Give the Holiday Gift of Tasty Memories
Make memories this year when you gift from the dozens of holiday gift ideas found in our annual Holiday Gift Guide.
Because many of our most significant holiday memories revolve around food, we’ve sought out the items that will create memories and spark traditions for your family and friends this holiday season regardless of your budget – and inspired by the rich holiday traditions here in the South.
The Eat Y’all Holiday Gift Guide
Give a Soon-to-be-Heirloom
Food becomes more flavorful, and cooking more memorable, with cast iron in your kitchen. Whether it’s a skillet, Dutch oven, griddle, and a piece of new enameled ware, these pieces last for generations and become your children’s and grandchildren’s prized possessions. There aren’t many gifts that can leave such a legacy as passing down the the gumbo pot grandma used or the skillet that made the cornbread, right? Give a one-time legacy or create a gift-giving collection that will span years when you give Lodge Cast Iron.
Kick it up a notch when you fill the Lodge Cast Iron gift with gourmet products and some handwritten recipe cards. One our favorite additions to every gift set this year is a bag of the nutty and fragrant “Missimati” – Mississippi Basmati Rice from Mississippi Blue Rice.
For the extra special chef in your life, wow them with a Middleton Made handcrafted knife, sure to be a cherished treasure for decades to come. Using high carbon steel, each knife is custom made to the exact specifications requested by each customer. Bladesmith Quintin Middleton, puts great care into each piece, and he stands by the simple philosophy that every great chef needs a great knife, at a great price.
Any cook will be inspired by the stories shared by Chef Vivian Howard in Deep Run Roots. A Southern born writer who began working in restaurants to learn the secrets of Southern cuisine so she could write about them, Howard’s whole life pours out in this book. Today, she lives on a farm in Kinston, NC, where she and her husband run a local eatery focused on local, progressive food named the Chef and The Farmer.
For the casual home cooks in your life, try Mary Foreman’s Deep South Dish cookbook, chocked full of soulful homestyle Southern recipes. A popular food blogger and recipe developer, Mary gets millions of visitors per year to her blog Deepsouthdish.com.
For adventurous cooks, we’d recommend Ally Phillips’ Passport to Adventure. Her Southern charm, boho flair and inspiring world travels make for delightful reading and bold flavors! This book is sure to add flair to your weeknight meal planning.
Give Some Edible Sunshine
Growing up, my grandfather always mail-ordered Florida citrus for our clan to enjoy as a special holiday treat. No matter how gray the skies on those short winter days, the sweet, bright citrus added a ray of sunshine – and a tasty dose of much-needed Vitamin C. It was a beloved tradition – affordable to nearly anyone.
Start a new tradition this year to brighten the holiday season. We are particularly fond of the beautiful oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and exclusive Honey Bells grown at Hale Groves in the Indian River region of Florida.
Hale Groves gift boxes make a practical gift for anyone on your list. Subscription services are also available to keep the sunny treats coming throughout the year.
Give Your Time over Wine & Cheese
Make time for another – and show it with a simple gift of wine and cheese – that you share. Some of my fondest holiday memories are sharing a delicious glass of wine and a small cheese board with friends and family as we wind down after Christmas Day or with neighbors or out of town guests that stop by for a visit.
Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Georgia makes this easy since they will ship to you or a gift recipient. Sweet Grass Dairy is one of our favorites with their assorted gift boxes filled with their award winning Blue Hill double cream cheese, Asher Blue, Thomasville Tomme, fresh cow’s milk cheeses and even Pimento cheese. You can also select other Southern made items to pair and ship with your cheese order to complete your gift or “at the ready” holiday hostess kit. Plus, Sweet Grass Dairy will give you a 15% discount when you use the code EATYALL and order by December 21st for Christmas Eve delivery.
Regardless, be purposeful to plan for these memory making interactions by keeping a few artisan or homemade items and splurges on hand for your guests – or to deliver to friends.
Give a Sweet Finish
Heritage style layer cakes from Sugaree’s Bakery in New Albany, Mississippi will leave a sweet memory for anyone on your Christmas list. With flavors like Caramel, Coconut, Red Velvet and Italian Cream, you’ll be hard-pressed to believe that grandmother didn’t make these. Sugaree’s was recently featured in Oprah Magazine and on ABC’s The View about the Southern heritage baking techniques that she’s perpetuating thru her cakes.
Give the Ticket to Grilling Greatness
Make it easy for outdoor chefs to get the job done and make mountains of mealtime memories for the family with the Eat Y’all Holiday Trio gift set that includes Sugar Taylor Sauce: Savory Grilling Sauce along with June Bugg Rub: All Purpose Seasoning and the NEW June Bugg Rub: Steak & Brisket. The sauce makes the perfect marinade or glaze for wild game, as well as its intended use on traditional BBQ cuts like Boston butt, ribs and tenderloin. It’s great as a condiment on a turkey sandwich, too. June Bugg Rub is well, great on everything, and the new Steak + Brisket really brings out the best in red meat.
Purchase this bundle for anyone on your list with flavor in mind plus get free shipping now thru Christmas.
Give the Love of Your Family
Consider carving out some time to make a few homemade items for gift giving this year. Your family and friends will appreciate the hard work and likely remember your effort long after the treats are consumed. Here is are a few recipes to try.
Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle
Recipe Courtesy of Laura Busby, Digital Brand Manager at Eat Y’all
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup light Karo syrup
- 1 cup raw peanuts
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon soda
- Mix sugar and Karo syrup in a cast iron skillet and bring to boil.
- Add raw peanuts and cook until tan in color. (You will also smell the peanuts starting to roast.)
- Add butter and soda. Stir quickly.
- Pour onto a lightly greased cookie sheet cookie sheet to set.
*Package peanut brittle in paper sacks lined with parchment paper. Fold the bag over and hole punch, tying with twine or ribbon.
Campbell’s Bakery Caramel Blondies
Recipe by Mitchell Moore, Owner of Campbell’s Bakery in Jackson, MS
- 1/2 lb. of butter
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar
- 2 whole large eggs
- 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Heavily grease a 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave.
- While the butter is melting, combine ALL of the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer on low or just barely above that, combine the ingredients for roughly 30 seconds, just long enough to wet all of the flour. DO NOT OVERMIX at this point.
- When the butter is melted, add it to the bowl in one step. Do not drizzle in. Just dump it in there. Turn the mixer back on low and mix until the butter has been incorporated, roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the middle doesn’t jiggle when the pan is tapped on the side with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Allow to cool on a baking rack for 1 hour.
- Slice when cooled and serve with homemade caramel icing or caramel ice cream.
*For gift packaging wrap in parchment paper and tie with twine and a small gift tag. You can deliver with caramel sauce in a Mason jar.
Southern Peanut Granola
Recipe by Merry Graham at A Merry Recipe
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 3 cups chopped roasted and lightly salted peanuts
- 1 1/4 cups shredded sweet coconut
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (substitutes with honey or agave syrup)
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (substitutes with peanut oil or canola oil)
- 1 orange, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds or flax seeds (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots or raisins
- 1 cup chopped dried cherries or cranberries
- Preheat oven to 250° F.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, coconut, brown sugar, syrup, coconut oil, orange zest, spices, and salt.
- Spread oat mixture evenly over 2 parchment lined rimmed cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in oven and set timer for 1 hour, every 15 minutes stir granola and rotate cookie sheets.
- Cool granola 15 minutes and stir in dried fruit.
Yields 11-12 cups
Serving Suggestion: Pack in single serving jars or family size jars or containers. Serve as a dry snack, cold cereal or hot oatmeal.
To serve as hot oatmeal, in a glass jar or microwave safe bowl, combine 1/2 cup milk, water, or spiced tea and 3/4 cup granola. Cover container and microwave for 90 seconds. Remove from microwave and steam for 2 minutes.
>> For more ideas on homemade holiday treats, don’t miss our Christmas Cookies + Milk Pairings article.