A benefit of our market’s compact size is that we only have room to carry the very best products, rather than offer a large variety. Great care is taken to make sure each product you purchase is the best of it’s kind, and if something is an underperformer, it’s quickly replaced with a new and better product. Rest assured that the sauces, condiments or gadgets on our shelves have been tested by me and I know that it’s the best sauce or gadget of its kind. If you’re still looking for a gift for a cook in your life, here’s my line-up of the “best of” 2017.
1. Lodge Cast Iron Pans – already pre-seasoned and hand-forged in the US since 1896, you simply can’t beat the quality and long life of a Lodge. While it’s a little heavy for a stocking stuffer, you can gift these pans knowing they’ll still be in use generations from now if properly cared for!
2. Wendell’s Estate Honey – The wide-eyed look of delight on your face as you sampled this at Taste of the Market spoke volumes. This luxuriously creamy, raw honey in an elegant jar hails from Northern Saskatchewan. The bees have feasted on wild prairie grasses and flowers, where the air is clean and far from large urban populations. It’s special enough that you want to enjoy it all on its own, slathered on a piece of warm bread or better yet, straight from the spoon, and makes a wonderful hostess gift.
3.Sugar Savers – Stuff a stocking with a friendly animal to nestle in a jar of brown sugar. The high-fired and food-safe terracotta ensures sugar stays soft and maintains moisture for 3-6 months. Soak saver for 15-20 minutes, pat dry and then place in the jar.
4. Chef’n Citrus Juicers – for a single use tool, this one is far superior to any other juicer on the market. It’s sturdy gears make it easy to press, it doesn’t discolor like the cheap aluminum ones and it works so well that I pack it in my luggage on every holiday!
5. Ghana Baskets – I own 3 of these unique baskets because I love them so much! Imported with fair trade values directly from the artists who produce them in Ghana, each basket is wonderfully handcrafted using elephant grass, goat hide and natural dyes. The expert craftsmanship has been handed down through generations! Use it as a beach tote, storage, reusable shopping bags, home decor, and so much more.
Great as gifts on their own, or fill it up to make it a gift basket!
6. Zyliss Garlic Press – the ONLY garlic press to buy, it’s worth its weight in gold. Sturdy, built to last, dishwasher safe and you don’t need to peel the garlic clove! Loved by Charlotte Lepp, chefs and cooking magazines everywhere!
7. Smak Dab Mustards – my absolute favorite condiment find of 2017! Young Winnipeg Chef Carly created this unique mustard line of perfectly balanced flavours after graduating from culinary school and each flavour is a winner. Check out her beautiful blog and great recipe suggestions here.
8. Epicurean Cutting Boards – I bought my first Epicurean cutting board about 15 years ago, it’s still in use and I now own one of almost every size! They are super-light, made of an eco-friendly, wood composite that’s non-porous, dishwasher safe, stain resistant and very strong. The meat cleaver shape is a fun gift for your favorite BBQ fan!
9. Onion Goggles – I keep putting these on the list because you need to know that despite how goofy it looks, it really works! Rather than strap on ski or swim goggles, (as many of you told me you do!) these trendy glasses will save your makeup AND your hair as you can now enjoy a tear-free onion chopping session.
10. Farmer’s Dotter Organic Garlic Scape Salt – This flavourful Keremeos finishing salt sits beside my stove and is in constant use in my kitchen anytime I need a crunch of garlicky salt. On roasted veggies, sliced tomatoes, grilled meats, baked potatoes – the possibilities are endless.
12. Victorinox Knives – the same company that manufactures the renowned Swiss Army Knife also produces excellent kitchen knives. Their ergonomic design and super-sharp blades make this a reliable work horse in anyone’s kitchen.
13. Rasp – Chef Michael Smith taught me one of the best cooking hacks I know; to store your ginger in the freezer, and then grate on a rasp from frozen when ginger is called for in a recipe. You’ll thank me for this great idea the next time you go to use a wilty, rubbery piece of ginger from your pantry.