Desperate for a gift? Run to the supermarket. Seriously. Your mission is to buy (and wrap festively!) in under 30 minutes all the items necessary to make an artisanal cheeseboard to give to a lucky gift recipient. With our tips on which aisles to shop and how to wrap your loot with store-bought materials, no one will ever suspect you stopped at the grocery store at the last minute.
Read on for the plan (and the shopping list):
Photography by Cheryl Locke.
Above: Ready to spread cheer.
Here’s what’s inside:
- Honey or jam
- Nut cracker
- Wooden cutting board
Other supplies to buy:
- Butcher’s string
Above: Think cheese. Brie, Petit Basque, and Humboldt Fog cheeses.
Step 1: Get three cheeses: a hard cheese, a soft cheese, and a third that’s unexpected. (Our selection above includes cheeses made from cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk).
Above: Herbs and fruit: an essential component.
Step 2: Head to the produce aisle. Get a bunch of woody herbs (such as rosemary, sage, or thyme) and fruits (such as grapes, pears, or figs) to add flavors and textures to the cheese spread.
Above: Still life with supermarket.
Step 3: Get nuts. Pecans, almonds, or walnuts are good choices. Bonus points if you get nuts that are still in their shells.
Above: Something to serve the cheese on.
Step 4: Crackers next. Spring for artisanal, small-batch crackers, for a special occasion.
Above: Don’t forget the condiments.
Step 5: Pick up a jar of special jam or honey to drizzle on top of cheeses.
Above: Presentation counts.
Step 6: Head to the housewares aisle. Get a wooden cutting board, a nut cracker, and supplies to wrap the gift (cheesecloth, scissors, and butcher’s string).
Above: Wrap it up.
Step 7: To wrap the gift, start with the cheese. Stack the cheese neatly in the center of the cheesecloth. Wrap in a furoshiki style, by tying opposite corners. See a step-by-step tutorial on Remodelista here.
Repeat the process, with another piece of cheesecloth, to wrap the other edible items (reserving a few sprigs of herb to adorn the outside of the packages).
To wrap the cutting board: cut open the brown paper shopping bag, wrap it neatly around the board, and secure with butcher’s twine.
Add a sprig or herbs to decorate each wrapped package.
Above: the eco-friendly wrap–you can reuse the cloth–takes five seconds, and no tape or cutting is required.
Above: The luxurious spread. We bet you’ll be asked to share it.
For more of our favorite gift ideas, see: