Christmas is just about a week away now and I imagine there are friends and family out there who still seek small stuffers for their stockings or some token of good wishes for the holiday season. Gift ideas abound, especially online, but a wrapped piece of local is not only good for the local economy; it’s also an easy task with what surrounds us.
ON THE EDGE FARM and Dana Pape’s jams simply never disappoint. We are especially possessive of the jars of Bumbleberry jam and the apple butter; nonetheless, everything Dana concocts is masterful.
I’ve mentioned JOHN KELLY CHOCOLATES, sold at the WOODSTOCK FARMERS’ MARKET. Ever since biting into my first rectangular block, I’ve been addicted. There are several kinds to choose from, but the small Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Caramel and Walnuts 1.7 oz. bar simply shocks me into anticipatory trance every time I peel away the gold wrapping.
A second foray into rich chocolate would have to be at MY BRIGADEIRO on Main street in Hanover. Quite frankly, you might even choose something with your eyes shut and it would knock you over with its unique depth of taste. There are different sizes of gift boxes and so many flavors to entice chocolate addicts. The little café is also a fun stop for a hot chocolate or a coffee as you whittle down your shopping list.
My favorite granola is easy to find at PIECEMEAL PIES in White River Junction. The clear bags are not only a perfect gift size, but they also ensure crunchy freshness for every spoonful. The subtle mix of all the ingredients is evident either with milk or fresh, plain yoghurt drizzled over the top with some sliced fruit. By the way, if you need a break here at Pies, reach for one of the large, flat chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with sea salt!
Those who follow some of the articles will remember one of the latest about CLAREMONT SPICE & DRY GOODS in Claremont, N.H. These packages of spice would be a most welcomed gift for the cook in your midst.
THE OLIVE TABLE is a local Woodstock, Vermont family and business whose Greek oil is sourced from their family farm in Kyparissia in northwest Peloponnese. Sold, at first exclusively in local gourmet shops, this oil is now widely sought after and enjoying immense popularity in greater New England and beyond. The bottles are most appealing and their liquid olive elixir addictive.
In addition to expanding the line of olive oils, Diane Hinaris and her husband have expanded into Greek honey with four superb raw varieties: pine, fir, orange blossom and heather. The honey collaboration is entwined with the Gionis family and generations of beekeeping knowledge passed from father to son; the depth of elegance to these honeys stands out in apian circles.
to link to their informative site and find a shop near you.
I should also mention the lovely selections available in our three area kitchen stores: MAIN STREET KITCHENS in Hanover, BOARD AND BASKET in West Lebanon and KING ARTHUR BAKERY in Norwich.
If you wanted to take a little drive, Montpelier City Hall is featuring its annual TOUCH OF VERMONT HOLIDAY GIFT MARKET tomorrow, 16th December from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm at 39 Main street. In a state by state analysis this year, Food and Wine Magazine called this Vermont’s best gift market.
And finally, as I stare into my Aussie’s amber eyes, I am reminded of this food-obsessed pet and a gift I received last year. What about a gift certificate from a local artist? Finnie Trimpi lives in Vermont and takes great pleasure in bold contemporary art-form. With a simple single color backdrop, Finnie’s play of light, form and shadow achieve some remarkable portraits. There are three sizes from which to choose: 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 and each one comes in a smart black mat. I liked the idea of a gift certificate because it allowed me to choose my own preferred photo for the portrait.
for MaddHen Studio and Finnie’s work. These are a sampling from her website:
Whether it is a combination of some of these goodies or one jar of Dana’s fruit chutneys with a red bow tied ‘round, you will be giving a gift of refined.
Wishing all readers of the DailyUV a very happy holiday and I anticipate more delicious discoveries to share with you in 2018.