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Preparing for a Dinner Party: Hostess Gift

Martha Stewart Living Television
How do I prepare for guests who are stopping by for drinks?

—Dorothy McGrath

It's a good idea to have hors d'oeuvres on hand that require little or no preparation. Here are a few simple suggestions: pickled asparagus, pistachios stored in the freezer, and seasoned olives.

What would you suggest I bring as a hostess gift to a dinner party?

—Sue Farrell

Thetford Center, VT.

A hostess gift doesn't have to be extravagant, but a little creativity will help make the gift special. Martha likes to give gifts from her garden: flowers, either alone or arranged in a hollowed gourd; jam made with fruits from her garden; freshly picked apples or even a pumpkin in season; a special dessert like beautiful cookies in a tin, or pecan squares. Remember, bringing your hostess a gift fresh from your home or garden is always thoughtful and always greatly appreciated.