by Anna Glavash
Holiday gatherings are not the place you want to arrive empty-handed. If you want to be the favorite guest and impress everyone on your list with cheap, unique gifts they are sure to enjoy, here are some ideas, from sweet treats to baked goods to health tonics for cold season! Despite our best intentions, sometimes planning fails and last-minute gifts happen. We have suggestions for those, too.
Mountain Rose Herbs Mercantile. This apothecary is a DIY dream.
Pre-made: They sell a wide variety of organic herbs, spices, and other culinary ingredients in prepackaged bulk quantities. They have their own line of custom tea blends.
DIY: I make an herbal tea with one part each orange peel and fennel seeds and two parts each spearmint and lemon balm that’s great for evening relaxation. Find a recipe you like, and Mountain Rose is sure to have the ingredients.
Location: 152 W 5th Ave #3
Hours: Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Hummingbird Wholesale. This organic bulk foods emporium carries all the essential ingredients for homemade granola, which makes a super easy mason jar gift. Head over and pick up the following:
4 cups rolled oats @ $2.39/lb
1 cup coconut chips @ 3.76/lb
¼ cup sunflower seeds @ 3.70/lb
¼ cup pumpkin seeds @ 8.91/lb
2 tbsp flax seeds @ $2.44/lb
1 cup Thompson raisins @ $3.37/lb
½ cup wildflower honey @ $4.15/lb or maple syrup @ $5.40/lb
¼ cup coconut oil @ $5.79/lb
This mix already rocks, but if you want a local touch, add in:
½ cup Oregon cranberries (sweetened with Oregon honey) @ 21.78/lb
1 cup Oregon hazelnuts @ $19.49/lb (so worth it—but almonds are cheaper @10.08/lb)
You’ll also need 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
This recipe fills two sheet pans, so work in batches for a larger quantity. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, melt the coconut oil, toss everything except the fruit in a big bowl to coat in the oil, and spread evenly on 2 baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, checking and stirring every five. When golden brown, cool completely and pour into decorated quart jars. Voila!
Location:150 Shelton Mcmurphey Blvd.
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Glory Bee. We have an amazing honey wholesaler here in Eugene. Don’t even get me started on the candles they sell.
Premade: In their factory store, Glory Bee carries many varieties of wildflower honey made by Northwest bees for a sweet and unique gift.
DIY: If you’re a week ahead of schedule, infuse your own honeys! Bring a container and fill up for a bulk discount. Then pick up some mason jars and flavorings of your choosing at Mountain Rose. My fave is jalapeño flakes (makes the best honey cornbread) but lavender, rose petals, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, or mint are also the bomb. Dried citrus peel or slices, too.
Just add a little bit in each jar, top with honey, and let them infuse for at least a week in a warm spot, turning them upside down every day to mix things around. Strain or leave as-is for a more intense flavor. Perfect for baking, teas, sauces, salad dressings or marinades.
Location: 29548 Airport Rd
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fire Cider. The Kiva Grocery carries everything you’ll need, including bottles, for this miracle health tonic that is sometimes the only way to get rid of sinus congestion. It’s a great preventative, too. Essential for cold season.
If you have a month before gifts are due (teach us your ways!), get the recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs. Time is the biggest ingredient here—let the magic do its work.
If you’re out of time to make a gift:
Grab some indulgent Eugene treats. No one should live without good chocolate or coffee.
Euphoria Chocolate Company. Uniquely Eugene and famously delicious, Euphoria’s confections can be found all over town because they’re that good. Head to any of their three chocolate shops and pick up a Choice Assortment of their signature truffles or a Chocolate-Dipped Cookie assortment featuring Oreos and Milanos for $21.95 each.
Location: 946 Willamette St.
Hours: Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Slightly Coffee Roasters. Owned by the Barn Light, this hip little coffee shop roasts a mighty fine bean. Their coffee comes in trendy pink packaging that is ready for gifting. Grab a pound of single-origin from Ethiopia or their Lollipop Blend (tastes like strawberry shortcake!) for $16 each.
Location: 545 E 8th Ave.
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat. – Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.