The holidays can be stressful, especially for people whose homes feel like hotels, with a constant stream of houseguests coming in and out. If you're one of those housguests, there are a few obvious ways to earn your keep: Washing dishes, taking the dog for a walk, and keeping showers short are all excellent methods for getting yourself invited back. But a homerun host gift is even better. On this front, we have one word for you: breakfast. To make sure your host doesn’t end up feeling like a short order cook in the morning, ease the burden with some of our favorite morning things.
English Muffins: Stone & Skillet’s yeasty version is like a cross between a Portuguese sweet roll and an English muffin. $5; stoneandskillet.com
Dry Cured Ham: Silky, smoky and sweet peanut-fed Surryano ham from Edwards’ in Virginia is now available in quarter sizes. The 2-3 pound boneless cut is perfect for a small group. $70; edwardsvaham.com.
Nut Butter: Solstice Canyon’s almond butter is a dream toast topper. It’s slightly sweet and salty with a lightly coconutty flavor. $16 for 6 oz.; solsticecanyon.com.
Granola: Made in northern California, Little Apple’s chunky granola has big pieces of dried local apples and lots of almonds and walnuts. $12 for 8 oz.; littleapplegranola.com
Whipped Honey: Trubee’s Tennessee Snow Honey is so rich and creamy, you can spread on it a biscuit instead of butter. Or try it with tart berries. $10.25 for 6 oz.; mouth.com.
Fresh Chai: Most chai is made from concentrate, so the flavors can be overpowering. Calmer Sutra makes a nuanced wet blend with fresh ginger. $11 for 4 oz.; calmersutratea.com.
Maple Syrup: ILA’s new line of products includes a rich, dark Vermont maple syrup that’s delicious on everything from yogurt to French Toast. $28 for 9.5 oz.; ila-shop.co
Cold Brew Coffee: Wandering Bear’s coffee is ready to go whenever the guests get out of bed. And the bold brew stays fresh for a month. From $30 for 96 oz.; wanderingbearcoffee.com.
Yogurt: The White Moustache makes firm, tangy, spectacularly delicious Persian-style yogurt in eight flavors, including date and quince. From $5; Available at these New York markets.
Quark is like a yogurt stand-in, it’s thick and creamy, but without the intense tang of Greek yogurt. We love Misha’s from upstate New York. $3 for 5.3 oz.; mishadairy.com
We also love Smari Organics, which is avaialble nationally. They use four cups of whole milk to make one cup of rich-tasting yet miraculously nonfat Icelandic-style yogurt (skyr). $7.50 for 24 oz.; smariorganics.com.
Jam: Three Little Figs in Portland, Oregon excels at sweet and savory jams like Quince Honey Rosemary, which also includes red wine and cider vinegar. Puddletown Pub Chutney is made by simmering apples with in espresso stout. $12.50 for 10 oz.; threelittlefigs.com.
Or for more traditional fruit jam lovers, Plum Tree’s not-too-sweet boysenberry jam has huge chunks of Oregon berries. $13 for 8 oz.; plumtreejam.com.