Merry Christmas! It’s time for the annual farmers’ market shopping list. And what better way to support local businesses than to make your purchases at the market?
Get your own list ready as Saturday is the big Coquitlam Christmas Farmers’ Market (9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Poirier Sport and Leisure Centre, 633 Poirier St.). I’ll wager that you can find something for everyone.
If jewellery is on your list, Brenda’s Beads and Bangles and Kimi’s Design have you taken care of. Both are distinct and affordable. Each designer crafts necklaces and earrings that will please most jewellery lovers on your shopping list.
Functional art is always a great gift choice and three potters make it easy to find something perfect. Brigitta’s Pottery makes the best salt cellars, Clay with Val has perfect trays (I use one as a soap dish in my bathroom) and Penny Swanson has lovely work, too.
And then there is skin care. A bar of handcrafted soap is always a thoughtful and useful gift or stocking stuffer, and when they are as beautiful as the ones made by Mediterra soap, they are even better. If you prefer a long tub soak, Mountain Naturals have bath bombs that are da bomb. Nasty Free Naturals have a whole line of great skin care items — from foot creams to hand creams, you are covered head to toe. Synergy of Nature grows many of their own herbs for use in creating teas and lotions.
Arnalia will be there with her line of botanical products. They are full of great information so you can give a truly personalized gift.
And while we are on lovely smelling things, how about candles — another great, inexpensive gift? Both Canvas Candle Co. and Wax Poetic Creations make their candles from 100% soy wax and use only essential oils for fragrance. These two companies craft their candles in a variety of containers so you can choose the perfect size, shape and fragrance.
Does anything smell better than a baby? Mama Bear Essentials have everything you need for the wee ones in your life. From clothing to accessories, everything is handmade by a real mama who understands what is necessary for the littles.
Want an heirloom piece for someone special? Quality Oak Accents make spectacular cutting boards. I bought one for my daughter last year and it still looks as good as they day I bought it. These are pieces that will last a lifetime.
Wood also features in Classic Metal and Woods stall. They have unique painted display pieces, perfect for that spot that needs a little something!
Pinheads by KD make fabulous hats, and we can all use one or two of those.
How about foodie gifts? Consumables make great presents and you can shop for yourself, too.
A Bread Affair and Cascadia Bakehouse will be there, stocked to the rafters with amazing bread, cookies and treats while Marie’s Gluten Free and Delish Gluten Free bring their fabulous baking that everyone can eat, and is especially nice for those with gluten sensitivities.
Straight up sweets for treats come courtesy of Kizzy’s Macarons, Oh Sweet Day and Sable Shortbread. All three have perfectly packaged bags of goodness, just right for gifting — or keeping.
Aji Gourmet Products will be on hand with their line of chunky chili sauces, and Koji Fine Foods too. Both of these are staples in my kitchen and I rarely make a dish without either ingredient. Amazing Foods and Red Barn both have more great ingredient gifts. Vinegars and spices are so much fun to play with in the kitchen.
Or maybe you don’t want to think about what to make. Simply Delish’s mixes, Chef Ann Kirsebom’s Gourmet Sauces, Chanthorn’s Thai Curry Sauces or Bali Bites peanut sauce all make short work of a meal during this hectic season.
If appies are all you need, how about some of Chef Pieter’s stellar dips? The Raw Guy has a new line of crackers that are delicious and so good for you. You can pair those with his vegan cream cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly from Coquitlam River Cannery for a quick treat, or a thoughtful gift.
Baked Brie topped with Chili Lime and Rosemary marmalade from KICS and finished with a drizzle of honey from Vlad’s Apiary is another super easy hors d’oeuvres.
You can also make a great quick breakfast with scones from the Jam Shack Preservery. Is there an outdoor enthusiast on your list? Kal from The Jerk Store has the perfect portable snack; he even makes a vegan version.
Straight up treats for giving have got to include chocolate from either Solasta Chocolate or the Drunken Chocolatier. Both makes works of art for eating and Solasta even has sugar-free bars.
Don’t forget about the beverages this holiday season. Trinity’s Teas and Culture Kefir take care of the non-alcoholic drinks. Both companies make the highest quality beverages that are full of flavour and healthy goodness — great for a quiet moment or when you need to recharge.
Last but not least, don’t forget about spirits. Lovely wine and artisan spirits make easy gifts, and Waterside Winery and Gillespie’s Fine Spirits have both of those in spades. And I can attest to the quality of both Mariner Brewing and West Coast Cider Co. if beer and cider are on your list.
Whatever you choose for yourself or your gifting this year, rest assured that your purchases from the vendors at market will be well received.
From all of us at market, may your holiday season be blessed with love and peace.
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE SAUSAGE ROLLS
It’s not Christmas at my house without these savoury treats...
1 package puff pastry (I use President’s choice because it doesn’t need rolling)
2 packages pork and apple sausage from Central Park Farms or 2 packages Field Roast Vegan Sausage
Steam the sausages until cooked through; set aside to cool. Roll out the pastry and cut each sheet into 3 strips. Lay the sausages in a row down each strip, cutting as needed to fit. Roll the pastry around the sausage, pinching the seams together.
Cut the strip into bite size pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Snip a cut into the top of each sausage roll with a pair of scissors. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.