’Tis the season to be jolly and to support the amazing local artisans that make up the Piedmont Triad. How about avoiding the malls and the centers and instead stroll leisurely at a local market or locally-owned business. You get to avoid the chaos and can feel good about your purchase. Here’s a gift guide for the Holiday 2016. It features some of our most favorite things of the year (and except for the very first one, in no particular order). This gift guide was so good that my food column in YES! Weekly became the COVER this past week. Eeeeeek! So excited. My parents would be so happy to see this journalism degree at work! Ha ha…or should I say, “Ho, ho, ho!”?
Since it’s the season of giving, we’re giving away every single one of these items (and then some). Details about where to purchase and how much are also included. Keep reading for how you can win this amazing basket filled with my favorite things of 2016.
Sabor! By Texas Pete $3-$3.50
If there was a #1 most anticipated, most used again and again item of 2016 in my household, it would have to be Texas Pete’s latest hot sauce. Sabor Mexican Style Hot Sauce is TW Garner’s answer to a basic taco sauce. It’s more rustic and spicy than regular Pete, but not with heat. Think spices spicy. We even did a taste test of Sabor with our beloved Chalula and Sabor won hands down. If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely give it a go. You can find it with other Texas Pete hot sauces in just about every grocery store in our region. texaspete.com
The basket is also filled with some other Texas Pete swag: Texas Pete Hot Sauce, CHA!, coozies, and a cap.
Legendary Sunshine Energy Drink $6.99/case drinkthesunshine.com
I’ve loved Sunshine for a while. It’s my daughter’s favorite afternoon drink of the year. Just enough lift to get her through the rest of the day. The flagship flavor, Ginger Berry is refreshing and not too sweet. And this year, Sunshine introduced two new flavors, Clementine Twist and Blueberry Lemonade. And then those became favorite drinks of 2016 too. You can find it at many local shops, Mast General Store in Winston-Salem and Lowes Foods. Packed with some ginseng and B12, vitamins and other natural ingredients, organic caffeine and low sugar. Someone who claims to be in the know said it’s a great re-hydrator after an evening of consuming too much adult beverages. It’s the sunshine to moonshine, get it? Which brings us to…if you haven’t tried them in a cocktail, you definitely should. And that brings us to our next item in the gift guide….
Covington Sweet Potato Vodka
It wouldn’t be a Triadfoodies gift guide without some NC Spirits, would it? Each bottle of Covington Vodka is made from 20 pounds of sweet potatoes. Based out of Snow Hill in Eastern NC, it is terrifically pleasing and disappears nicely into any mixer you care to pair it with. Mixologist Jordan Keiper of The Tavern in Old Salem, says it stands up to any top shelf vodka in the stores and that it replaced his Grey Goose. We both have so much confidence in this NC spirit, that Keiper created not one, not two but three craft cocktails in the spirit of our gift guide…one with each flavor of sunshine. And the recipes will be included here and in our winning basket.
The basket includes a bottle of Covington but also some coupons…for when you need a refill.
Gnomestead Hollow Farm & Forage Curry Kraut $10 gnomesteadhollow.com
Where do we begin with this unique and fun farm that produces raw, living vegetable ferments and gourmet mushrooms just into the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the other side of Virginia? Nomads, I mean owners, Jenna and Matt, hail from the Pacific Northwest. They are very smart and adorable and know a lot about vegetables and foraging and gnomes. When we say they are crafting small match ferments, we mean it, five to ten gallons at a time. We love this Curry Kraut because it is not as wonky as the sauerkraut you may have grown up with, rather a lovely, light and crunchy middle eastern flavor. It’s so awesome on deviled eggs and Jenna (JJ) and Matt love it on a burger or the versatility of serving it on eggs. I personally love it on a salad with a homemade thousand island dressing. And also on hummus. Gnomestead is much loved by restaurants in Winston-Salem and you’re likely to find it on a number of menus around town. You can meet them at Cobblestone Farmers Market where you can purchase any of their krauts, curtido, mushrooms (fresh and dried) and just get to “gnowe” them a little better. (stole that from their website…go visit it at gnomesteadhollow.com). Gnomestead Hollow products are also found at Let It Grow Produce in WS, Deep Roots Market in GSO, The Blossoming Artichoke and The Only Earth in High Point and Organix Juice Bar in WS.
Niki’s Pickles $10/pint
It seems only logical that we have another jar of pickles in our gift guide and basket. If you’re paying attention to some of our local restaurant owners like, Breakfast Queen Mary Haglund of Mary’s Gourmet Diner or the Keipers at The Tavern in Old Salem, you’ll see they do love some of Niki Farrington’s Pickles, dubbed Niki’s Pickles. Indeed they are crispy and have just the right about of delicious dill to make you pretty happy. You can find Niki’s Pickles at the Cobblestone Farmers’s Market, The Living Room Coffee House and Wine Bar in Pilot Mountain and at Mary’s Gourmet Diner in WS.
The winner of our basket will receive a glorious trio of pickles (cuke, radish, cauliflower) and some hot sauce..because it’s the season of giving and Niki is feeling it.
Fogwood Food Buttered Pecan Syrup $8.49
I first discovered Brenda Sutton’s Fogwood Food Buttered Pecan Syrup at Got To Be NC Competition Dining. It’s like a maple syrup meets pecan praline sauce. It’s delicious on pancakes, waffles, french toast. Great drizzled on biscuits and superb as an ice cream topping. You can do what you want to with it. One of the competition dining chefs made a cheesecake crust with it and it was incredible. Just give it a little stir or warm it up and pour that lovely golden goodness onto something worthy. You can find Fogwood Food products at Lowe’s Foods and markets like Let It Grow Produce in WS.
Not only will the winner get this delicious Buttere Pecan Syrup but the folks at Fogwood wanted our winner to also have their latest baby, Ghost Pepper Jelly, which is totally our jam right now. It’s spectacular paired with a really sharp cheese…for instance a pimento cheese—try it! Dab a little on top of your cracker with the spread of your choice. It rocks on cream cheese too or grilled cheese. And on a chicken biscuit…with cheese. fogwoodfood.com
B & G Pies 895 Northwest Blvd, WS $1-2
Winston-Salem’s own hand-held fried icon. The bakery recently moved their production over to Northwest Blvd. where you can get a fresh pie Monday-Thursday. Otherwise you’ll find these groovy fruity pockets at convenience stores. We love them all but we especially love apple. Someone told us to melt cheddar on it. What?? You try it and tell us if you agree that it is yummy.
B&G is giving our winner one of each flavor: Apple, Cherry, Lemon, Peach and Chocolate.
Black Mountain Chocolate Fruitcake $15, 732 Trade Street, WS blackmountainchocollate.com
Oh hail, the Queen of Fruitcakes. This fruitcake is not that hard weird doorstop with … are they… cherries? She was in our gift guide last year and by gracious we just haven’t been able to get her out of our mind the last 11 months so here we are again. It deserves to be here. And you deserve to win this cake. It has neighbor Branch Distillery’s Night Lab Whiskey in it. It’s as boozy as ever and just as chocolatey. This is an adult fruitcake, ya’ll. Not for the kiddos.
Village Juice Company, 205 South Stratford Road villagejuicecompany.com
Since we can’t fit a smoothie bowl or a grain bowl in our gift basket, we will have to give the next best thing. A gift card to enjoy one of the many healthy options at Village Juice. If a smoothie or a cold-pressed juice is more your speed, by all means just grab and go. But we hope you’ll take a seat and enjoy one of their colorful bowls of goodness, particularly the brussels & bacon grain bowl with quinoa. Eat it and you just knocked your body full of vitamins and superfoods and you’ll be ready to take on the world.
VJC is giving our winner a $15 gift card
Chow Time Taxi chowtimetaxi.com
We love Chow Time because they work with some of our wonderful, locally-owned restaurants and businesses. And they think out of the box and don’t just deliver pizza but they’ll deliver coffee from West End Coffeehouse and your grain bowl from VJC (see above) and a whole bunch of other places too.
The winner of our basket is getting a voucher for one FREE delivery of a future order.
Wanna Win It?
Comment on our YES! Weekly Facebook page on what you’d do with one of these amazing products, gift card and voucher. Look for this post. Your name will be entered in a drawing. The winner will be announced December 19. Winner should be from the local area and be able to pick up the prize package in person. Good luck!