For the past eight months, I have delved into the world of DIY in ways I never thought possible. I used to think DIY meant spending five hours putting together a maddening Ikea product. But since …
For the past eight months, I have delved into the world of DIY in ways I never thought possible. I used to think DIY meant spending five hours putting together a maddening Ikea product. But since last spring, I’ve been making table runners, breads and cakes, crocheting blankets and painting just about everything with a vertical surface.
Now the holidays are around the corner and if you are anything like me, the thought of doing one more DIY anything is way too overwhelming to contemplate. (My paint-splattered husband will be thrilled when this sentiment goes into black and white print.)
The group I do holiday cookie swaps with isn’t going to do that this year thanks to the virus, and yes, I can make more homemade candles to give away, but I have to admit the thought of buying gifts to show my support for local stores sounds like a much better – and easier - option this holiday season.
Supporting local stores and restaurants this winter is priority number one right now. I want to see all of the unique places that make Chestnut Hill special emerge from the winter alive and kicking.
So this year for my holiday food column, I went asking around for trending foodie gift items you can find at your favorite local stores and restaurants. I’ve curated some of them here so you can put down the birdhouse kits, cake pop molds and finger-knit blankies, and tick off your gift list the easy, tasty way.
Kitchen Kapers (8530 Germantown Ave., 215-242-2866) always has gourmet items for local cooks, and this year there are two items in particular that are selling like hotcakes: their turkey brine kit ($14.99) complete with brining bag and rubs, as well as their line of Stonewall Kitchen jams, in particular the Holiday Spice Cranberry mix ($6.99.)
Robertson’s Flowers and Events (8501 Germantown Ave., 215-836-3050) does some amazing gourmet baskets online, but in the Germantown Ave. shop, Mount Airy Candle Company candles are flying off the shelves. Made locally with love, the food scents are dead on, including the Cranberry Woods and the Cashmere and Tuscan Plum (two sizes, $24.95 and $32.) Robertson’s is also carrying the new Ina Garten cookbook “Modern Comfort Food,” ($35) an ode to our return to home cooking.
At Made by ME in the Market at the Fareway (8229 Germantown Ave., 215-450-3165), owner Mary Ellen Salamone will make sure you gift gourmet, handmade sweets that look like you slaved away in the kitchen. The best part might be that you can assemble her goodies to create a great gift basket. She makes a killer Hot Chocolate on a Stick, ($5), a homemade marshmallow with ganache that dissolves in a mug to make instant hot chocolate. She also has candy and pretzel gift boxes (prices vary) and her most popular, peppermint bark ($8).
McNally’s Tavern (8634 Germantown Ave., 215-247-9736) is planning on erecting an outdoor heated tent this winter for its customers who dine al fresco, and owners Anne and Meg NcNally are offering a gift idea for that person in your life who loves a Schmitter, and may want to dine outside at the 100-year old Hill haunt. McNally’s grey fleecy blankets bearing a blue McNally’s logo are $40 and hoodies are $45. They are soft and washable, and you can bring one along for an evening out or just curl up at home to watch the game.
Tavern on the Hill owner Kathlyn Egan has not yet reopened her bar-resto for indoor dining, but she’s come up with some creative ways to keep loyal customers happy this holiday season. Egan will be offering holiday gifts to go, including a selection of wines you can’t find in the state store, as well as a celebratory Sardetto Prosecco split for ($22). The restaurant will also have holiday cookies in decorated, one-pound containers ($24) featuring an assortment of five different cookies including raspberry thumb prints, snicker doodles, sugar cookie cutouts, almond cookies and chocolate crumble cookies. The sweets are homemade by in-house baker Jan Marvin. You can order them at www.tavernonthehill.biz.
At the Chestnut Hill Brewing Company Taproom (8231 Germantown Ave., 215-247-0330) has a special holiday growler deal, with three growlers for $30 instead of the usual $36. The Taproom will be offering seasonal brews TBA. Check on www.chestnuthillbrewingcompany.com for details.
Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (8400 Germantown Ave., 215-948-5600) will feature two great holiday gifts this year. The first is a complete Thanksgiving dinner for four ($50) including the turkey, stuffing and all the fixings. The restaurant has also lowered the prices of its growlers and gift packs and has a variety of brews to choose from. Go to www.ironhillbrewery.com.