Great Birthday Gift: Edmonton’s Best Basket

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big yellow bucket with En Sante's Rhubarb wine, Duchess macarons, a gift package, Sylvan Cheese's Old Grizzly and a loaf of pumpkin sourdough

Buying birthday presents is hard and gets harder every year. Not to sound male here, but what DO you buy a woman you’ve been with for almost a couple of decades?

That would be my  friend, by the way. I don’t have a sister wife on the side, but to tell you the truth, I am surely considering it. Would she clean the house? Do the laundry? Sounds so tempting…

I digress.

I decided a couple birthdays ago that you just can’t lose with a food basket. Kandice has visited me tons of times since we moved to Edmonton and we have enjoyed some of the tastiest local food that Edmonton has to offer. We eat more and more every year!

Of course I couldn’t fit in everything that I wanted, so this basket featured the ones that were at Farmer’s Markets right before I left for Calgary or readily available at any given time.

I had picked up En Sante’s Rhubarb wine weeks ago knowing that Kandice and I had enjoyed a bottle on her last visit. I had tucked it into the back of my mind that it was a winner and put it on the list for presents.

Of course, I had to include Duchess Bakery and decided that I should go with what Duchess does best: macarons. I included their gift package and I must say the presentation of these is wonderful. Put these on a must for your gift list too, they will not fail to impress. One word of caution, they are fragile and require constant refrigeration.

I picked up some cheese from Spinelli’s, a smoked Gouda and Sylvan Cheese’s Old Grizzly, my latest go-to wine cheese.

Not pictured is the beer cheese from The Cheese Factory, something that has never failed to impress people who try it. So salty. So chewy. Perfect adult cheese stick.

Last but not least was a loaf of pumpkin sourdough from The Queen of Tarts.

There were so many things I wanted to include but have saved them for next time.

Food baskets can go either way, from the bizarre -seafood pates with croutons and crackers?-  to the much welcomed and I hope think this one falls into the very welcomed.

You can’t lose with wine, for starters – as long as the person receiving it indulges- and including one from the province of one’s residence is a nice touch.

The food that isn’t available in your local grocery store is also what you should be aiming for. The macaron’s are only available at Duchess, the Cheese Factory is an Edmonton business as with the Queen of Tarts.

Go for quality and not quantity as well. Buy one loaf of amazing higher priced bread rather than one loaf of mediocre quality.

Bringing the best food of one’s city in a delicious basket should be a hit no matter whom the recipient is.

And if you are lucky enough like I was, they’ll crack open the wine and share.


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. LindaBradshaw says

    I love giving gift baskets! As a decorative painter, I like to pick a container that I can personalize with decorative paints to make the gift even more special for the recipient. 

  2. ACanadianFoodie says

    Kudos for saving this yummy basket as a gift. I would have spewed crumbs all over my car gnawing on a little of it all on my home! YUM!



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