wintry cocktail, appetizers and a decadent dessert, and the event is sure to become a yearly tradition.
The food should be a celebration, not a stress. I devoted my kitchen energy to the forest inspired cake, and I picked Bluebird Kitchen to help with my Wrap Party spread. They played right along with the theme: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon & Feta, Roasted Vegetables with Goat Cheese Wrapped in Belgian Endive, Pickled Vegetables Wrapped in Sashimi Tuna with Sesame Vinaigrette, and for sweet measure, Poached Apple, Cranberry & Candied Orange Peel in Danish Dough.
Want a thematic cocktail but don’t quite have the mixology skills yourself? Call on the help of a bartender friend like I did, or try this drink for yourself. My friend Olga is the talented bartender behind Club Cafe’s menu. Luckily for me, she concocted a Smoked Pine Infused Cognac cocktail for the occasion. After smoking a pine sprig, she covered the twig with a coupe glass to wrap the cocktail in that intense pine flavor, which put everyone in the holiday spirit.
Surprise your co-wrappers with a little gift of their own. I asked The Farmer’s Daughter, to create a winter centerpiece comprised of smaller bouquets. At the end of the party, I sent my guests home with a fresh floral keepsake from our afternoon festivities.
As the host, your main duties are to create a crafting space with a mix of materials.
Provide an assortment of boxes, vintage papers or aged wallpapers, craft paper, tags and twine. Pull out old family photos, and give a gift of nostalgia along with your parcel. Gather a collection of garnishes like the ever fragrant preserved juniper and dried oranges from Roxanne’s Dried Flowers. They’ll add a touch of winter without a mess of fallen dried pine needles and create a vivid, fragrant memory for whoever opens the present.
For a truly personal, more sustainable wrapping option, I silkscreened one of my wintry illustrations onto fabric. It’s the perfect material for wrapping taller packages with a sprig of greens, and rather than throwing the wrapping away after opening the gift, the fabric can be used as a table linen, like I did for this wrap party.
Now you have food, drink and crafting ideas, so my work is done. In other words… that’s a wrap!
I strongly believe in Julia Child’s mantra, “A party without cake is just a meeting,” so don’t forget the cake! To carry over the wrap theme, the fresh rosemary, chocolate nibs, cinnamon sticks and pistachio macarons wrap this Whole Grain Apple Cider Rosemary Cake much like garland wraps a tree. The same little deer that tops the cake would make a sweet present topper too, so buy a bunch. Find the recipe for this Forest Inspired Dessert on my blog www.WithTheGrains.com.
Smoky Pine Cocktail
By Olga Brindar, Manager at Club Cafe
Smoke a coupe glass with freshly-cut pine tree. Do this by placing several small cuts of pine on a plate and lighting it on fire with a torch light, while holding your coupe glass over the smoke, about 15-20 seconds. Leave coupe glass to cover the smoking pine while you do the next step.
In a mixing glass, mix the following:
1.5 oz Martell cognac
1 oz Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur
.25 oz St Elizabeth All-Spice Dram
.5 oz cinnamon simple syrup*
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Mix with ice for 20-30 seconds, and strain into smoked coupe glass.
*Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
One part water, one part sugar — simmer over medium heat along with 5-7 cinnamon sticks (do not use ground cinnamon!), for approximately five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain into glass bottle with pour spout.
Featured in TABLE Magazine, Winter, Issue No. 41
Story and Styling by Quelcy
Location: My apartment
Photography by Janelle Bendycki
Preserved juniper & dried orange slices from Roxanne’s Dried Flowers
Food from Bluebird Kitchen
Custom Pine Cone Gift Wrap Fabric & Table Linen by Quelcy
Forest Cake by Quelcy
Cocktail by Olga Brindar, manager of Club Cafe
Fresh Floral Arrangement by The Farmer’s Daughter
Special Thanks To My Friends: