Headed to a holiday party? Say thank-you in style - here’s your guide to homemade and local gift ideas that your host will love. Not only are local gifts simple to source, they are also a wonderful way to invest in your local farmers and food producers, ensuring that the new year will be a brighter one for everyone!
Wine and dine gifts:
BC wines are famous world-wide, and we’re lucky to be home to a wide range of varietals and styles (FYI - there are more than 80 varieties of grapes grown in B.C.). If you need a present in a hurry, just head to your local winery or BC liquor store - you’ll find refreshing wine choices like Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Here’s a tip: look for the BC VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) to know that you are buying a wine that is 100% grown and made in British Columbia. Then, pair up your wines with cheeses: our recent Q&A with Emma Davison of Golden Ears Cheesecrafters tells you exactly what to place on the perfect cheese plate (or, you can let Golden Ears Cheesecrafters do the choosing for you with one of their lovely gift baskets). If wine isn’t your host’s style, try BC ciders (you can discover local producers here), beers or spirits - bonus points if the ingredients are sourced from local orchards and farms.
You can never go wrong with the gift of a delicious consumable. Farm markets are a great place to pick up local products like honey, jams, sauces, and preserves. In the Lower Mainland, family businesses like Hopcott Meats, Lepp Farm Market and Krause Berry Farms are perfect examples of places to source tasty treats and support local farmers and ranchers.
Say it with flowers:
B.C. is home to gorgeous flowers and plants, grown in local greenhouses and nurseries (much better than being flown in by plane from more tropical areas!). Choosing local plants and flowers is a sustainable way to brighten up your host’s party. Look for the ‘Flowerful BC’ brand in floral retail locations to secure beautiful blooms from local growers or head to your local garden centre for seasonal plants like poinsettias or amaryllis bulbs. To find out more about BC’s locally grown flower industry, and the outstanding young farmers behind it, check out our chat with Alexis Warmerdam, a fourth-generation flower farmer.
Make it homemade, local and from the heart:
If you’ve been asked to bring a homemade dish to a party, make it one that’s good for everyone: we’ve got lots of recipe ideas in our recipe-finder that highlight local, seasonal ingredients. Start by using our guide to buying local to help you source ingredients at the grocery store. Then, tempt your friends with appetizers like cream cheese and bacon stuffed mushrooms, cheese and thyme gougeres, or pear and goat cheese tartlets (all from our #AppyHolidays series) If you’re on dessert duty, impress everyone with this cranberry-lime cream cheese tart, or this homemade spiced eggnog. If you’re short on time try bringing a pint of BC ice cream (here’s our guide to the best local ice cream makers in your area).
If you’ve got an appetite for more local recipes, we’ve got many more holiday ideas for you here.