Edible gifts from Martha's Vineyard
Photo by Lynn Christoffers
We've all done it. Got out the credit card and surfed the Net for the online gifts cards that the Macy's and Amazons of the world are happy to forward to dear ones. Couple hours and a couple hundred bucks later, holiday gift giving is done. A task completed. That's the problem for me as a giver and as a receiver. Where's the love? I'm not feelin' the love.
What we've done here is to gather a few low-cost ideas that will take a few more hours than your internet gift-giving strategy, but when you figure in the love, these gifts offer wicked high benefits to the time and cost involved. They'll feel the love, and any gift in here is $15 bucks or less, the majority a lot less.
The Island is the hook. Come here once and you're hooked. People like to remember this place. So go with the flow. These gifts are all about Island companies with products made here, many grown here.
Patti Linn has threatened to do this after decades of making chocolates for friends and family. Linnsational Chocolates is her new line of gourmet chocolates from caramel-covered apples serving six to truffles and cream-filled delights. Patti's peddling at the Edgartown School Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec. 12 or call her at 508-693-9703.
On the subject of chocolate, consider the kids on your gift list. Ten-year-olds love violent video games, which are a slam dunk, but makes you feel sort of guilty. Instead, remember those cheap-o plastic nets of foil-wrapped doubloons you got every year, the ones that tasted like they were made when real doubloons were cast? New Moon Magick in Oak Bluffs has a version that's bigger, better, and Island-made for less than the junk candy. Five bucks, because founder Kathleen Cowley is ruthless about affordability, son Louis Hall reports. New Moon's also added several new Island-made treats this year. For more information, call 508-693-8331.
Or consider Island-themed chocolate bars. State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury has one for every town, a different flavor for each. Proceeds from the sale of the Island Grown Bar benefits Island Grown Initiative (IGI), an organization dedicated to educating and providing local food to the community.
Seems palate-pleasing is a growing industry here. As organizations such as IGI have grown, so have the products resulting from the harvest.
At New Lane Sundries, Linda Alley has developed several new flavors of sauces, jams, and piquancies and a killer new, reusable bottle with the old Mason jar snap-top for chefs on your list. Eight bucks each or get a medley with gift-wrapping for less than $25. When Aunt Irma's in from Omaha next summer, she can fill the bottle with beach glass for the hutch in her dining room.
Feeling the love yet? How about Jan Buhrman's Kitchen Pantry Za'atar seasoning that debuted and had the Northeast Corridor folks hopping last summer. For a chic, happening and affordable ($4-10) gift, you can't beat it with a stick.
LeRoux at Home in Vineyard Haven has added a line of olive oils and balsamic vinegars with flavors such as Tangerine and Blood Orange. Prices vary from $11.49 (Peach White Balsamic) to $15.99 (aged 18-year-old). Once you have your own bottle, you can refill them for about one dollar off the regular price.
Want a really memorable stocking stuffer? Call The FARM Institute and ask about their salad turnips. Jen Rand of West Tisbury was brandishing a bunch at the Winter Farmers' Market recently. "Great stocking stuffers," she said. "To be honest, I'm not much of a veggie person but they were as cute as turnips can get."
Here's the point: Think about the Island-made gifts available this season. Check the local vendor websites, markets, and craft fairs this holiday season. They are full of affordable, authentic food gifts that embody thoughtfulness, the true spirit of giving.