Santa Goes Local for Christmas

It’s always felt funny to me when adults recount their Christmas holidays by listing everything ‘they got’.    Having said that I could not resist sharing some of my stocking stuffings for the local finds they are (not to talk about ‘what I GOT’!).  Very exciting and definitely got my local mojo going for the next season (‘NOTE TO SELF:  Must find a local source of huckleberries to make my OWN jam this year’.)

If you click on the item title it will link you to their website:

Soup mixes from Women’s Bean Project (Denver CO):  This organization has been around for a long time.  They are a non-profit who aid chronically unemployed, impoverished women or those women in difficult life situations by hiring them to hand make their delicious products.  As a locavore, it’s dried bean season as well and frankly there is nothing I love more in the chill of winter.  These two soup mixes (lovingly handmade in my case by ‘Olga’ and ‘Josephine’) will be quickly used.  I’m loving the ‘Toni’s 10 Bean Soup Mix’…..

Patty’s Wild Huckleberry Preserves:  Packed in Brighton Colorado.  Who knew?  Where are they hiding the local huckleberries?  Will be sleuthing that one out.

Anija’s Finnish-Style Sweet Hot Mustard (Ft. Collins CO):  According to the label this mustard (which has won a number of awards) was started with the Finnish holiday gift tradition of ‘Mom’ (Anija) giving jars of homemade mustard.    There are many suggestions of how to enjoy the mustard and I cannot wait to try them.

Don Estevan’s Tapenade (Boulder CO):  This tapenade was formulated based on the healthy traditions of Mediterranean cuisine.    A family recipe made with all natural ingredients.  There are many recipe suggestions and more on their website.

Westwood Farms ‘Burning Desire’ Roasted Jalapeno Chili Sauce (Paonia CO):  This bottled heat gave me to shudder after having just watched an episode of ‘Outrageous Food’ on the Food Network channel in which a restaurateur combined many types of chilies to concoct a turbo charged sandwich which he challenged patrons to eat in 20 minutes.    The only success story looked like he needed to go to a mental ward afterward.  Fortunately for me, Burning Desire is nothing of this sort of hot sauce.  It includes all natural ingredients and makes mention of one of my favorite partners for hot sauce; eggs.  Can’t wait to try it.

White Girl Salsa Cranberry-Mango (Golden CO):  Do we need to explore further than the name?  Love that.  The name of their LLC is: We Do Salsa.  Love a company that has a sense of humor about themselves, don’t you?  These salsas are handcrafted and all natural.  The label offers an explanation for the name noting years ago the founder was very close with an Hispanic family and after devouring their homemade salsas the family sweetly dubbed it ‘white girl salsa’.  I made and froze a number of containers of Tomatillo salsa which are delicious.  I cannot wait to try this flavor.

I have it on good authority that in my case Santa purchased all these items at the Peppercorn, an incredible local kitchen wares store (they do offer online shopping though not all of their in-store food items).  To put the store in context I attended a book signing for Marcus Samuelsson’s latest book, A New American Table, this summer and he too was quite taken with the store and all it offers.  A ‘must stop’ if you have not had the chance to.


  1. says

    Hmm .. I don't believe I've had Huckleberry before, never mind the jam version. Have never seen it in the imported goods stores either. I'm imagining it close to gooseberry?

  2. says

    Love this post and love the name White Girl Salsa. I've been to the Peppercorn and it's been about 20 years ago. Can you believe they've been in business that long? Great store. Love all the local items and I hope you post now and then about what you've done with them. Especially that mustard. A coworker gave me homemade mustard for Christmas and it's WONderful.

  3. says

    That huckleberry jam looks delightful! There's just something about the word “huckleberry” that makes it extra cute 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And happy new year to you, too!!!

  4. says

    Hi Ping! I too have not had huckleberry before. I did after writing this post email the preserve-maker to find which of her berries were sourced locally (noted the huckleberries are from Montana; close but not 'local'!). There are many other berries she uses which I have not tried. Maybe something closer to home!

    Hi Lea Ann! Great idea on the posting. I can share now what I've done with the White Girl Salsa; ate it with chips yesterday! Not too exotic of a useage but it was really good. I just discovered tomatillos this year (knew of them but had not cooked with them) and really love Roast Tomatillo Salsa which I made and froze alot of. This is a tomatillo based salsa with some extra flavor of cranberry with worked great with it (not too overpowering).

    Hi Kori! Totally agree. Huckleberries sound like they should be animated vs a real edible berry!

  5. says

    Hello dear! Happy Christmas and way to source local! I am a local-hound myself and it always tastes better. It doesn't end up sitting around on store shelves some 2000 miles from the source, it goes right into your basket and into your mouths! Can you come and fill my stocking next year? xoxo megs

  6. says

    Your Santa did a fine job indeed. Love all these local (to you) products! I know you mean about adults reeling off their gifts list, but I got a big kick out of my “foodie” haul too. Merry, merry!

  7. says

    These gourmet items would be my most favorite gifts of all. Whenever I visit our favorite food clubs or gourmet shops, I stock up on such great products. Never tried Huckleberry preserves, or roasted jalapeno chili sauce…next, on my list!
    Thanks for sharing your amazing gourmet gifts!

  8. says

    No huckleberries?! They are fantastic. I hope you find a good source; most people don't like to divulge their “hunting” spots. When we lived in the mountains of Idaho, NO ONE would tell us where to pick the little jewels. Seriously.

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