It’s just about time to start the Christmas shopping. To help you with yours, here are some of my ideas for a Sheffield food lover this Christmas:
1. A Sheffield food hamper, packed with the very best goodies from Sheffield’s growing range of independent and artisan food producers. PJ Taste sell Yorkshire hampers, the smallest of which (at £18.95) is made up exclusively of Sheffield products (including PJ Taste’s own handmade preserve); some of the larger hampers contain other items from further afield in Yorkshire like dressing from Womersley Foods. You can have the hampers sealed with a bow and PJ Taste will deliver for an additional charge, or you can collect directly from them.
Alternatively, why not make up your own? Have a look at this fantastic food parcel created by Sheffield blog earlier this year, which contains items from Yabba, Catherine’s Choice, Yorkshire Crisps and Yee Kwan Ice Cream, amongst others – all made in Sheffield.
2. The Milestone cook book. It’s been all about the Milestone lately – it’s won several local awards, got a rave review in the Guardian from Jay Rayner and won national recognition when it recently won the British round in Gordon Ramsay’s 2010 search for Ramsay’s Best Restaurant. They’ve produced a cook book this year, ‘First Catch Your Pig!’ priced at £16.95 (for paperback) or £19.95 (for hardback) and containing 160 pages of recipes from the restaurant, the ethos behind the dishes and how they source their ingredients. You can register on their site to have a sneak preview inside the book and it includes recipes such as ox tongue and sweet chilli fritters and salt mackerel and sesame seed pasty. Yum! Buy the book via the order form on their website from 1st December.
3. Burgon and Ball grow your own products. Burgon and Ball are a long established Sheffield firm dating back to 1730. They have a strong reputation for producing high quality agricultural and gardening tools and accessories. These days, not all the products they sell are made in Sheffield – they told me that they concentrate on producing tools rather than accessories such as the ones below – but even so, they are a historical local firm with a stylish range that is well worth a look for gifts for someone growing their own produce. I could make good use of the herb drying rack (£9.95 +p&p) and the jam and sugar thermometer (£8.95 +p&p), but my favourite gift is these pretty matching herb pots at £14.95 +p&p which I bought for a friend earlier this year, and she really loved:
For someone with just a little bit of space outside, there’s a selection of herb, salad and vegetable planters perfect for a patio or even a window ledge. They start from £9.95 +p&p:
4. Buzzy Work beekeeping course. I’ve heard so much in the news this year about the decline of the British honey bee and in response, there’s been a surge of interest in urban beekeeping. Buzzy Work is run by the Sheffield Honey Company and offers a 2 hour Urban Beekeeping Experience at Weston Park Museum, for £30 per person. You’ll learn how to inspect a hive, to identify castes of the honeybee, managing disease and recognising the brood and honey. Sounds like a great introduction for someone interested in having a go at beekeeping themselves – and having a try at collecting their own honey.
5. Henderson’s Relish art. You can’t talk about Sheffield food without mentioning Hendo’s – much-loved by the citizens, including some of our better known folk such as Sean Bean and Richard Hawley, and – erm – Peter Stringfellow. But don’t let that put you off. It’s been around for 100 years but is still garnering recognition and awards, including the Vegetarian Society‘s 2010 Best Storecupboard Ingredient. I swear by a good splash in my shepherd’s pie and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to hunt out a copy of the 1998 collection from Hallamshire Press, Recipes to Relish:
Aside from the relish itself, I’ve seen around restaurants and houses in Sheffield a selection of Hendo’s art, which always catches my eye. Prices range dramatically from £1.48 for a card with this print of the Hendo’s factory, to £800 for this original work, Hendersons with Pepper. My favourite is this pop-art by Gareth Scott from Evoke Creative for £30 for a 12×12 canvas hand-painting:
What other presents are you getting your favourite food lovers for Christmas? Happy shopping…