Santa Claus is Coming to Town & He’s Bringing a Taste of Austin

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SPOILER ALERT: If you are a family member or friend living outside of Austin with whom I normally exchange holiday gifts, STOP READING THIS POST NOW OR YOU’LL KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING FOR CHRISTMAS!  For this reason, I have posted no pictures this time.

For the last several years, I have given my friends and family a cookbook for the holidays of my favorite recipes from that year. This year, inspired by a gift from a friend in Denver of their local farmers market goodies, I decided that I should accompany the cookbook with some of my favorite locally produced items and have made baskets for everyone.

I was particularly interested in this idea because I don’t like malls and will do just about anything to avoid a big box store during the holidays.  For these presents, I could shop places I already like to go.  SCORE!

Even though I shop local most of time, I was surprised how easy it was to pull the baskets together.  I visited the Junior League Christmas Affair, the Downtown Austin Farmers Market, the Sunset Valley Farmers Market, St. David’s Coffee Shop and Central Market to gather these items.  I even picked up some great note cards at the East Austin Studio Tour featuring photos from the farmers market by local photographer Irene Tobis.

Here are the goodies I gathered:

Blue Avocado Pod Bags (online or Whole Foods)
Cocoa Puro Kakawa Chocolates – nibs and beans (Downtown Austin Farmers Market)

Coop Coffee (Sunset Valley Farmers Market)
Delysia Chocolatier – chocolate samplers: wine and gentleman’s selection; the cigar is amazing even though it sounds odd (bought mine at Junior League Christmas Affair, but you can order online)
Farmers Market Postcards from Irene Tobis (bought mine at East Austin Studio Tour, you can buy online)

Harvest Time Jams (Downtown Austin or Triangle Farmers Market)

Jake’s Granola Biscotti (Downtown Austin Farmers Market and Better Bites member)
Kala’s Kuisine Salsa (Downtown Austin or Triangle Farmers Market)

Kerbey Lane pancake mixes (Central Market)
Lights Out Candles (bought mine at the Junior League Christmas Affair, but you can buy online)
Love Puppies Brownies (St. David’s Episcopal Church Coffee Shop – they carry lots of cool local products – and online)

Texas Olive Ranch Samplers – olive oil and vinegar (Downtown Austin Farmers Market)

Zhi Tea Samplers (bought mine at the Junior League Christmas Affair, but you can buy at Zhi Tea)

Phew!  All of those goodies produced 8 nice sized baskets, the most expensive of which was $40 and most averaged $20-$30.

If you are interested in creating your own baskets and can’t make it to the markets, you have lucked out because Edible Austin is hosting a Holiday Gift Fair as part of Eat Local Week with Better Bites of Austin from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, December 9th at City Hall.  You can buy all kinds of local gift baskets goodies there.

Some other great places you can buy local goodies include:

Blue Genie Art Bazaar: December 3rd through December 24th at the Monarch Events Center starting at 10 am each day.  They feature gifts from local artists that run the gamut from coffee mugs to major art works.  It’s one of my favorite places to by gifts.

Austin Flea:  Saturday December 5th, 11 am to 6 pm at The Ghost Room.  I haven’t been to this event before, but my friend Stephanie, the Cosmic Cowgirl, will have baked goods and her delicious jams.  I’m going for the jams!

Let me know your favorite local place to buy gifts.  The more the merrier!

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2 Responses to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town & He’s Bringing a Taste of Austin”

  1. carla c.December 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Super helpful information, thanks for this post!

  2. NatanyaDecember 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    I have been at a loss for what to get for my parents (the people who have everything), but now I'm completely inspired. Thanks for sharing these – even at the risk of having someone find out what their gift is :-)

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