Heavy Table’s 2014 Local Food Gift Guide

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Saying that the Upper Midwestern food scene has expanded over the past few years is a wild understatement — we’re swimming in an ocean of great edible, drinkable, readable, and usable gifts that are made and / or sold locally. Here’s the only guide you need for your holiday gifting pleasure.

The Appetizers: Gifts Under $10

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Hot Cocoa Bomb | $3 | Mademoiselle Miel’s Honey Kitchen & Showroom in Saint Paul
Who knew that we needed a new hot cocoa delivery method? This charming, made-for-stockings local product combines cocoa, raw honey, vanilla, and chocolate into a “just-drop-it-into-hot-milk-and-stir,” one-shot cannonball of flavor. — James Norton

Recipe Greeting Cards | $3 | Mill City Museum
Designed by Minnesotan Tim Trost, these cards have wonderfully old-fashioned depictions of cook’s tools — including lefse griddles and krumkake irons — on the front, and have a recipe on the back.
— Amy Rea

Measuring Shot Glass | $3.25 | Kitchen in the Market
Stuff a lucky bartender’s stocking with a handy, measuring shot glass, marked in fractions of an ounce, tablespoons, teaspoons and milliliters. Here’s to high-precision cocktails. — Tricia Cornell

ing: Canning Co. Pickles | $5 | 16 oz. Kitchen in the Market
Never show up empty-handed to a holiday party, no matter what the host says. But skip the flowers and chocolates. Bring pickles instead. St. Paul-based ing: Canning Co. pickles just about everything it can get its hands on, from jalapenos to orange coriander pickled carrots. Pictured, top. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Northern Lites Pancake Mix | $5.50 | Mill City Museum
Minnesota’s Homestead Mills is the company behind Northern Lites Pancake Mixes, which are made from whole wheat procured from local farmers. Available flavors include Wild Rice, Hot Buttered Cinnamon Roll, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Maple Pecan, and Apple Pie. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Marianne’s Kitchen British Pub Pickles | $6 | 12 oz.
Brown sugar and mustard notes are unusually pronounced in the British Pub Pickles made by Shoreview, Minnesota-based Marianne’s Kitchen. A pleasing twist on a favorite condiment, and a novel way to dress up a burger or ploughman’s plate. — JN

Blis Small Batch Bourbon Barrel Aged Fish Sauce | $6 | 200ml | Golden Fig
How many people are going to appreciate bourbon barrel aged artisanal fish sauce? Not many, and that’s the point. This special product by Blis will enchant anyone who has a true appreciation for the depth of flavor that fish sauce can provide and confuse just about anyone else when it’s pulled out of a stocking or tiny gift box. — JN

CFgiftbox-smSponsored by Cocoa & FigSweeten the day of a colleague, loved one or friend this Holiday season with a gift box of treats from Cocoa & Fig, the Twin Cities’ premiere bakeshop and dessert catering company. Choose from a variety of boxes filled with made-from-scratch seasonal goodies including Peppermint Bark, Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies, Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread and more. With options at every price point you’re sure to find something for the foodie on your list! View our gift box menu online.

Beer Soap | $7 | Mill City Museum
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 beers. And now, for the beer lover on your list, there’s beer soap from St. Paul’s Swag Brewery. Available in Belgian Witbier, Oatmeal Stout, or Vanilla Porter. — AR

Honey Bon Bons | $7 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
A most-exquisite stocking stuffer for the discriminating chocolate lover. The Honey Bon Bons are made from 100 percent cacao Venezuelan black chocolate and pure raw honey (from the Rooftop Honey venture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Bee Squad). They’re decorated with edible gold leaf. Sustainable and delectable. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Ceramic Berry Dish | $7 | Mill City Museum
Missing your summer trips to the farmers market where you picked up cardboard containers of fresh, locally grown berries? Yeah, so are we. This won’t replace the trip, but the ceramic version of the cardboard container will at least give you (or your giftee) hope that summer will return, with its luscious berries. — AR

Sunrise Creative Gourmet ad

Sunrise Creative Gourmet ad

Sponsored by Sunrise Market: Creating authentic Italian cuisine has been a passion in the Forti family for a hundred years. From the time of Sunrise Market’s humble beginnings in Hibbing, family recipes — inspired by the diverse immigrant population that helped build the Iron Range — were passed along to each generation. Fourth generation owner Tom Forti has opened a retail location in St. Paul to bring fresh Sunrise Gourmet creations to their loyal customer base in the Twin Cities.

Spices and Powders | $7-$12 | 7 oz. | Kitchen Window
Wine, beer, whiskey, blue cheese, sundried tomatoes — just about any big, bold flavor you can think of, ready to add to a sauce or a rub with a little shake from a jar. Put together your little gift basket of Wayzata Bay Spice Co. powders, and be sure to include a jar of potent smoked salt, smoked especially for Wayzata Bay by Kitchen Window. — TC

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Just Add Beer Bread Mix | $7.50 | 21 oz. | Lake Wine and Spirits, The Beer Dabbler, Guse Green Grocer
We really enjoyed the crusty, hearty, flavorful, hot homemade bread we were able to produce — essentially without effort — by combining a craft brew and a bag of locally made Just Add Beer Bread mix. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Thumbs Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies | $7.50 | 2.5 oz.
If you like your cookies tiny, expensive, insanely buttery, and richly delicious, Thumbs Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies are a fine way to go. The attractive packaging makes them a nice tertiary gift or a fine stocking stuffer. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Swedish Dough Hook | $7.50 | Cooks of Crocus Hill
Bread bakers swear by this simple tool, especially if they’re devotees of the let-water-and-time do the work method popularized by the local Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day books. The hook breaks up lumps of flour and is strong enough to work through your biggest batches of dough. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Illustrated Cooking Journal | $8 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
It’s time to put away the tablet in the kitchen and keep track of recipes the old-fashioned way. This lovely illustrated journal from Cicada Books has plenty of room to track the details of all your favorite recipes, and it also has illustrated guides to things like the anatomy of vegetables and beef cuts. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Grlk | $8 | 9.6 oz. | Online
Grlk is a locally made riff on the classic Mediterranean garlic paste known as toum, and it packs a mighty wallop. A scant schmear on a bagel or piece of bread provides a big garlic kick, and it can be thrown into pastas or roasts with abandon. But be conservative — even a garlic lover can be bowled over by this stuff’s potency. It’s a great new kitchen go-to. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Neighborhood Pint Glasses | $8 each | Honeyshine
When hometown pride just isn’t enough, let’s give it up — and lift one up — for our neighborhoods. We’re waiting for the block-specific glasses and bumper stickers. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Minnesota Nice Spice | $8 | I Like You
No, not the passive-aggressive kind of Minnesota Nice. This is the truly nice version: organic spice blends created by a local small business that donates part of its proceeds to the Interact Center for Artists with Disabilities. Blends include Twin Cities Grub Rub, 10,000 Lakes No-Salt Blend, Big Easy LouisiCajun, and Sunny Citrus Salt. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Tomte Pot Guard | $8 | American Swedish Institute
Tomte is everywhere at the holidays — and he’s even helpful, holding open your pots to keep them from boiling over, presumably while you make mashed potatoes. — AR

Gingerbread Spatula | $9 | Mill City Museum
It’s tough being a gingerbread man this time of year. A series of spatulas illustrates the perils involved, with a different bite out of each gingerbread man. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Pantone Dishes | $9-$16 | Walker Art Center
Pantone colors continue infiltrating our lives through these simple but attractive food trays and dip bowls, suitable for all manner of small dishes. These melamine pieces come in different sizes and depths, and the Tetris fans among you can rearrange them to your heart’s content. — AR

shepherd-song-tap-logo-final-keylineSponsored by Shepherd Song Farm: “We raise 100 percent grass-fed lambs & goats traditionally, humanely, and sustainably.”
shepherd-song-green-keyline


Wooden Serving Spoons | $8-$12 | The Foundry Home Goods
The rough, wooden spoons that ruled our grandmothers’ kitchens have their place, but these spoons are ethereally smooth, transforming the very acts of spooning out olives, spreading jam, scraping a bowl, or tossing a salad into something even more satisfying. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Patisserie 46 Mendiants | $9 | 14 treats | Golden Fig and Patisserie 46
The etymology of the French treat known as the “mendiant” relates to the Catholic Church’s four monastic orders, thus the four ingredients studding its top. These nutty (and dried-fruit-studded) chocolate treats are a textural and flavor goldmine, and will be among the tastiest things consumed under any tree or menorah this year. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Sweet Goddess Peppermint Bark | $9.50 | 8 oz.
Mint-flavored dark chocolate is the base layer for the additional strata of white chocolate and crushed candy canes that make up Sweet Goddess Peppermint Bark. Chocolate is the driving flavor (this would make a fine stocking stuffer for a chocolate lover), but the creaminess of the white chocolate and the brightness of the mint make this peppermint bark a pleasingly complicated dance of flavor. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Glogg | $9.50 | Glogg Mugs | $8 ea. | Glogg Spoons | $12 | Glogg Server | $55 | American Swedish Institute
Treat the Swedes in your life to their favorite holiday tradition — Glogg. To truly make a Swedish event to share, bring the Glogg server and matching miniature mugs. Don’t forget the Glogg spoons; you’ll want them to lift out the spices from the Glogg before drinking. — AR

Small Plates: Gifts $10-25

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Turmeric Trail Chai Masala | $10 | 1 oz. | Kitchen in the Market
Nobody locally knows spices better than Raghavan Iyer. The chef and cookbook author has created a line of spice mixes including a warming garam masala and this chai masala, ideal for brewing chai at home. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

LC Finns Cardamom Extract | $10 | 1 oz.
Most anywhere cinnamon goes, cardamom can go also, and a high-quality extract, like the one made by Minneapolis-based LC Finns, is an easy way to give cookies, sweet rolls, and even curries an exotic jolt. A little of this goes a long way, which is good, because it’s not cheap. — JN

Hip Coffee Stencils | $10 | Walker Art Center
Minnesota is increasingly the land of the hipster, not to mention coffee culture. What better way to celebrate (or poke fun) at the trends than with do-it-yourself mustache, heart and deer stencils for decorating steamed milk? The perfect stocking stuffer for any coffee aficionado on your list. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Hot Dish Mug | $10 | I Like You
How very Minnesota! And like a proper Minnesota coffee mug, this Adam Turman-illustrated vessel is sizable. Fewer trips to the coffeemaker — very efficient. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Olive Wood Serving Utensils | $11 each | Kitchen in the Market
The best thing about olive wood spoons and spatulas — aside from their smoothness and heft — is the way the color deepens with use, becoming even more beautiful. These are made from the wood of trees that have stopped producing or have been pruned. —TC

Please Pass the Doodles | $11 | Mill City Museum
You don’t want your kids to play with their food, but how about their placemats? Please Pass the Doodles is a big book of placemats for kids to color and doodle on while learning lessons about table manners (presumably not about not coloring at the table) and often-silly tidbits about animal manners. — AR

Nan’s Naughty and Nice Bloody Mary Mix | $11.50 | 16 oz. | Cooks of Crocus Hill
A bloody Mary starts any holiday morning off right. Nan’s (created by Nan, herself) is tangy, sweetish and not so kicky that you absolutely need that beer back. It also makes a mean chili. Primarily available in Wisconsin, Nan’s is also at Cooks of Crocus Hill. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Foldable Paper Bowl | $12 | American Swedish Institute
It’s hard to imagine a child who wouldn’t get a kick out of this foldable Santa bowl. Fold it up, use it, then add it to the recycling bin. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Classy Tools for Washing Up | $12-$28 | The Foundry Home Goods
There’s no reason the back of the sink needs to be a no-man’s land for style in an otherwise beautiful kitchen. The Foundry sells minimalist tools, like this hand-blown recycled glass carafe ($28), soft glass brush ($24) and rice-root scrubbing whisk ($12) to make doing the dishes just as pleasurable as dirtying them. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Mushroom Ornaments | $13-$27 | Ivan da Mar’ya Chocolates | $8 | The Izba / The Museum of Russian Art
Russians are ardent about mushrooms, which explains the prevalence of fungi-based Christmas ornaments. From simple glass to felted wool to an ornate glass ball, there are plenty of choices for the mushroom hunter on your list. Add a cheerful package of Ivan da Mar’ya chocolates for something real to eat. — AR

Tea Spoon | $13 | Tea Bag Holder | $18 | Egg Cup | $30 | The Izba / The Museum of Russian Art
Enjoy your tea in style, with hand-painted Polish porcelain spoons and tea bag holders. If it’s breakfast time, add the porcelain egg cup. (The latter can double as a shot glass, preferably with Russian vodka.) — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Snowman Cupcake Mold | $14 | Stack ’Em Up Measuring Cups | $30 | Mill City Museum
“Cute” gets a bad rap, but it’s not always deserved. These adorable and highly functional kitchen gadgets bring you holiday cheer as you’re measuring and mixing cupcakes. Wash the cups, stack ’em up, leave ’em on the counter as decorations. — AR

Locust Lane Vineyards Verjus Blanc | $15 | 12.5 oz.
“Minnesota verjus” is a culinary delicacy on few radars — not yet, at any rate. Verjus is a highly acidic juice produced from unripe fruit (typically vineyard grapes). Anywhere wine or flavored vinegar might go (braising, salad dressings, sauces, etc.), Verjus can go as well, bringing an acidic punch and a splash of local terroir. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Quince and Apple Tart Cherry Grenadine | $15 | 8.5 oz. | Golden Fig
The deeply layered, beautifully sweet-tart flavor of Madison-based Quince and Apple’s Tart Cherry Grenadine sets it apart from its peers. Made with only cherries and sugar, this stuff would play nicely with lighter spirits — gins and vodka, for example. — JN

Red Table Meat Company

Red Table Meat Company

Sponsored by Red Table Meat Company: Rooted in local farms and grounded in Northeast Minneapolis, “No Surrender” is the maxim that guides this small company. Red Table Meat Co. buys whole pigs from small, sustainable farms and collaborates with farmers to honor the pig from farrow and feed to humane slaughter.  This studied craft results in subtle and refined, immensely shareable salumi with unmatched freshness and exceptional quality in each bite. Red Table promises, simply: Good Meat Here.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Big Spoon Roasters Chai Spice Almond and Peanut Butter | $15 | 8 oz. | Golden Fig
The complexity and depth of this chai-spiced nut butter is to Jiff what an aircraft carrier is to a canoe. Spicy, smoky, mixed-nutty — this stuff is a flavor bomb, and catnip to the food enthusiast looking for a new twist on a classic comfort food. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Twin Cities Snow Globe Dish Towel | $15.50 | Mill City Museum
Twin Cities landmarks, all preserved in snow globes, decorate this sturdy dish towel. Stocking stuffer, hostess gift, table décor — you decide. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Chocolate Bird Bars | $16 | 4.35 oz. | St. Croix Chocolate Company
St. Croix Chocolate Company’s chocolate bird bars are among the most beautiful chocolates we’ve laid eyes on. They’re made from a mold created by St. Croix Valley tile artist Laura McCaul. The chocolate is delicious, too. We love the “dark milk” 53 percent cacao flavor. — JN

wendiog-cover-web-hor-crop-650The Wendigo’s Credit Card | $16 | Moon Palace Books, Common Good Books, online
This collection of short stories features gods, goddesses, spirits, monsters, Tim Hortons doughnuts, craft beer, suburban Minneapolis pizza, and a great deal more in terms of shenanigans and tomfoolery. Written by Heavy Table editor James Norton and illustrated by local artist Jay Rasgorshek, The Wendigo’s Credit Card is light, lively, consistently entertaining, and utterly unique. — Staff

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Whiskey Wedge | $16 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Is there someone on your gift list who prefers whiskey over ice, but complains about the watered-down effect? The Whiskey Wedge can help by creating a wedge of ice in the whiskey glass that melts more slowly than traditional ice cubes. (If it’s a really special giftee, it would be appropriate to give this with something to fill the other side of the glass.) — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Carved Wooden Reindeer and Trees | $17-35 | Glogg Mix | $7 | American Swedish Institute
Decorate your table with these whimsical wooden trees and reindeer in colors traditionally found on Swedish tables at the holidays. While you’re at it, pick up the Glogg spice mix and have some simmering on the stove as your guests arrive. — AR

trotters-gift-guide-imageSponsored by Trotter’s CafeShop — Stop — Eat! Come to Trotter’s Cafe for hearty soups like North Shore Chowder and Red Curry Lentil and stone-baked whole grain breads, pumpkin pies and apple streusel pies. Order whole or enjoy by the slice with a steamy cappuccino. Gift certificates available. St. Paul (Cleveland Ave at Marshall) www.trotterscafe.com

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Isadore Nut Co. Spiced Nuts | $18.50 | 6 oz. | Cooks of Crocus Hill, Golden Fig
Spiced nuts may be the perfect holiday food: sweet and savory, indulgent, yet not so big you don’t have room for turkey and ham, easy to give and easy to keep on hand for guests. Minneapolis-based Isadore Nut Co. makes three flavors: zesty lemon rosemary, cinnamon spice and cayenne kick. —TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Whiskey Aftershave and Soap | $19 each | Honeyshine
Do you know someone who loves whiskey? Really loves whiskey? Enough to bathe in it? Your shopping is done. — TC

Wild Rice Weck Jar | $20 | about 2 pounds 
You want a stocking stuffer? This gorgeous Weck jar of wild rice will STUFF a stocking. The long shelf life (and many applications) of wild rice ensure that the ingredient won’t go to waste, and the usefulness and attractiveness of the jar makes this gift a twofer. — JN

Fika-Heavy-Table-Ad-Image

Sponsored by Fika Coffee: A Subscription-Based Coffee Experience. Fika Coffee is a craft roaster based in Grand Marais, Minnesota. From our home on the shores of Lake Superior we roast delicious and sustainable coffee for you to enjoy at your home. With our Roaster To Door Service you will have the opportunity to slow down and connect with those around you. That’s what Fika’s all about!

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Scrappy Products Bag | $20 | Golden Fig
Made in Northeast Minneapolis from recycled banner misprints and plastic bottle fabric, Scrappy tote and grocery bags are graphically vivid and durable. — JN

Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson | $20 | Golden Fig
This cuisine-defining classic of Upper Midwestern food has withstood the test of time and entered the pantheon of must-have works for those of us who inhabit the northern climate. It features 200 recipes. If you don’t have it, grab a copy; if you’ve already got it, give one to a friend. — Staff

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Col Pabst Private Stash All Malt Amber-Lager Worcestershire | $20 | 16 oz. Golden Fig
I did a straight shot of Col Pabst Private Stash Worcestershire sauce on the premise that any sauce that retails for $20 a bottle and bears the adage “don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink” should be able to stand up to the scrutiny. This stuff is absolutely delicious. It’s got a tremendous depth of flavor: sweet, tart, beery, garlic-y, full flavored in a molasses-and-onions kind of way. Made with Riverwest Stein Amber Lager (by Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery), this is a product with Upper Midwestern roots as deep as its flavor. — JN

Half Pint Creamer | $20 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Forget the ubiquitous cow creamers. Go back to your childhood with this hand-blown-glass milk-carton creamer. Or fill it with milk and drink straight from the carton. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Ball Ceramic Mug | $20 | I Like You
No, we’re still not over the jar craze, but I Like You presents this option: a ceramic mug shaped like the iconic jar. Much more appropriate for drinking coffee than canning tomatoes. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Umbra Geo Napkin Rings | $20 | Walker Art Center
These colorful, die-cast-metal napkin rings enameled in bright, cheerful colors will liven up any table, any time of year. — AR

Lift Bridge Brewery

Lift Bridge Brewery

Sponsored by Lift Bridge Brewery: Stop by Lift Bridge Brewery’s taproom in Stillwater, and buy some swag for that special someone and a growler to share for the holidays. When the growler is empty you can sign up for a free tour of the brewery online at www.liftbridgebrewery.com and get that growler refilled.

1919-root-beer-ad-gift-guide-2014Minnesota Towel Set/Cookie Cutter Gift Set | $20 | I Like You
Perfect for the new-to-Minnesota neighbor, or for the ex-pat Minnesotan longing for home: three Minnesota-themed dishtowels and a Minnesota-shaped cookie cutter. They can bake cookies, then clean up afterwards. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Felted Mats | $20-$27 | Walker Art Center
These sturdy felted mats come in varying sizes and could be used as placemats or trivets. The bright colored circles (in red, orange, and gray) would add a touch of whimsy to any tabletop. — AR

lake-superior-flavors-325-heightLake Superior Flavors | $22 | Golden Fig, Common Good Books, and Moon Palace Books
Heavy Table editor James Norton teamed up with founding photographer Becca Dilley to create this travelogue of food and drink around the shores of Lake Superior. Concentrating on artisan and folk food on the North Shore, Canadian Shore, Upper Peninsula, and South Shore, Dilley and Norton spin stories and capture an emerging food wonderland in full, engaging quotes and crystal-clear documentary photographs. — Staff

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Wooden Potato Masher | $22 | I Like You
Made by Crooked Wood’s Jim Benson, this solid wooden potato masher has the heft necessary to tame those russets into submission. The wood is silky smooth and treated with food-safe mineral oil and beeswax, and it can be used on nonstick cookware. — AR

Handmade Tableware | $22-$44 | The Foundry Home Goods
Solid and serene, these handmade plates and cups can make your everyday toast and juice feel like zen meditation. The Foundry carries works by local artists including Ginny Sims and Marnette Doyle, as well as Japanese pieces. — TC

Minnesota Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener | $24 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Made in Minnesota, made of Minnesota (in the form of a map). Obviously best accompanied by some of Minnesota’s finest craft beers. Fourteen-gauge steel, crafted in Minneapolis. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Fixie Bicycle Pizza Cutter | $24 | Walker Art Center
Share this with your favorite biking friend. Or use it as an olive branch for those who look askance at your biking passion. Or if you’re the one looking askance. Different colors available, and it comes with a display stand. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Shrub & Co. Shrubs | $24-$29 | 16 oz. | Kitchen in the Market
Now is a fantastic time for those of us with a sour tooth. Shrubs — the colonial-era drinks made with vinegar, sugar and fruit — are making a comeback. Berkeley-based Shrub & Co. sells 16-oz. bottles or gift sets in flavors like blood orange infused with cardamom, cranberry with Douglas fir, grapefruit, and apple. Mix the concentrate with sparkling water or spirits. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Epicurean USA Cutting Board | $25 | Cooks of Crocus Hill
Duluth-based Epicurean makes high-quality, attractive, eco-friendly cutting boards out of compressed fibers. We love their state-shaped line. This year, they’ve added one for folks whose kitchen loyalty can’t be pinned down to one state: a continental U.S.-shaped (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii) board exclusive to Cooks of Crocus Hill. — TC

secret-atlas-325The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food | $25 | Golden Fig, Online
The Heavy Table’s Secret Atlas of North Coast Food ($25) tells tales of food and drink from Minneapolis to Madison to Duluth to Iowa and beyond. Assembled by a talented team of writers, designers, illustrators, and cartographers, the book is a collection of maps, comics, essays, illustrations, and reviews — a treasure trove of food lore that’s a perfect gift for anyone into Upper Midwestern food or for Minnesotans and Wisconsinites far from home, who might like a taste of the homeland. Find it at The Golden Fig or online. — Staff

Festive Entrees: Gifts $25-$50

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

Kitchen Science Lab for Kids | $25 | Kitchen in the Market
Local author Liz Heinecke knows science, knows kids, and knows how to have fun. She put all three ingredients into a book that has fast become a must-have for anyone who has the pleasure of hanging around with curious, active kids. — Staff

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Twin Cities Chef’s Table | $25 | Kitchen in the Market
Stephanie Meyer, the writer behind Fresh Tart, loves to cook, loves to eat and seems to know just about everybody on the local food scene. It’s only natural then, that beloved local chefs have shared their favorite recipes with her, from Pizzeria Lola’s dough to the Kenwood’s butternut panna cotta. — Staff

Dishtowels | $26 each | The Foundry Home Goods
Terry on one side, smooth on the other, these oversized towels look too lovely to use, until you actually get your hands on them. Then you won’t want to wipe your hands on anything else. — TC

Bird Creamer and Sugar Bowl | $27 | Honeyshine
For your food-loving, tea-loving, ritual-loving, mid-century-mod-loving friend: a cream and sugar set in heavy melamine that looks like it’s about to take flight. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Kramarczuk’s Family Classics | $28 | Common Good Books
Minneapolis delis don’t get any more iconic than the Eastern-European-focused Kramarczuk’s, which combines an array of imported fare with some of the most authentic ethnic baked goods and high-quality brats in the region. Kramarczuk’s Family Classics includes recipes such as spiced honey cake, goulash, and Swedish sausage and apple bake, and features lush photography. — Staff

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Duluth Grill Cookbook | $30 | Common Good Books
The Duluth Grill has evolved from an offbeat Embers restaurant into one of the North Shore’s leading independent lights for sustainable, local food. The restaurant’s story and philosophy are woven throughout this collection of 110 recipes, which  includes staples like pasties and banana cream pie, and new favorites such as Buffalo tofu strips and bison pot roast. — Staff

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Aeropress and Stovetop Espresso | $30 and $32 | Cooks of Crocus Hill
’Tis the season to give your coffee-loving loved one some love. Two disarmingly low-tech coffeemakers we adore: the newcomer Aeropress and the classic (even handsomer in red) stovetop moka pot. — TC

Klippan Table Runner and Lisa Rydin Erickson Dish Towel | $30 and $32 | American Swedish Institute
Nothing says holidays like these cheerful linens from the Swedish Institute. The Love Birds runner from Swedish designer Klippan will make any table festive, and St. Paul artist Lisa Rydin Erickson’s birds in snow design is simple but striking. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Foodie Dice | $30 | Golden Fig
Regardless of how you feel about the word “foodie” (we hate it, but there you go), you’re likely to enjoy these dice. Designed to solve the endlessly recurring “what’s for dinner?” question, you merely roll the dice (plus the appropriate seasonal ingredient die) and the answer is spelled out. For example, let me just roll the dice here … braised lamb with millet and mushrooms, plus some cabbage and thyme on the side. Sounds palatable. — JN

Grill N Shake Basket | $32.50 | Nordic Ware Factory Store
The Nordic Ware stainless steel Grill N Shake basket is ideal for the grilling enthusiast ready to move past burgers and dogs and into the realm of complete meals. The air circulation and one-more-step-of-remove from the heat of the fire allows for the deft handling of more delicate ingredients, such as vegetables and seafood. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

North Coasters | $32 | Walker Art Center
Celebrate our esteemed North Coast (along with some of our fellow Upper Midwest/Great Lakes states) with the aptly named North Coasters, made out of Baltic Birch and ready to protect your tabletop. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Citrus Reamer and Muddler | $32 | Honeyshine
We love the long, utilitarian handles of these rustically handsome bar tools. Get ready to properly squeeze your lemons and muddle up your mint and cucumber. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Antler Bottle Opener | $33 | American Swedish Institute
For the deer lover in your life — or the deeply testosterone laden — you can’t go wrong with an antler bottle opener. The antler is sturdy enough to handle numerous stubborn pop (or beer) tops with ease, and is polished to a hand-friendly smoothness. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Aquavit Carafe | $35 | Snaps Glasses | $32 | American Swedish Institute
This glass carafe with its understated Swedish motif is nearly as clear as the aquavit it is meant to hold. It has an attractive design that won’t overwhelm the table or buffet, but still offers a bit of holiday charm. You could fill it with other beverages, such as the traditional snaps, which can then be served in these cheerful snaps glasses. Note: if you want to do this properly, do not toast your co-drinkers by tapping glasses but rather by maintaining eye contact when taking a drink. — AR

My Family Cookbook | $35 | Walker Art Center
Sometimes computer files just don’t have that same sentimental feeling. My Family Cookbook is essentially a scrapbook that can be used to archive family favorites, including instructions, tips, photos, and family secrets and lore. There’s room for about 80 recipes. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

A-Maze-N Smoker Tray and Tube Smoker | $35 and $20 | Kitchen Window
These handy tools for cold or hot smoking were created right here in Minnesota. If you know someone who’s sick of mucking around with improvised aluminum-foil packets, the simple, durable tray or tube and a bag of sawdust or pellets will have them (and you) enjoying smoked fish in no time. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Grizzly Growler | $35 | Kitchen Window
Dream of warmer days to come, when nothing sounds better than filling a growler full of local brew and setting off on adventures. Promise to extend your adventures with the gift of this insulated, unbreakable growler. — TC

Square Glass Dasher Bottle | $38 | Kitchen Window
If your friends are already making their own bitters (and Easy and Oskey make it so easy, aren’t we all?) they’re going to need a handsome dasher bottle to show off their handiwork. This cut-glass looker will class up any bar. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Autumn Leaves Combo Coaster-Napkin Rings | $40 | I Like You
These beautiful, etched-leather maple leaves are made in Minnesota, and rich with the colors of what is arguably Minnesota’s most beautiful — and far too short — autumn season. And they serve a dual purpose, making them useful at a variety of social gatherings. — AR

Petite 12-Cup Popover Pan | $40 | Kitchen Window
Why is it that popovers are synonymous with wintry, festive breakfasts? The eggy pastries are having a bit of a moment, and this year, locally made Nordic Ware has added a smaller pan (pictured, top) to its line. So you can make — and eat — even more. — TC

Peugeot Pepper Mill | $43 | Kitchen Window
The Peugeot family has been making pepper mills since 1874, long before one of the cousins got wild hair and started making cars. They’re still known as performance instruments for true connoisseurs — the mills, that is. — TC

Brooklyn Beer Shop Beer Making Kit | $45 | Kitchen Window
Absolutely everything your favorite budding brewer needs for a first gallon batch in one handy box, including the glass fermenting bottle. Flavors (available as ingredient refills, too) run the gamut from IPAs to an adventurous jalapeno saison. — TC

superior-salt-horiz-banner

Superior Salt

Sponsored by Superior Salt: The perfect gift for foodies and home gourmets on your list. Superior Salt is artisan flavored sea salt, handcrafted on the North Shore of Lake Superior from unrefined sea salt and local and organic ingredients. Available in six gourmet flavors. Only $6 each. Superior Salt is superior in quality and flavor and makes a great stocking stuffer or local-food gift basket addition: www.SuperiorSalt.com

Northern Clay Center

Northern Clay Center

We’re big fans of the Northern Clay Center, which is part art gallery, part teaching space, part retail shop. It offers visitors a chance to browse a ridiculously varied array of pottery handmade by artists both local and national. Theme, price, and practicality varies from piece to piece, but we’ve always managed to find a one-of-a-kind piece to impress, and we love that NCC’s stuff sits so squarely at the intersection of art and craft and decorative and useful. — JN

Courtesy of Golden Fig

Courtesy of Golden Fig

Sponsored by The Golden Fig: Golden Fig Fine Foods is a fantastic shop full of the finest Midwest-made cheeses, chocolates, preserves, spices, cookbooks, and more. Stop by for the season’s best gifts and holiday baskets for the foodies on your list.

Yule Log Cake Pan | $40 | Nordic Ware Factory Store
The yule log (or bûche de Noël, if you’re feeling fancified and Francified) is among the most charming of Christmas traditions. Why? It’s not about giving a thing to a person; it’s about sharing something delicious with lots of people. The cake’s shape evokes warm fireplaces and sleigh rides through the woods; its flavor evokes celebration. Nordic Ware carries a fine, heavy, cast aluminum mold for yule log crafting. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Star of David Bundt Pan | $40 | Nordic Ware Factory Store
Those of us looking to celebrate our Jewish roots who also love the Minnesota-born Bundt cake tradition can have our cake and eat it too with this cast aluminum Star of David Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware. Bonus: the Bundt cake is a descendent of the Gugelhupf, a brioche fruitcake popular in Jewish communities in Germany, Austria, and Poland, so everything comes full circle. Or full star, as it were. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Gingerbread House Bundt Pan | $40 | Nordic Ware Factory Store
Like the yule log (see above), the Gingerbread House is one of those winter holiday traditions that’s more about sharing than it is about acquisition — they’re constructed by teams (often dominated by enthusiastic but ill-qualified children) and devoured by families. You can, of course, erect your edible domicile cookie by fragile cookie, or you can be sensible and bake a moist, delicious gingerbread inside this carefully detailed pan, and then decorate it with an E-Z Deco Icing Pen Kit ($10.50). — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Minnesota Apron | $40 | Cooks of Crocus Hill
For cooks who wear their state pride on their chests, a heavy-duty chef’s apron with a soft, plaid applique. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Falling Snowflakes Pancake Pan | $47 | Nordic Ware Factory Store
It’s not critical to give your kids seasonal celebration food, but, dammit, it’s intensely satisfying, and helps form some positive memories to offset the forced soccer-camp and standardized-test pressure grudges that will inevitably accrue to the negative side of the ledger. The charming shape of falling-snowflake pancakes made from this Nordic Ware pan will help add an extra layer of enchantment to Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Day, or just plain-old winter. — JN

Becca Dilley / Lake Superior Flavors

Becca Dilley / Lake Superior Flavors

Abbey Bread | $48 | 4½ pounds | The Jampot
This is the fruitcake to end all fruitcake: a bourbon-blessed monk-made confection featuring dark raisins, walnuts, and molasses. It’s moist and delectable. Properly wrapped, it stays good for months, and will get you through the holiday season — and the whole winter, for that matter — in good spirits. — JN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Easy and Oskey Make Your Own Bitters Kit | $48 | Cooks of Crocus Hill
This kind of DIY may have the highest result-to-effort yield ever. The kit includes all the herbs and spices and barks and such you need (some of them kind of a pain to find and order on their own). All you do is mix and wait. — TC

Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing: Gifts $50 and Over

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Cocktail Shaker | $50 | I Like You
If you have people on your list who like a little bit of kitsch around the holidays, this one’s for them. You can’t beat a wood-paneled cocktail shaker. Hopefully you know someone with a basement rec room who would appreciate this addition. — AR

New Scenic Cafe Cookbook | $50 | Kitchen Window
No drive up the North Shore is complete without a stop at the New Scenic Cafe. For 15 years, Scott Graden has been serving meals that celebrate and elevate the native flora and fauna of the Arrowhead. Now he has put 125 of his recipes, along with stories and seasonal notes from the shore of the Big Lake, into one massive, beautiful volume. It’s not available on Amazon, so you have to buy it locally. — TC

Bittercube Bitters | $55 | 6 1-oz. bottles | Kitchen in the Market
This is how you up your cocktail game with one easy shake of the wrist. Milwaukee-based Bittercube put all six of its small-batch flavors — blackstrap, Bolivar, cherry bark vanilla, Jamaican #1, Jamaican #2 and orange — in one inspiring gift box. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pot | $54 | Cooks of Crocus Hill
Hot chocolate on a cold day can be as easy as stirring some powder into a cup of hot water. Or it can be a whole ritual. For the latter route, there’s this ceramic pot with wooden pestle, which is worth displaying all year round. Drop a chocolate tablet in ($10 for four); grind it with the pestle; pour in hot milk; and froth it up. — TC

Felted Wine Carrier | $70 | Walker Art Center
This striking, sophisticated wine carrier is worthy of a fine bottle of wine. The bold-red merino felt speaks of the holidays, while the leather trim gives it the air of a fine handbag. The carrier is also available in a duo version ($124). Your best bet is to buy one for yourself, and use it to tote wine to dinners and parties. Hey, a present for them, a present for you …  — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Tapered Rolling Pins | $90 and $80 | Kitchen Window
Beautifully indulgent everyday objects often make the best gifts. In pale curly maple or tawny black walnut, these Minnesota-made rolling pins feel deliciously smooth and weighty in the hand. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Tenendo Innanzi Frutta | $90 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This gorgeous tome is an overview of fruits in cultivation through writings and paintings from the Upper Tiber Valley during the 16th through 18th centuries. The text is in Italian and English, but language doesn’t matter when you’ve got such sumptuous illustrations to pore over. — AR

easy-oskey-gift-guide-bittersSponsored by Easy And Oskey: Easy & Oskey is a flavor company that creates authentic, accessible experiences and products for the bar and kitchen. Our first product, the Easy & Oskey Make Your Own Bitters Kit, delivers the thrill and taste of craft-made, small batch bitters to the home and professional bartender and chef.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Nespresso Inissia C40 Bundle | $150 | Kitchen Window
If there’s anyone on your list hankering for a Keurig, this is what you want to buy them instead. While the Keurig turns little plastic capsules into instant, mess-free coffee — thin, watery, and lukewarm — Nespresso turns little plastic capsules into instant, mess-free espresso — rich, thick, and deliciously hot. Kitchen Window has a whole Nespresso store-within-a-store, where you can buy not just the machines but an exclusive range of pods as well. — TC

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Seletti Zuppiera Fruit/Dessert Plates/Bowls | $170 | Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Also offered in conjunction with the MIA’s Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 exhibit, these hand-painted porcelain fruit/dessert plates/bowls are part of Seletti’s Palace collection, designed by Alessandro Zambelli. When not in use, the pieces can be cleverly stacked to form a display-worthy piece of art. — AR

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Metallic Standing Bowl | $185 | Walker Art Center
This sand-cast aluminum bowl by Fort Standard could work as a table centerpiece filled with flowers (or Christmas ornaments or fresh holly), but it’s also useful as a serving bowl. Fill it with brightly colored fruit, like apples or pomegranates, to bring much-needed color to the table (and much-needed fresh fruit to the holiday feast). — AR

We thank the following stores and organizations for their assistance in compiling this year’s gift guide: American Swedish Institute, Common Good Books, Cooks of Crocus Hill, The Foundry Home Goods, Golden Fig, Honeyshine, I Like You, Kitchen in the Market, Kitchen Window, Local D’Lish, Mill City Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Museum of Russian Art, the Nordic Ware Factory Store, and the Walker Art Center.

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The Heavy Table team of writers, editors, and photographers has been documenting food and drink in the Upper Midwest since 2009.

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3 Comments

  1. Annie | The Midwestival 12/02/2014 Reply

    Well done, guys! This is a gold mine of ideas.

  2. Wow, saw the brit’s pickles at annona gourmet in st.anthony village – good to know they are more than one place in town.

  3. Jeff B 12/16/2014 Reply

    Just tried the Grlk. It’s fantastic. So garlicky…

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