Wednesday May 02, 2012 | 03:23 PM

Everyone has them.

In my family, it's a tacky pair of lobster claw salt and pepper shakers that get passed around as a gag gift on Christmas Day.

My mother and I started the tradition, wrapping them up carefully and beautifully for my sister. When she opened the package, we beamed with false pride and tried not to giggle as we watched my sister stammer and smile wanly as she tried to thank us sincerely for such a lovely gift.


After a minute or two, we couldn't control ourselves and burst out laughing. Then the victim got a case of Stockholm syndrome and began helping us plot our next stealth attack - this time, on my sister-in-law.

If you have similar tacky, touristy salt-and-pepper shakers that you bought after you'd had a beer or two and maybe weren't thinking straight...maybe something like these:

Well, you're in luck. Cafe Miranda in Rockland will take them off your hands.

If you've ever been to the cafe, you know that it's got a cozy, funky atmosphere, with equally funky salt and pepper shakers on every table. Or, as the restaurant calls them, "interesting" salt and pepper shakers.

Apparently now, due to time and wear, their selection is running low. So they are asking people to bring in all the odd, cute, unusual shakers they don't want anymore to replenish the cafe's supply. Once they are rolling in shakers, they'll hold an online contest here where Facebook fans of Cafe Miranda can vote for their favorite pair.

The person who donates the winning pair of salt and pepper shakers will will receive a Cafe Miranda gift certificate. Be sure to include your name and address with the shakers so the cafe can send you a gift certificate if you win.

The deadline is June 1, so start going through those cluttered cabinets today.

Now, off to hunt for those lobster claws.....

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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