The holidays are fast approaching. Hanukkah is just around the corner (sundown, December 4th) and Christmas will come and go faster than we all think. If you’re not celebrating those holidays, a small token for the New Year or holiday party might be a nice gesture– Or maybe just a thank you for neighbors watching your pets.
While I am more partial to giving (and receiving) homemade gifts, there are many people that just don’t have the time. Here are some foodie-minded items that will bring out a smile this gift-giving season.
*Cookies and other sweets are always delicious. Try peppermint rocky road cookies, peppermint bark, apple spice cake, cardamom streusel cake, a mixed cookie selection, chocolate fudge cookies or cranberry macadamia white chocolate chip cookies. Just buy an old holiday themed cookie tin (ebay?) and gift away.
*Spice rubs. A small jar will fit your favorite homemade spice combination for others who love to cook.
*Drink Mix. Are you a deft mixologist? How about mixing up a base concoction of your famous brew with a direction tag like “just add rum for holiday cheer!”
*Jams and other preserves. Did you go ape with the bounty of fruits and veggies this summer? Why not gift some preserves to your friends? Nothing says love like some summertime tomatoes, pickles, green beans or fig jam. Why not pack along your favorite recipe using the product?
From food-lit to wine bible there are many great foodie offerings in the literary world sure to please any foodie.
*The more politically conscious on your list will love The Whole Soy Story, by Kaayla T. Daniel, Food Politics, by Marion Nestle or Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey M. Smith.
*Can’t make it to Paris this holiday? Gift the markets instead with Emile Zola’s, The Fat and the Thin
*To help the oenophile along, try The Oxford Companion to Wine, by Jancis Robinson (Editor). Or, for the budding wine enthusiast Educating Peter, by Lettie Teague (review) is a great start. Even more basic and a little lighter is Hip Tastes, by Courtney Cochran.
*As for cookbooks, any chef or aspiring chef would love to add The Cook’s Book, with over 7 fabulous contributing chefs to their collection (review).
If you cannot make something for the holidays, ensure others are properly paid for the effort they exert to bring you your goods. There are many Fair Trade websites that now sell great home gifts from bamboo bowls to recycled glass plates. If Fair Trade is too much to ask, at least ensure you’re keeping the Earth alive by buying sustainable products.
*The Local Harvest store will help you to buy local or help you support organic farmers whether buying oranges or sheep pelts.
*World of Good has Fair Trade and Earth-friendly furnishings, clothing, books and jewelry. Their hand-woven rattan to the core baskets would make a great fruit bowl and their placemats would accent any table well.
*Viva Terra offers home furnishings, gourmet chocolates and clothing that is Earth-friendly and sleek. I especially like their slate cheese board and organic tea set in a fabulous box.
*Green Home is a one-stop shop for bath and cleaning products, art supplies, clothing and more. Their stainless steel lunch carrier is great to carry hot and cold lunches and their bamboo utensil set is a lightweight alternative for picnics.