Thursday, November 22, 2007

Holiday Gifts Have Local Flavor

The Enquirer has a bit on Kentucky Proud gift baskets today. Kentucky Proud foods are made in Kentucky and locally you can buy them at Remke.

For the longest time, I thought Remke was a discount grocery store. Then I ran in once to get something, and found out that they're actually a specialty grocery store with a lot of unique foods you won't find at Kroger. I ended up going through the whole store and filling up a basket. I have tried a few Kentucky Proud food products and thus far my favorite is a cajun microwave popcorn.

I love giving consumable gifts to people. Especially to my parents, who are always downsizing. They try to pass off more crystal to me every time I visit them. The latest thing I heard was that I'm about to get the silver tea set. I rarely drink tea, and when I do it's just a mug-full, but apparently that's not important. Neither is the fact that I have no intention of wasting a day polishing silver every month.

My parents' fancy cast-offs (crystal candlesticks, vases, salt and pepper shakers and depression glass) have grown to rival my angry pile of Tupperware. I hate Tupperware and constantly try to pass it off on other people, but the pile always magically reproduces on its own. Funny. I never thought about it before. My parents are elegant crystal. I am cheap plastic bins.

I used to entertain visiting clients and bought Montgomery Inn gift baskets to place in their hotel rooms. They're a nice alternative to something that will end up tucked away on someone's shelf. You can order the baskets by phone, tell them you live locally, and pick them up at the warehouse to save on shipping.

Nowadays, I make my own gift baskets for far-away family and special friends. They include all of the usual suspects, like Frisch's tartar sauce, Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce, Cincinnati chili mix, LaRosa's spaghetti sauce and a few other odds and ends. Most of it can be purchased at Krogers. They love getting the local foodstuffs, and I know it won't go to waste.

Feel free to post your ideas for things to include in a Cincinnati / Kentucky gift basket. I won't shop for another week or two.