Buy This: Three things mom wants on her special day

Sure, you can still get her flowers or a box of candy. Even serve her breakfast in bed if she’s sheltering-in-place with you. But we’ve got some other ideas.

The Quarantine Blues cheese box from Sweet Grass Dairy 

No, this is not the year to take mom to the caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon to enjoy Roquefort at the source. We can’t take her to England to get a wheel of her favorite Stilton. And we’re certainly not going to Lombardy for a taste of that fabulous Italian blue cheese, Gorgonzola. We can’t even drive her down to Sweet Grass Dairy’s shop in downtown Thomasville to sample the creamery’s Asher Blue. But we can order Sweet Grass Dairy’s Quarantine Blues box, created so mom can enjoy her favorite blue cheese while she’s quarantining at home. The box includes two 8-ounce pieces of Asher Blue, a 2-ounce bar of SRSLY Chocolate Sea Salt and Almond, a 3-ounce jar of Savannah Bee honey, a 7-ounce package of Roots & Branches crackers and 10 ounces of Schermer pecans. These are the pairings the Littles, the Sweet Grass Dairy cheesemakers, enjoy as the perfect complements to their blue cheese. (If mom’s not into blue cheese, Sweet Grass Dairy has a Mother’s Day box with Thomasville Tomme, Pimento Cheese, a heart-shaped Green Hill and tea, jam chocolate and more.)

$60 for Quarantine Blues. $85 for the Mother's Day box. Available online at

Craft beer brewing kit from BREWFERM

Yes. Mom wants to brew her own beer. Craft Belgian beer, to be precise. And she wants to make four gallons worth! What a great science experiment while we’re all hanging out at home. Everything Mom needs to brew her own beer, from fermenting bucket to airlock to hydrometer, is part of this kit. She’ll just need sugar and water to start making beer, and bottles for when it’s ready to consume. The kit contains Sacred Saison brew mix, but you can order Tripel Terror, Bighorn Blonde, Wicked Wheat or Pious Pilsner, or a half dozen other brew mixes when Mom is ready to branch out. The kits were created by Frans Balis, a Belgian homebrew enthusiast and pharmacist by profession, in 1972 and are still produced in Belgium today. We brewed our first batch of Belgian beer and the result was refreshing, light and citrusy. Just the kind of beer to enjoy these late days of spring.

$99 per kit, with free shipping. Available online at Amazon, 


Find more information at 


Sea salt and white peppercorn spice mix from Vom Fass & Violas’ Spices and Gourmet Foods 

There was a time when you and mom could enjoy a visit to the Von Fass shop in downtown Duluth and wander the store browsing to your heart’s content, then grab lunch at one of the fun restaurants opening there. Now it’s best if we know what we want and order by phone, then drop by the store to pick up our choices, or call ahead for curbside delivery. One of things we’ve enjoyed about the shop is the interesting salt and spice mixes. For Mother’s Day, they offer a mix that’s as pretty as your mother. It’s a combination of sea salt and white peppercorns, with dehydrated onion and chives, and bits of dried blue cornflowers and tiny iridescent pink sugar pearls. It’s so pretty in its glass grinder that mom will enjoy having it on the dinner table, and the combination is just right for seasoning many dishes. Yes, those little pearls are sugar, but make no mistake, this is a savory seasoning. Call ahead and discuss other options if you want to gift mom with a basketful of treats.

$14.95 per 3-ounce grinder. Available at Vom Vass, 3131 Main Street, Duluth. The shop is open Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m. or call to arrange pick up on a different day. 770-853-7411. 


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