It’s that time of year again. Snow blankets the sidewalks, the scent of pine hangs in the air, and shoppers bustle from store to store in search of the perfect gifts. I helped one such holiday shopper in the Petoskey store on Monday, answering her questions and opening jars for her to taste and suggesting some of my favorite combinations. It was a simple thing, really, but it wasn’t until she hugged me — hugged me! — and thanked me for helping her select a gift that I was reminded of the spirit of the season.
It’s the pleasure we take in giving to others that makes this such a special time of year, and there is something particularly gratifying about finding exactly the right gift for each person on your list. In case you’re as stumped for ideas as my huggable holiday shopper was, here are a few of my favorite American Spoon gift selections.
Fruit lovers and locavores alike will delight in these four jars of perfectly preserved Michigan fruits grown by four dedicated Michigan fruit farmers — Gary and Steve Bardenhagen’s luscious Early Glow Strawberries, Gary Frederickson’s mellow Bartlett Pears, Martin and Marty Jelinek’s tart Harlayne Apricots, and Joe Daly’s native-bred Red Haven Peaches. Each jar is filled with sweet, delicious, chunk-filled preserves that perfectly capture the essence of a Michigan Summer.
In my opinion, all you really need to know about this gift is that it includes Michigan Maple Cream. Sweet, creamy, delicious Michigan Maple Cream. Of course, some people like to spread that on pancakes and things so we’ve included our two favorite pancake mixes as well. Two jars of spoonable Fruit Perfect and a small jug of Michigan Maple Syrup round out the assortment, making this the perfect gift for your favorite morning person.
Not everyone thinks to pair preserves with cheese but it’s my favorite way to enjoy them, and this gift is an enticing invitation to adopt that delicious practice. Two wonderful cheeses — nutty Leelanau Raclette and sharp Grafton Cheddar — are accompanied by four delightfully complementary jars of American Spoon goodness. Luscious Leelanau Bartlett Pear Preserves, tangy Crabapple Butter, fragrant Fig Conserve, and savory Roast Apple and Onion Relish all pair beautifully with cheeses, resulting in numerous flavorful combinations sure to delight the cheese lover or entertainer in your life.