How to Serve Up a Tasteful Open House

Even in this digital age of online house hunting, June Fletcher of the Wall Street Journal encourages all home sellers to hold an open house.

“While it’s easy to spend an afternoon blasting through slide show after slide show of homes for sale, photos alone don’t sell homes. They can’t convey how a home smells, sounds or feels — and, as anyone who has seen a room shot through a wide-angle lens knows, they can deceive.”

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So once you’ve cleaned and staged your home, how do you make it even more appealing to the senses? Serve refreshments!

Mark Nash of Realtor Mag says the first rule of a delectable open house is to ditch the silverware: “If a guest at your open house needs to use a spoon, fork, or knife to graze at your buffet, the food is too fussy. Finger foods are always best.”

Finger sandwiches were one of HGTV’s “10 Foods for a Delicious Open House” because “they are the perfect size for snacking, and they’ll lend your open house a distinctive upscale feel.”

Whole washed fruit, nuts and cheese and crackers are some other great finger food options. To estimate how many visitors you will have, try to find out what the average attendance was for a previous open house in your neighborhood or area. Then, accommodate for three hors d’oeuvres and one beverage per person. As Nash says, “Be careful not to go overboard; lavish spreads could signal desperation to savvy home buyers.”

Set up a pretty food and beverage station with fresh cut flowers to display food and drink. Outfit the station with quality plastic cups, cocktail-sized plates and napkins. For beverages, stick to bottled water and coffee (unless you have white carpets).

Selling a home is hard enough. Let Hickory Farms take care of the open house refreshments for you. Our Deluxe Signature Summer Sausage and Cheese makes for fabulous finger food and mini sandwiches. Or, any one of our gourmet food baskets filled with a combination of sausage, cheese, crackers, nuts, fruit or mints can be all you need for a tasteful open house. Head over to the Hickory Farms online store to order.

The History of Mustard

Did you know that there is a National Mustard Day? It’s celebrated on the first of every August at the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, WI. Yes, there is a museum solely dedicated to mustard! But this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as mustard is one of the most universally loved condiments in the U.S. And while few of us can imagine some of our favorite American foods without it, the history of mustard begins elsewhere.

The world’s love affair with mustard first began in ancient Rome. In its earliest form, mustard was made by combining unfermented grape juice known as “must” with ground seeds of the sinapis (mustard) plant. The concoction was known as “must ardens” in Latin, which became “moutarde” in French and then eventually “mustard” in English.

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Source: The Nibble

As the Roman Empire expanded, methods for making mustard began to spread throughout Europe. As country after country fell in love with this delightful food dressing, several regional varieties based on local flavors and cuisines began popping up. One of the most famous, Dijon, which was developed in France, dates back to the 13th century.

A true testament to the popularity mustard continued to gain during the Elizabethan Era is a memorable line from Taming of the Shrew: “What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?” In Henry IV, Part II Falstaff also says, “His wit’s as thick as Tewkewbury Mustard.” And remember Mustardseed from A Midsummer Night’s Dreams? As you can see, Shakespeare loved mustard, and he managed to incorporate it into several of his plays!

Europe is not the only continent where mustard gained momentum as a favorite pairing. Thanks to Marco Polo, India, China and several other countries in Asia developed a fondness for this spicy condiment. While it was created in a similar manner to European varieties, Asian mustards gained a reputation for being significantly stronger as they are traditionally made from the seeds of the brown mustard plant.

Fast forwarding to today, mustard has become a pantry essential. Who doesn’t love a delicious mustard with their summer sausage and cheese? And speaking of which, is your pantry stocked? If not, head over to the Hickory Farms and order your Sweet Hot Mustard 3 Pack today.

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Celebrate National Military Appreciation Month with Military Gifts from Hickory Farms

“The strength of our nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our Soldiers; the strength of our Soldiers is our families.” – United States Army

showing appreciation for military families

Photo via Army

May is Military Appreciation Month, a month-long observance dedicated to taking time and special care to honor the brave individuals that serve our nation. As a part of Military Appreciation Month, we celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 10th, Armed Forces Day on May 18th, and Memorial Day on May 30th.

Military Appreciation Month is a wonderful opportunity to show love and support for our soldiers and give back to the very people that sacrifice so much for us. And what better way to show your love and appreciation than by sending thoughtful comfort foods that bring soldiers the love and warmth of home?

Hickory Farms would like to help spouses, family members, friends and other citizens show their love and appreciation to soldiers by offering them special military gifts that are eligible for free APO/FPO delivery. Made with delicious food products and nostalgic authenticity, these gifts are packaged with love to ensure that soldiers know just how much you care.

Spouses, family members, and friends can select Our Deluxe Signature Sausage & Cheese military gift. This gourmet food gifts features signature Hickory Farms flavors that instantly remind soldiers of their favorite family and holiday memories. To read more about the quality ingredients and tasty treats included in these gift boxes, head to the Military Gifts section of our website.

Military Gifts from Hickory Farms

Have you ever sent Hickory Farms to a solider? How did they like it? Or, tell us about your soldier in a comment below and share how you plan to show them your love and support this month.