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Savoring Kentucky showcases the wonders of Kentucky's food, farms, farmers, restaurants, chefs, distillers, brewers, orchards and markets. We applaud local food, its producers and champions. We delight in news of improvements in food and food systems. We take pleasure in fine food. We thank our wondrous sponsors for supporting our work and local goodness all around.

If Your Spirits Lift In Your Kitchen, Enjoy Making Food Gifts

Just after the first appearance this year of Holly-anna, the Spirit of Relief from Tiny Consumer Miseries, and just after her beneficient, beautiful bestowal of the Three Gifts of Not Having To, I headed off to the weekly delight called Hot Water Cornbread, a radio show I co-host with chefs Ouita and Chris Michel. (Listen to a recording of this week's show here.)

Helleborus blossoms and rosemary from the early 2015 Campsie garden, in a silver wedding bowl

Helleborus blossoms and rosemary from the early 2015 Campsie garden, in a silver wedding bowl

I had traveled for much of the time since last week's show. While I indulged in building block towers, reading board books over and over, watching toddler couch jumping competitions and nuzzling a marvelous baby, Ouita carried out research on food gifts our radio show listeners may want to make. The results reminded me how much fun I have in the kitchen. I started a shopping list for some exotic—but not expensive—ingredients available at Good Foods Coop.

Ouita generously offers these gift ideas, centered on the elemental kitchen ingredients sugar, salt, vinegar and oil. Enjoy Elegant Food Gifts That Require No Baking. Most resemble simple craft projects more than cooking, so they are ideal if you don't cook, don't like to cook, or don't want to cook any more right now.

And what if cooking and baking bring you joy, at least if kept in proportion? What if you still have energy for making food gifts that require a little bit of cooking but not too much? I assembled a second list of ideas and links just for you. These are favorite gifts I have made for family and friends. Enjoy Elegant Food Gifts Requiring Minimal Cooking: a singularly delicious chocolate bark, homemade mustard that involves no cooking at all, spiced nuts and an array of hot chocolate mix choices.

Most of all, enjoy the choice to do or not to do, to cook or not to cook. Whatever rests your soul and lifts your heart: that's the spirit worth honoring and sharing.

Sponsors included in this post: Good Foods Coop. Thank you! Readers, if you like Savoring Kentucky, do business with our sponsors, all of whom support the earth, community and an equitable local food economy in extraordinary ways.

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