Gift-giving season is here. To paraphrase the words of singer-songwriter Freddie Scott, we’ve got everything the recipient of your generosity needs. From edible goods to beautiful leather knife carriers, and sourced from locations near and far, this list includes something we hope can fit any budget or wish list.
Collapsible pastry stands allow for pretty presentation without taking up coveted cupboard space. Made from multiple layers of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood fibers and compressed with a food-safe resin. Stands measuring 9.25 by 5.25 inches ($40) or 12.5 by 7.25 ($60) are available in slate or nutmeg at Hill’s Kitchen , or via www.epicureancs.com and www.surlatable.com.
Forget your usual specialty preserves and opt instead for co-branded jams from Three Spring Fruit Farm, a seven-generation farm in Adams County, Pa. Salted Brown Sugar Peach (9 ounces), Tart Cherry (12 ounces) and Tomato (9 ounces) — made using favorite recipes of Marisa McClellan of FoodInJars.com — retail for $8 online (via three-springs-fruit-farm.myshopify.com) or $6 at the Downtown Silver Spring FreshFarm Market. Other products available include an heirloom tomato sauce, the Everyday Tomato Gravy (32 ounces, $9.50 online or $8 at the market), produced with input from Philadelphia’s Two Birds Canning and Catering.
As promised by the importer, John Martin Taylor, this nickel-free, surgical-steel EZ Profi Oyster Knife is the best we’ve encountered. $70, available from www.hoppinjohns.com.
From Virginia-based leather company Moore & Giles, a handsome leather knife carrier for the serious knife geek or leather lover in your life. We won’t judge if you buy it as a gift for yourself. $395, available from www.mooreandgiles.com.
Here are the people and producers behind Virginia’s culinary and wine scene, all gathered into a tidy, beautifully photographed book. $22 via VirginiaTable.com, or at Salt & Sundry, Broad Branch Market and Red Apron (Penn Quarter and Mosaic District locations only).
Getting the most juice from citrus can be tricky; enter the Cuisipro ergonomic citrus juicer, which makes juicing a snap. A nifty “pulp selector” controls how much pulp is in your juice, while two sizes of reamers accommodate any citrus, from limes to grapefruits. $18.95 from Amazon.com.
The leading producers of rice in the United States, Arkansas growers have been donating crops to the nonprofit Arkansas Rice Depot since 1982. Proceeds from the sales of packaged rice go back to support anti-hunger charities, so you can feel good about the Arkansas Basmati Rice on your plate, or get nostalgic for the 1990s with Presidential Parmesan Rice, based on a recipe donated by Bill Clinton. Gift boxes start at $25, from RiceDepot.org.
When a tropical vacation is not in the cards, you can explore the world through tropical fruit from Robert Is Here, an iconic fruit stand in South Florida. Confound your friends with such delights as dragonfruit, sapote and slightly freakish jackfruit. And of course there are Florida avocados. Prices vary; order from RobertIsHere.com.
You don’t have to travel outside the Mid-Atlantic to find perfect Asian pears. The Spira family began transforming Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley into pear-adise (sorry!) after discovering the fruit during a trip to Japan in 1973. Each pear is picked by hand and examined before being individually wrapped for shipping. Gift boxes start at $29.95; WonderfulFruit.com.
A scant five years after planting their first olive trees on 15 acres in Dripping Springs, Tex., the Gambini family is producing award-winning organic olive oil, including Sola Stella (Lone Star), which has won gold medals this year in international competitions in New York and Los Angeles. Olive oil ranges in price from $18 to $33 and is available via TexasHillCountryOliveCo.com.
If you’re longing for a taste of the wild, you can’t go wrong with huckleberries. Located in Hungry Horse, Mont. — just 9 miles from Glacier National Park — the Huckleberry Patch has been the headquarters for all things huckleberry since 1949. Most notable is Erna Fortin’s huckleberry pie (below, left), available for $48.95 via HuckleberryPatch.com.
For something to satisfy the sophisticated sweet tooth, look no further than the cocktail caramel corn from Butter & Scotch. The Brooklyn bakery’s line offers three flavors: Dark & Stormy, Hot Toddy and Green Chili Margarita. Use them as stocking stuffers, or take them to holiday parties for a hostess gift that can go straight from bag to bowl. A collection of all three bags goes for $25, or you can splurge for a $60 two-gallon tin, all available at www.ButterAndScotch.com.
A handmade, screen-printed gift from the Neighborgoods will brighten up any kitchen — or baby. Food-themed towels and onesies include charming sketches of such edibles as produce or cheese, and equally charming food puns (“I’m kind of a big dill”). Towels cost $18 and onesies $25 on the shop’s Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/TheNeighborgoods); some items available at Hill’s Kitchen, Glen’s Garden Market and Righteous Cheese, as well as through Washington’s Green Grocer.
The polymer clay jewelry from Inedible Jewelry looks good enough to eat, but you’ll have to satifsy yourself with merely drooling over the incredibly realistic creations of Jessica and Susan Partain. The Charlottesville-based sisters craft their tiny baubles by hand, and their extensive collection covers produce, baked goods, cocktails and more. If you can eat it, they sell it — and if not, they’ll make it for you. Necklaces and earrings are $20 to $38 on www.InedibleJewelry.com .
Julie’s Datery already makes enticing stuffed dates, one of our favorite locally made snacks. Now owner Julie Reynes’s sweets have put on their holiday finest for a special chocolate dates gift box. Each sampler comes with four chocolate-and-hazelnut-stuffed dates; four walnut-stuffed and chocolate-dipped dates; and 10 salted peanut butter date caramels dipped in chocolate. Arranged in a festive box, the package costs $24.99 at www.juliesdatery.com.
Made from Virginia farmstead cheeses and farm market-sourced fruits and vegetables, the savory tarts and quiches from Stonyman Gourmet Farmer make a tasty gift or addition to a holiday table. Each is available in a large (returnable) ceramic mold or medium biodegradable wooden mold. Prices range from $18 to $30; call Stonyman Gourmet (540-860-9090) or order online (www.stonymangourmetfarmer.com) to reserve a product for pickup at any of their market locations.
For the Momofuku super-fan — you know, the kind who couldn’t wait for David Chang’s restaurant to open in CityCenterDC, who stood in line on Day One — consider its Grand Slam Gift Pack. The collection consists of two bottles of the signature Ssäm Sauce, a Ssäm Sauce restaurant squeeze bottle, the “Lucky Peach Presents: 101 Easy Asian Recipes” cookbook, Lucky Peach activity book, Momofuku peach tote bag, Momofuku beanie hat, Momofuku sticker sheet, two koozies from Fuku (Chang’s fried chicken shop) and Compost Cookie mix from sister bakery Milk Bar. Shipped in a box decorated with a turkey sketch by Chang himself, the gift pack is available for $125 at products.momofuku.com.
The term “gift basket” needn’t be synonymous with boring wicker. Premium gift baskets from Virginia-based Spartan Oil contain locally produced products, including Spartan’s extra-virgin olive oil in a refillable stoneware bottle, Lindera Farms elderflower vinegar and sea salt from J.Q. Dickinson. Small ($50), medium ($80) and large ($100, pictured above) baskets — made of weathered wood — are available via www.spartan-oil.com; prices do not include shipping.
Forget those neon-red supermarket suckers. These dark, toothsome Amarena cherries will make you remember why people bother putting fruit in their drinks. Give these to your favorite Manhattan fan, if you can bear to part with them. Small jars are $5.99 at Ace Beverage.
Mixing a cocktail after work is already a nice moment after a long day. Mixing one with this gold-plated Beachbum Berry branded spoon (below, left), complete with a gold skull mounted on the end? Now that’s enough to make the office seem a long way off, indeed. Give it to your favorite pirate aficionado. $29.99, via www.cocktailkingdom.com.
The bitter and bibulous have been going nuts for the new Cynar 70 (above, right), a higher-proof version of the artichoke amaro favorite. Deeper, richer and with notes of spicy dark cocoa and wood, it’s great in booze-forward cocktails or on the rocks with a twist of citrus. One-liter bottles are $37.99 from Ace Beverage.