Shopping in your own backyard: Local crafters, food purveyors, and general DIY-ers are getting ready for the free Fair Trade Holiday Gift Extravaganza slated for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at Congregation Beth David in SLO ... SLO's Claiborne & Churchill is also hosting a free Holiday Market and Open House Dec. 4, featuring local artisans, wines, and live holiday music from 5 to 8 p.m. (claibornechurchill.com) ... Don't forget about FARMstead Ed's holiday infusions class at Pretty-Smith Vineyards in Paso Robles Dec. 6 from 1 to 4 p.m., where you can learn how to make your own oils, vinegars, and liqueurs while grazing on tasty bites (farmsteaded.com) ... Laetitia's Winter in the Vineyard and Stephen Ross' Holiday Open House, both on Dec. 5, will also feature wine tasting, bites, and gift ideas for the cork lover (slowine.com).
Nifty kitchen gifts
Fridge helper: Sick of wasting that last squirt of ketchup or Dijon mustard? Try the Flip-It cap, a washable, re-usable gem that preserves your condiments. It should also be on every savvy saver's holiday gift list (flipitcap.com) ... What to get for the family with wild boar in their freezer? Gift those rugged types with Wild Gourmet: Naturally Healthy Game, Fish and Fowl Recipes for Everyday Chefs, a book that details just how to prepare your latest kill into a killer, unforgettable meal (now available from the Boone and Crockett Club, boone-crockett.org) ... Get all your cool, artsy friends gifts from Chop Top Bottle Co. this year. The SLO biz creates imaginative and functional drinking glasses, lighting, candle holders, vases, and even lamps with their array of upcycled beer, wine, and booze bottles (Facebook.com/choptopbottleco).
The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa has much to celebrate after being recognized by The California Hotel & Lodging Association with its Stars of the Industry Award for its efforts in organizing and hosting The 2014 Chardonnay Symposium. Congrats and gold stars! ... Break the breakfast blues: Try a Jumbo Banana-Pecan Muffin recipe that is tender, sweet, and oh-so Christmas morning worthy (tasteofhome.com/recipes/jumbo-banana-pecan-muffins) ... Wine tasting is a perfect activity for your out-of-town family, but before you head out the door, check out SLO's holiday season tasting room hours and plan accordingly (all the information at slowine.com).
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