My wife and children tell me I’m a difficult person to buy gifts for, whether it’s Father’s Day, my birthday or Christmas.
I don’t really think that’s true. Buy me a nice bottle of wine, or two or three, and I’m fine. Beyond that, though, they’re right, I don’t generally offer up a ton of varied or creative gift ideas.
So, this year, I made more of an effort, seeking out some different gift possibilities, many of which, not surprisingly, are food-related. There’s no real rhyme nor reason to the following items, just some cool and often tasty items I’ve encountered that I thought I’d share.
First, let me start with one of my all-time favorite categories: cheese. I adore cheese. French, Italian, Spanish, Domestic, it doesn’t matter. If it’s well-made, hand-crafted fromage, I’m all over it. Last year, I came across the sheep milk cheeses of Green Dirt Farms in Weston. I liked them, especially the fresh cheeses, which are spreadable and memorable.
I took a trip up to Green Dirt to see what was happening this year. They’re producing yogurt, for one, which is nice, but hardly gift-worthy. They had all the lovely and delicious fresh cheeses, but I’ve had those. I wanted something different.
Then, cheesemaker Sarah Hoffman introduced me to a new product: a creamy, almost gooey cheese they call Tuffet. I was hooked. Great on french bread or any manner of cracker, Green Dirt Farm’s Tuffet is tough to stop eating. I would gladly receive the gift of Tuffet this Father’s Day.
But, if you want to do something special for the dad in your life, how about stepping up to Green Dirt’s “Cheese of the Season” promotion. With that, Green Dirt ships you a collection of cheeses four times a year? I counted. It’s 13 cheeses in 12 months! I can handle that. Hint, hint.
My next food gift recommendation runs contrary to my general tastes: dessert. As my wife will tell you, much to her dismay, I almost never order dessert while dining out. Aside from her amazing sticky toffee pudding that she whips up every Christmas Eve, I even pass on her other wonderful sweet treats she creates throughout the rest of the year. But, today I come to praise dessert,
The specific dessert I’m referring to is Jude’s Rum Cakes, absolutely stunning cakes crafted by notable barbecue pitmaster and all-around fun guy Craig Adcock. He shares my passion for all things wine, and I share the world’s passion for his rum cakes.
They come in many different sizes, from teaser to large. I didn’t like rum cakes, or thought I didn’t, until I had Adcock’s. Those days are over. Maybe a large rum cake and a package of minis?
The final stop in my Father’s Day gift grab bag is a new find for me. It’s not food-related, but I hope you’ll indulge me. It’s Evening Shade Farms. Located outside of Osceola, Mo., Evening Shade Farms have been purveyors and pioneers of natural and organic body care products since 1975.
“Forty years ago, long before ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ were buzzwords, my pioneer mother turned our kitchen into her alchemist lab, relying on proven folk medicine to be her guide,” Cynthia Bausman said. “I was immersed in her discoveries and teachings. She encouraged me to become the second generation of her enterprise. I am honored to carry on her tradition. “
I’ve tried a bunch of the Evening Shade Farm products and they are terrific. I’m a particular fan of their soaps, which are handcrafted and unique. Add any number to your cart. You will not be disappointed.
Bausman said their De Leon Organic Body Care System is one of the most popular items for men. It’s named after Ponce de Leon, who famously searched for but never found the Fountain of Youth. On the less indulgent but perhaps more functional side is the BUGZEE Natural and Organic Insect Repellent. In this year of rain and accompanying mosquitos, BUGZEE might just be the answer. Just don’t forget the cheese and rum cakes. You don’t want the significant male in your life to get the wrong impression!
You can contact Evening Shade Farms at eveningshadefarms.com, or by phone at 417-282-6985. Bausman said orders placed by 11 a.m. Friday in the Kansas City metropolitan area should arrive by Saturday, just in time for Father’s Day.
See, I’m not hard to buy for. In fact, I’ve got more ideas for Dad’s Day I’ll be sharing shortly.
Good luck. Pleasant shopping. And, happy Father’s Day.
Dave Eckert is the producer and host of “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert,” which aired on PBS-TV and Wealth TV for 12 seasons.