The warm glow of downtown shop windows, dressed for the holidays, and the fresh fallen snow helps fuel the spirit of the season. These little windows lure me in searching for the perfect gift for loved ones.
Hubby claims I am one of the hardest people to gift too. He refuses to believe me when I tell him the card means the most—the chosen words scribed inside, is the greatest gift. He knows this gesture counts just as much as the gift. (This doesn’t mean, complete it seconds before you stuff the card in an envelope and hand it me—especially when I can see you.)
Admittedly while it’s the thought that counts, he does get the gift giving part wrong more often than not. For example, one of the first gifts he ever bought me was a mini-mag-lite flashlight. My face must have given me away, cause when I opened it he quickly blurted out: “It’s pewter?” I don’t wear much jewelry, but a gal gets her hopes up when a carefully wrapped package is in a long thin black box. I was backpacking at the time, so his thought process was in line, and in truth, it was, and is what I needed. It’s these little gestures that keep me smiling year after year.
I know friends who work at it really hard, scouring the shelves, in search of the one thing that will bring a jolly sparkle to their partner’s eyes. I’m that half: I love this time of the year, and relish locating the perfect gift. Neither are into big overly priced items although in an effort to get it right hubby has on occasion thrown a lot of money at the gift-giving thing. I can always tell when he has had help from a well-meaning colleague or our teenage daughter.
Stick to the card, I tell him. But, for when he insists….
Here are my holiday picks for any culinary adventurous friends:
- Gift Certificate to any of my favorite restaurants. There should be no doubt that it will get used for long lunches and lazy dinners. If you need helpful suggestions – read my column.
- Vintage Cake Slice from P’Lovers Store – 123 Princess Street, Kingston
Each uniquely designed with different sayings engraved into the pewter. I bought one for a friend it reads: Slice of Love.
- From the Farm Cooking School gift certificate – Prince Edward County
Learn culinary techniques from Chef and Food Writer, Cynthia Peters in an old 1830’s farmhouse in Prince Edward County. To purchase a gift certificate and for more information visit www.fromthefarm.ca.
- Kingston Olive Oil Company– 62 Brock Street, Kingston
I currently have five empty bottles (they recycle used bottles) on my countertop, of these delicious extra virgin olive oils. The store features hundreds of choice along with balsamic vinegars, salts, and spices. My go to is the Picual infused olive oil and Lavender balsamic vinegar.
- Salted Caper Berries, Pan Chancho – 123 Princess Street, Kingston
One thing every foodie needs in their kitchen, but their are other great tasty finds to purchase like creamy brie cheese, breads and more.
- Trays of squares, tarts, and cookies – Cards Bakery – 304 Bagot Street, Kingston
The gift of fresh baking (that someone else baked), icing on the cake! It takes loads of time off the already busy holiday schedule. Face it most foodies having been baking since Thanksgiving. This gift will always be welcomed, and devoured.
- Cookbook – Novel Idea – 156 Princess Street, Kingston
Foodies never have too many cookbooks, even when they rarely use recipes. They get us cracking, stirring and brewing from street food, buying local, and simple beautifully written books with loads of scrumptious pictures. If you get stuck, pick up the Chez Piggy or Curry Original cookbooks.
- Cooke’s Fine Foods – 2395 Princess Street, Kingston
Simply walking inside lights me up with its fresh smell of coffee. I love visiting for gifts any time of the year. Pretty much anything from their coffee to saffron, smoked paprika spices, gift baskets, and dark chocolate are a win.
- Limestone Creamery Organic Egg Nog – Tara Foods, Pan Chancho or visit the Limestone Organic Creamery, 3113 Sydenham Rd, Elginburg
Limited to the season, grab as much as you can of this creamy treat. Fix your foodie a drink of eggnog dusted with nutmeg, cinnamon, and they’ll be yours forever.
- Wine Glasses – every foodie loves needlessly large wine glasses or funky twisted ones that never fall over for long conversations over the table. By year-end, one is always in need of a new set—loads of belly laughs, high fives, and tearful resolutions are in a glass of wine. Choose a local Prince Edward County Wine to pair with it, or grab a set of white and red glasses. (Yes, there are different kinds.)
If you purchase anything from four through to ten, give me a call, and I’d gladly use my mini-mag-lit flashlight to find my way to your house this holiday season.
If you have a restaurant recommendation or foodie biz suggestion email me at email@example.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter or my blog LadydinesAlot.com.