Disrupted global supply chains make getting thoughtful gifts to friends and family in time for the holidays more complicated this year. Many presents ordered online will sit at the ports well into January. Fortunately, the shelves at Vancouver businesses are well-stocked with locally made food and drink gifts for everyone on your list.
The pandemic’s winter trajectory remains uncertain but it’s clear that everyone needs to eat and drink every day. Thoughtful gifts can elevate this experience and provide moments of pleasure during the cold dark days of winter.
Gift cards from restaurants, bars, food trucks and coffee shops are the perfect way to give friends and family a taste of their favorite things or direct them to something new. It’s also fun to mix and match items from various shops to create a Taste of Vancouver package.
T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and other specialty gifts fill the shelves of Vancouver businesses. A bag of coffee beans from your favorite cafe, clear ornaments filled with a variety of teas ($8-$10) from Dandelion Teahouse & Apothecary (109 W. Seventh St.) or branded merchandise like the buttery soft Roasted in the Couve T-shirts ($27) from Relevant Coffee (1703 Main St., Vancouver) or the new logo T-shirts ($20) from Slow Fox Chili Parlor (108 E. Seventh St., Vancouver) make an attractive addition to gift cards.
At Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters (703 Grand Blvd., Vancouver) a ready-made gift bundle of the roaster’s Chati blend coffee beans, along with cocoa mix and a gourmet candy bar tucked into a red Christmas stocking ($27) sit at the register.
The last day of the Vancouver Farmers Market is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Eighth and Esther streets. Customers can shop in person or order online and use curbside pickup. A convenient shopping guide gives information about ordering and a list of vendors (vancouverfarmersmarket.com/docs/shoppers-guide-2021-fall.pdf).
Honey and hot sauce are two very popular gifts, according to Jordan Boldt, the market’s executive director. On the hot and spicy end customers will find old favorites like Conan’s Hot Sauces ($9-$15), 2 Angry Cats ($10) and Silagy Sauce ($8.50 or gift packs of three for $24 or four for $32). Newcomers include Rose City Pepperheads ($10), which offers an assortment of fruit and pepper jellies “from mild to wild,” said Kate Reudink, market manager.
On the sweeter side, the market sells honey from T Bee S Honey ($9-$18) and Sithean Acres ($9-$25) as well as baked goods from the Vancouver Toffee Company, Blackbird Alchemy and So Long Cookie.
Second Mile Marketplace is another source of Clark County products. The space in Salmon Creek (11819 N.E. Highway 99) provides a central location for farmers to sell their products. In addition, the marketplace houses a commercial kitchen for small-business owners to rent to make their products.
Second Mile’s website (secondmilemarketplace.com) lists a variety of food items including frozen empanadas from Melted Crumbs (six for $19 or 10 for $33), chimichurri from Gather and Feast ($11), and chile oil from Fish & Dragon Foods ($11). Orders can be picked up or delivered anywhere in Clark County along the Interstate 5 corridor.
After the sparkle of the winter holidays fades, we arrive in the tedium of January and the daily problem of getting food on the table for dinner. Presents that help home cooks put together scrumptious meals with minimal effort will add a culinary spark to the January doldrums.
Madeline Bauche offers a long list of luscious sauces and dinner helpers through her company, Sauce Boxx (sauce-boxx.com/shop-sauceboxx). She’s created two special gift boxes for the holidays called Holiday Boxxes. The first one ($35) contains a jar of basil and pepita pesto, a jar of cranberry sauce, loaded garlic and herb butter, and gingerbread butter. The second more deluxe box ($50) has everything in the first one plus cowboy butter (with lemon zest, garlic, parsley, thyme, red chili flakes, cayenne and dijon mustard) and coffee rub. The gift boxes, gift certificates or a mix of other items like Everything Basil Sauce or Yolo Coconut Curry can be ordered through the website and delivered to the recipient.
In addition, Perfect Dish (perfectdishdelivery.com) has gift certificates for carefully prepared meals that are portioned so that family members with various dietary needs can all sit down and have a meal together. Meals are delivered or picked up on Monday at Perfect Dish’s east Vancouver kitchen (16209 S.E. McGillivray Blvd.; 360- 209-8167). Menu items vary from Asian chopped salad ($11) to skillet chicken with mushroom wine sauce and a choice of side dish ($18).
C’est La Vie in Hazel Dell (1307 N.E. 78th St.) always stocks a variety of dried goods, sauces, cheese, crackers, charcuterie and wine easily packed in a basket or gift bag for a delicious and elegant last-minute gift.
Owner Keri Buhman added some special goodies this holiday season including chocolate truffles ($4), hot chocolate bombs ($6), jars of cookie mix ($15), cookie decorating kits ($15) and a carefully curated list of imported and domestic cheeses (price based on size and type). Buhman has added an abundance of Champagne to her stellar wine selection, including Premier Cru for $39. C’est La Vie is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until Dec. 23. The shop is closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3.
Rachel Pinsky: email@example.com