How about test tubes filled with a special spice mixture?
For the last few years, I’ve been giving local friends little test tubes filled with a different spice mixture in place of greeting cards. Last year, my chosen spice blend was Vulcan’s Fire Salt from the Spice House. This year, I’m using Porcini Sea Salt from Moburts, a local spice shop. (Later in the month, I’ll also be doing another batch using Chicago Spiced Sugar and Fumee de Sel Chardonnay Oak Smoked Sea Salt from the Spice House.) I chose the porcini sea salt because it is something that I’ve gotten addicted to in the last few years. It really adds a nice pop of umami to things. My favorite use? Seasoning grilled burgers and steaks, definitely. But it is also wonderful on eggs, other grilled meats, roasted veggies, risotto, and popcorn. It is also excellent with some good olive oil as a dip for bread.
The other supplies? I got the test tubes from an online shop that specializes in novelty liquor shot containers. They were inexpensive and I was safely assured that they were food grade. The tops were included, along with a handy little rack that I was able to use when filling them up. I sealed the caps (which was really unnecessary, as they fit snugly) using washi tape from Etsy and some holiday tags that I found at a drug store.
Now, if you’re a planner like me, you’ll want to know a few more specifics for planning purposes. The test tubes I got are 150 ml. They hold a generous tablespoon or about half an ounce of the porcini sea salt. Your mileage may vary depending on how fine your chosen blend is.
A few notes. That blue rack in the image below came with the test tube set but it was remarkably helpful. Also, you’ll find a funnel of some sort to be pretty indispensable. I happened to have that little metal one in my cupboard and it worked perfectly. However, you could also make one out of paper or card stock and it would work well.