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California Christmas Goodies from Ohio: The List (Part 2)....and a Giveaway!

A look inside Celebrate Local's Easton Mall shop in Columbus; they have
recently opened up a second location in the Cincinnati area at Liberty Center
The first half of my California Christmas Goodies from Ohio blogposts (link to the original post here) mainly featured food products from fairly diverse corners of the Buckeye State.  This second half of the series varies the product selection just a bit, reveals this year's gift to the family, and yes, we'll go into detail about our first official giveaway!


Central Ohio-based Cookbooks: One year I figured a taste of Ohio my family could whip up at their homes on a regular basis would be a perfect long term gift, and several cookbooks that could be mutually shared and covered both ends of the spectrum would be perfect bookends.

With the Bay Area's big food truck scene, "The Columbus Food Truck Cookbook" by Renee Casteel Cook & Tiffany Harelik would provide a little Midwest twist from food trucks like Ajumama, Challah!, and Ray Ray's Hog Pit for more casual creations.

On the other hand, Cara Mangini's "The Vegetable Butcher", which provides a detailed road map to prepare everything produce-related, is something of a homecoming in that she got her start in the Bay Area in the Napa Valley.

And of course, you can't have a full meal without dessert, and Jeni's two ice cream books are a perfect way to create those sweet treats for the proverbial culinary coup de grace (in fact, one of my brothers had a rather tasty sampling available of one of those very same recipes at the end of our Christmas meal.)

All these books can be found at Amazon, but if you prefer to give the locals your business, you can get them at Columbus' own The Book Loft, and the Bay Area's Book Passage

The California state ornament from Columbus' Cut Maps
Stainless Steel Christmas Ornaments from Cut Maps: I've been a bit of a map geek ever since I can remember, and the products of Cut Maps (which was founded by an Ohio State University graduate Dan Linden) have an inherent coolness factor for me. These laser-cut renderings of city maps and skylines, and U.S. states are still designed here in Columbus with production done in Virginia. I wished I had taken a picture of these tony little ornaments (the California version, of course) before I wrapped them up for my gift-giving (the graphic above is from the Cut Maps website) but I guess that just means I'll have to order something for our own house soon.

180 Shen-Elk Plaza (Google Maps)
Elkton, VA, 22827
513-252-5200
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Put-In-Bay's Heineman's was my first experience with Lake Erie wines
Lake Erie Sweet Wines - Living three decades in California (much of it inside or within shouting distance of the state's big wine countries), I hadn't heard of Ohio's Lake Erie-style wines (made with North American varietals such as Niagara, Catawba and Concord grapes) until I actually moved into the Buckeye State. Maybe it's the sweet tooth factor, but I found that I enjoyed these wines, and I figured that the wine drinkers in my family would as well.

The only caveat to trying to get my family wines from Ohio is the fact that for the most part Ohio wineries don't directly ship out to California (at least, I sure haven't been able to find any.) Had we had that option, we would've sent out wines from my spouse's favorite state winery in Port Clinton's Mon Ami Winery (this would probably be our choice if we were bringing just one or two bottles ourselves.)

As it turned out, we had to look westward to Indiana and just based on total gut feeling took a chance on Indiana's Oliver Winery.  The decision worked out well: my family enjoyed the wines we sent, and we received a reaffirmation of our choice a year or so later when my spouse and her niece got to sample their varietals in person at their Bloomington-located tasting room.

Mon Ami Restaurant and Winery
3845 E Wine Cellar Rd (Google Maps)
Port Clinton, OH 43452
(419) 797-4445
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Oliver Winery
200 East Winery Rd (Google Maps)
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 876-5800
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Nuts and Candies from Krema Nut Company - this year's gift to the family is from a company I knew was a local institution (Krema opened its doors to the public in 1898), but outside of their nut butters I hadn't encountered them much in the course of my living here. This changed this year with our visits to Pickerington's highly successful nano-brewery Combustion Brewing.

You generally don't think of a nut mix as being anything special, but the brewery's Combustion Nut Mix is a great combo of sweet, salty and spicy tastes on perfectly roasted nuts (Krema's nut roaster has been with the company for 25 years).  Along with packs of their Gourmet Nut Mix, I added in some of Krema's Butter Toffee Peanuts to add a little sweetness to the quotient.

If nothing else, I hope to visit Krema sometime next year to sample some of its other goods, including their Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Milk Shakes.

1000 Goodale Bl (Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 299-4131
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And now, my first ever blog giveaway!  Like I've mentioned before, much of our inspiration for Ohio-related gift giving, both to my family and others we know, has come from Celebrate Local, which opened its doors to the public in Columbus' Easton Shopping Center in 2011.  This shop has a wide assortment of Ohio-centric foods, arts and crafts, and goods to please your Buckeye State love, and I thought I'd sweeten the pot with a $50 gift card to get your New Year off on the good foot. In addition, the fine folks at Celebrate Local have chipped in with an additional $10 online code for me to award to a lucky runner-up recipient.  Please check out my Instagram feed for full details on how to enter.

Celebrate Local
3952 Townsfair Way (Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43219
(614) 471-6446
-and-
7127 Foundry Row (Google Maps)
Liberty Township, OH 45069
(614) 886-6446
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