By Wini Moranville
Fill Christmas stockings with a few off-the-beaten-path finds from local shops:
* The “Angry Momma” microwave cleaner at Kitchen Collage: Pour water and vinegar into this clever $20 gadget. Then, heat her in the microwave, and soon she’ll be steamin’–literally, steaming away odors while softening grunge for easy cleanup. It’s perfect for a college student or others who mostly cook with microwaves. (430 E. Locust St.; 515-270-8202.)
* Goodies from Allspice: Allspice Culinarium sells dozens of unique spice blends that will handily nestle inside a Christmas stocking. Better yet, choose one of the themed gift packages, such as the Triple Ginger Cookie Kit ($12.50), Beef-Lover’s Seasoning ($24) or a Hot Chocolate Kit ($12). (400 E. Locust St.; 515-868-0808).
* Vintage candy from Beaverdale Confections: After packing in a few choice gifts, fill out the stocking with old-fashioned candy. The Beaverdale shop purveys charming sweets your grandparents likely cherished, such as Root Beer Barrels, Bit-O-Honeys, Slo Pokes, Necco Wafers, Black Cows, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mary Janes and Lemonheads. (2641 Beaver Ave.; 515-279-0553.)
Wini Moranville is a freelance writer who covers the food and dining scene for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food – DSM Wini Moranville.