From sweets to treats, send a taste of the South to your favorite cooks and eaters on your holiday “give” list.
The mother-son team behind Columbus-based Southern Straws uses a cherished family recipe to create its old-fashioned cheese straws in three flavors: the best-selling original cheddar, mild and spicy. A three-ounce bag of the crispy, bite-size wafers is $6. A one-pound bag is $25. Order at www.southernstraws.com. In the Atlanta area, check Preserving Place, 1170 Howell Mill Road (www.preservingplace.com), and both locations of Peridot Buckhead, 1183 Roswell Road and Peridot West, 1183 Howell Mil Road (simplyperidot.com).
Small batch nuts
North Carolina’s Bobby Lee Carey is known for his best-selling cheddar cheese dip. But earlier this year, Carey began offering fresh-roasted nuts. Select any combination of nuts you like or go with the Mixed Nuts “Best Ever Blend,” which includes pecans, Marcona almonds, pistachios, macadamias, cashews and Brazil nuts. Nuts are roasted in small batches within three days of shipment. A one-pound, eight-ounce container is $35, shipping included. To order, visit bobbyleeisnutsaboutnuts.com. In Atlanta, find nuts at Lucy’s Market in its new location at 56 E. Andrews Drive NW in Buckhead.
After years of making her signature Green Tomato Chutney for friends and family, Alabama’s Rebecca Williamson started Birmingham-based Holmsted Fines. Besides her original chutney, the Auburn and Le Cordon Bleu (London) grad offers other popular chutneys, including Peach and Balsamic Red Onion ($9.99 per jar). Use chutneys to enhance the flavors of meats and vegetables or serve them with holiday appetizers. Shop and find recipes at www.holmstedfines.com
Natalie and Margaret Keng, the daughter and mother team that heads up Smyrna-based Chinese Southern Belle, have an award-winning trio of all-natural sauces: Sweet Chili Peach Honey (My Sweet Hottie), Soy Ginger Vidalia (You Saucy Thing) and Asian BBQ Teriyaki Pineapple (Wild Wild East). Single bottles are $8. The Asian Chef Trio is $24 at chinesesouthernbelle.com. Find bottles of the no-MSG sauces at various Atlanta-area locations, including Whole Foods. For a special-night out gift, buys tickets to the company’s annual Chinese Lunar New Year Banquet featuring an eight-course dinner, 6:30 p.m. at Jan. 14. Tickets are $50 for or $90 for two people.
Daniel Liberson once worked as a cook in fine dining restaurants in New York, Maryland and North Carolina. Now he is the owner and self-described vinegar geek of Virginia-based Lindera Farms, which produces artisanal vinegars used and praised by chefs across the country. Best sellers include Ramp, Strawberry, Wild Rose and Spicebush. But Honey is a fan favorite. Vinegars are $21 for a 6.8-ounce bottle, plus shipping, at linderafarms.com. In Atlanta, find vinegars at Preserving Place, 1170 Howell Mill Road, www.preservingplace.com.
Sweet and savory pies
Amanda Dalton Wilbanks, the owner of the Southern Baked Pie Company, creates sweet and savory pies using an all-butter pie dough. Best-selling pies include the caramel pecan pie ($35), a Flavor of Georgia winner, and chicken pot pie ($39.95), made with Springer Mountain Farms chicken. Other favorites include chocolate chess pie and cranberry apple pecan pie. The company also offers petite pies ($9.95). Order pies at www.southernbakedpie.com or at the company’s new Atlanta-area pie shops in Buckhead, 3145 Peachtree Road, and in Alpharetta at 2685 Old Milton Parkway.
In Alpharetta, Angel Lane Bakery owners Wendy and Shaun Virgo make a traditional English shortbread that has become a year-round favorite. The couple, originally from England, named their business after their family’s home: Angel Cottage on Angel Lane in Somerset, England. Choose a six-pack or 12-pack of shortbread in a seasonal packaging ($10-$15). Visit www.angellanebakeryonline.com. In Atlanta, check Lucy’s Market (in its new location), 56 E. Andrews Drive NW in Buckhead.
Nashville-based Hester & Cook, founded by Robbie and Angie Hester Cook, designs a collection of elegant and whimsical paper place mats and table runners for all seasons and occasions. Place mats ($27-$29 for 12-30 mats) in popular themes include Tennessee artist Vicki Sawyer’s animal paintings and holiday designs. Table runners ($25-$28), which include gold confetti, stripes and touchdown paper, can be cut to fit the length of any table top. Visit hesterandcook.com
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