It was a selection of flavored, colored salts which I thought she could use while cooking and plating things (she enjoys cooking most when she can add 'special touches' and has a particular gift for elegant presentations and novel flavor combinations), a "Truffle Pig" dark chocolate candy bar, some homemade cookies and the home crafted card I was so excited about that I risked early exposure to share.
A friend had brought them a giant slab of salmon from Alaska (I can vouch for the desirability of such a thing), so they cooked it up and tried it with the different salts and different sauces, making a fun evening out of it and devouring the whole filet. Happy Birthday! I picked the salt mix because one of the flavors was "fennel pollen" which seemed esoteric. Mom likes fennel and esoteric foods (and dad will try just about anything as long as roughly 3% of people consider it an actual food). The "Saltistry Exotic Sampler" also sported a blackened salt (which "looked a little funny" on the salmon), a reddish salt (Genmaicha - could be mud*, could be cake, but it has a classy name), a lemon flavor (which seems like the cheap filler, but was probably from virgin lemons with zest removed by fairy kisses), and Lavender (probably for dessert to make breath sweet afterward because classy people put pretty salt on dessert). Yes, I enjoy odd food, but some really need mocking. Seriously, fennel pollen? But it's up mom's alley and I needed an excuse to buy something weird.
The cookies she has forbidden my dad to snack on unless she's watching him directly. Dad's not above eating the last one. They're icebox, icebox rolled in sugar, and the Earl Grey. That tea cookie is esoteric too (and dad likes Earl Grey).
I asked about the card. Mom said, "It's cute! Did you get it at the dollar store?"
Technically, I think she thought I found foam monkeys and frogs at the dollar store and assembled it myself, and we are living in the age where "store bought" is often taken to be an improvement over "homemade" so I suppose it's a compliment that she thought it looked professional? Still and all, she liked the gift, the gift is consumable so it won't add clutter, it got there before her birthday, the cookies didn't crumble to dust, the card is cute, so I'm calling success.
* I thought I was kidding here, but Genmaicha does appear to be, um, mud.
The color comes from 'Alaea red clay found on the Hawaiian islands and has been used for centuries in native ritual feasts. We blend it with Genmai green tea with toasted brown rice which adds an amazing nutty flavor. Genmaicha makes an excellent finish for all dishes especially roasted pork, edamame, and melon. Origin: Molokai, Hawaii