This post is prompted both by my need to finish my christmas shopping and also by the bombardment of emails I have received with gift ideas from local businesses. These suggestions are therefore central-Ohio centric but could be adapted depending on where you live.
Jeni’s Ice Creams now do mail order and by the power of dry ice they can be sent anywhere in the country (sadly not overseas). I know I would be over the moon if a package of Jeni’s ice cream arrived on the doorstep. Perfect for someone who is homesick for Columbus or to initiate someone to the joy of Jeni’s. You can choose their current seasonal range including two of my favorites the fantastic dark chocolate peppermint and blackstrap praline – or you can choose your own flavors. Selections start from $48.
If you aren’t sure of someone’s tastes there are all sorts of gift certificates to choose from: A Dine Originals gift certificate would allow them to select from over 40 local restaurants, a North Market gift certificate offers a similar range for eating or shopping.
Cooking classes make a fun gift for the person that has everything. The North Market School of Cooking have just announced their winter and spring classes with a series of Dine Originals chef classes, classes taught by James Beard award winner Robin Davis and a couple of cooking classes for kids, one of which will be taught by your very own Hungrywoolf (May 1st). I will also be assisting at some of the other classes and am particularly excited about learning how to make bacon (Feb 18th). Evening classes include dinner, the class and recipe sheets to take home. You always learn something and have some delicious food at the same time. There are a wide variety of classes from Meat 101 to Eastern European. Dine Originals chefs who will be teaching include Alana Shock, Kent Rigsby and Richard Blondin. Here are posts from a couple of the classes I went to in the fall: Robin Davis Land and Sea and Spencer Budros from Pistacia Vera.
Hills Market has a great promotion at the moment. Until December 24th you can buy any of 55 Ohio products and Hills will donate 10% of the sale to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. You could create an Ohio Themed Gift Basket, use these items as hostess gifts or enjoy them yourself and have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to feed the hungry of Central Ohio, supporting small Ohio food innovators and supporting Columbus’ premiere locally owned market at the same time.
Products include Buckeye Mustard, CrimsonCup Coffee, Dick’s Horseradish Sauce, Honeyman BBQ Sauces, Integration Acres Spreads, Kitchen Basics 32 oz. Chicken Stock, Little Rosie’s Filipino Dressings, Milo’s line of Bruschettas, Oakvale Farm’s line of Goudas, Stan Evans Flatbread Crackers, Robert Rothschild Farm’s Peppermint Dip and Gingerbread Dip, Rossi Pasta, Smith Dairy’s EggNog and Wolf’s Premium Gourmet Nuts.
There are lots of places that you can find Ohio wines including House Wine in Worthington (where we are holding the next Slow Wine event on December 15th), The Twisted Vine in Grandview, The Ohio Statehouse gift shop and Grapes of Mirth in the North Market. My favorite Ohio wine is from Kinkead Ridge.
Branching out from food Columbus Underground have a series on shopping independent for the holidays one of which is more shopping ideas from the North Market including the Greener Grocer gift basket. Hounds in the Kitchen has some gift ideas too, including a homemade olive oil pourer and their store Baying hound has some eco-friendly gift ideas. Here are some ideas for homemade food gifts.
Another gift idea is membership of an organization such as the Franklin Park Conservatory, Ohio Historical Society, Local Matters or the Wexner Center for the Arts. The Wexner is showing a food film series in February and members get discounted tickets.
Please feel to post other suggestions. I’m sure there are lots of other great gift ideas.