Boxes tied with bows, stuffed stockings, hampers bursting with goodness, isn't that what Christmas is about? Part of the delight for Melburnians is that we celebrate in the summer, when our paddocks are full, our orchards abundant with trees, bowing to the ground with fruit.
There is so much glorious produce and when it comes to sharing your festivities, a basket, box, a trolley even, of the best Victoria has to offer can be the most heartwarming way to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or just Gosh I'm Glad I Know You ...
Now this is one of the handiest options - a lovely insulated bamboo trolley from Naheda's Choice.You can pick one up from Naheda for $14.95 (bargain!) or, if you buy over $100 of choice items, such as her rose petal Turkish delight, she will throw it in free.If you are worried about filling this up, add a bunch of flowers or a bunch of celery. Celery is big.
Heritage Chocolate have some lovely wrapped chocolate selections, which are just perfect for a large family. The kids can eat a Santa while parents check out fancy praline fillings.
La Biscotteria are new to the Market this year and have swept me away with their fresh, handmade Italian biscuits. Just in time for Christmas they've introduced selection boxes which you can have made up with your own choice of Baci di Dama, Ossa Mordere and Ricciarelli. The fresh fruit and nuts in these biscuits really stand out and beat a tin of Danish butter cookies hands down.
Here's one of the quintessential Christmas gifts, the presentation box of cherries. Trust me, there is never a house where this is spurned, left to sit under the tree until it gets tossed on January 6. You can find presentation boxes from different growers at our many fruiterers, including Koala Country which came top in Epicure's Christmas Cherry Road Test at F & J Fruiterers and Reliable Fruit & Vegies.
Above, Damian Pike shows how to store a cherry box, lid on, and upside down until you're ready to serve. This preserves the beautiful presentation of the top layer. (Apparently this also means you can help yourself from the bottom of the box without anyone knowing but I didn't tell you that!)
|Spanish Paella Kit from The Essential Ingredient|
We have shopping baskets at Prahran Market Hardware and wicker ones at Donnally's Party Supplies that you may fill with what your heart desires. Or stop by the Essential Ingredient for one of their indulgent hampers, including personalised chalkboard crates.
And if you're after the uber-local, Shannon at Swords has a selection of Victorian craft beer packs, including this one brewed in Brunswick. It's hard to get nearer than that!
|Coffee hamper from Jasper Coffee|
Any of our traders will be happy to help you put together a wonderful combination of treats and treasures for your loved ones. Mix and match, fill it high, make it wonderful. It is Christmas after all and it only comes once a year.