I have such a fun job. I own my own company called Calgary Food Tours and I’m a food and travel writer. I get to explore the food of my city, province, country and the world each year and I always meet the most incredible food artisans, chefs and small business owners. I can’t help but fall in love with the food products I taste and sample each year because so many of them are outstanding (Let’s say I’ve also become quite good at selecting where I go and what I taste to start with). I love to share the good news about these finds and so each year I write about them for City Palate Magazine in Calgary and today, I got to present some of my favourites on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon in hopes of helping my fellow Albertans prepare for the Christmas holidays.
Christmas means a lot to me because it is a wonderful opportunity to savour our food and savour our lives and loved ones. These are definately a few of my favourite things..
cue Julie Andrews
Here’s a link to the CBC podcast of my discussion with lovely host and dear friend Donna McElligott Alberta @ Noon podcast with Karen’s Alberta-made gifts for Food Lovers
and here’s my list of gift ideas and suggestions for you in case you don’t have time to listen.
Karen Anderson’s 2012 Alberta Food Lover’s Gift Giving Guide
- Alberta Whisky Cake – moist, fragrant, delicious whisky cakes delivered to your door
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammys-Pies/130209043721202 or call 403-931-3572 for (vegetarian) mince meat tarts made with love
- Field Stone Fruit Wines – yes, they’ll deliver 10 fantastic fruit wines right to your door and all the fruit is grown on their property in Strathmore, Alberta
- Spice Sanctuary – book a cooking retreat in Canmore
- Silk Road Spice Merchants – a full on-line store with beautiful gift sets
- Maple Leaf Spices – I love their “Nice & Easy” pouches with a recipe and all the spices you need to make it – great for travel
- The Salt Cellar – elegant salts from around the world blended by a world class chef
- On Our Table – buy a gorgeous Alberta designed cutting board or kitchen accessory for timeless kitchen beauty
- Stoked Oats- for the athlete on your list
- Food on your Shirt – fun t-shirts for the fashionable food lover
- Make Cheese – Kits for home cheese making – for kits and caboodles of cheese making fun
- The Eat Canada app - for the techie who travels and eat, the new Cross-Canada guide to great downtown restaurants
My cookbook shortlist – all Alberta Authors of course!
12. The Soup Sister’s Cookbook– the cookbook to make everyone feel good
13. Winner of Best Food Literature (Canada) at the 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards FOODSHED: AN EDIBLE ALBERTA ALPHABET by Dee Hobsbawn-Smith (Touchwood, 2012)
14. Uncorked! The Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines under $25 by Shelley Boettcher (Whitecap, 2012)
15. Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution. Jennifer Cockrall-King (Prometheus, 2012)
16. Taste Canada Food Writing Awards SINGLE-SUBJECT COOKBOOKS: Spilling the Beans. Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. (Whitecap Books, 2012)
Finally, if you are tired of the same old turkey, same old family jokes and same old punch lines, here’s a new punch line to add a little sparkle to your family’s holiday gathering.
From my home to yours please accept my wishes for peace and prosperity and may you always savour your food and savour your life. Cheers, Karen
Karen’s Cracker Jack Apple Punch
1 – 1.89L bottle soft apple cider (I love the organic one made by Blush Lane)
1 ½ c Calvados – apple brandy
1 bottle sparkling wine
10 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged or Angostura bitters
Dash grated nutmeg and a few cinnamon sticks for decoration
1 iced ring of apple slices – water and one green and one red apple.
Combine all of the above in a punch bowl.
Note: Make the apple ice ring ahead by cutting a green and red apple in slices and laying them in a circle in the bottom of a Bundt cake pan. Add enough water so they stay in place but don’t float. Freeze them in place and then add more water to make a nice sized ring. Pour hot water over the outside of the pan and release the ring into the punch bowl when it is time for your guests to arrive.