The turkey coma is fading, the leftover turkey carcass is simmering on the stove for stock, and now you can start thinking about what to do about your holiday gifts. ‘Tis the season to be giving! Perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member that loves all things food, or all things Ohio or all things fabulous.
Persephone is here with a trusty list that’s sure to have them smiling. Here are some of the things that will be wrapped and given to our nearest and dearest this year, whether it’s under a tree or lovingly pressed into the welcoming hands of a hostess with a houseful of merrymakers.
For the Baker
North Market Spices – Ben and our friends at NMS have all sorts of things to tempt the baker and chef. They can help you pull together a gift basket or - very conveniently - have grab and go gift bags that make perfect hostess gifts. (614) 224-4107
For the Cook
The Olive Orchard is a local importer that ships all over, so if you want a boutique olive oil, some even single estate, this is a great bet for anyone no matter where they live. Right now specials are running on their Gourmet Double Dipping Set with your choice of two oils and a spice blend. The ability to customize the gift makes it extra special. Persephone picks: the Sicilian EV (same as in Jeni’s Olive Oil and Sea Salted Pepitas ice cream) and the Greek EV.
For the Non-Cook
Dine Originals Columbus lends its seal of approval to some of the best restaurants in Columbus and central Ohio. Dine Original gift certificates are good at any of the member restaurants. A few discount certificates are still available at specific restaurants including Persephone’s Picks Bodega and L’Antibes.
For the Adventurer
Columbus Food Adventures is a new tour company in Columbus offering a variety of fun – and extremely delicious – tours of Columbus. The Short North walking tour visits some of Columbus’s most beloved restaurants and food purveyors. A few behind the scenes peeks and off-the-menu treats make this something you can’t do on your own. Tours make a great date, too. A dessert tour has just begun running and the taco truck tours will return when the weather is warmer. Gift certificates are easily purchased online.
For the Reader
The Heart of the Artichoke is the new cookbook from David Tanis. Chef Tanis spends half the year in charge of the kitchen at Chez Panisse in Berkley, the other half in Paris. If there is a person you should emulate in simple seasonal cooking, it is surely him. Buy it for a cookbook collector. Then buy a copy for yourself, too. It’s that good.
Gastronomica is the quarterly food magazine with serious, serious food photography. A gift subscription demonstrates your good taste, as well.
For the Sleepyhead
Silver Bridge Coffee is a small, woman-owned coffee company close to Athens, Ohio. She has some really lovely flavored coffees as well as Cafe Femenino coffees, which come from women-owned coffee collectives in places like Peru and Bolivia. Persephone’s Picks: Cafe Femenino Peru and Cinnamon Hazelnut Creme.
For the Friend with the Well-Stocked Drinks Cabinet
OYO Vodka, produced by the geniuses at Middle West Spirits, makes a great addition to cinnamon hot chocolate. Presenting a bottle of this boutique vodka to your host will make you more than welcome at any holiday fete. Locavores will love a bottle, too, as it’s made with Ohio-grown soft red winter wheat.
Brothers Drake Mead is another locally-sourced and -made adult beverage. (Persephone knows and loves them all.) We had this as an aperitif prior to Thanksgiving dinner today and its wonderful served at a holiday party along with a platter of local cheeses. Persephone’s Picks: Bergamot Blue and VO.
Columbus Brewing Company is a great choice for the quick host gift. The Winter Warmer makes a festive choice. It is a welcome sight at my house any time company arrives.
For the Philanthropic
Please consider making a gift in honor of a friend or family member to organizations working to change the how the world views food. Local Matters and Slow Food are both organizations that contribute to the furthering of entrepreneurship (in their support of local small farmers), the public health of our communities (by encouraging changes to things like school lunches) and environmentalism (through increasing availability of locally sourced food). A donation to Slow Food or Local Matters can help to make a difference.