No, I'm not talking about John Waters' Christmas album, though the warning on the package about the explicit lyrics contained within is rather intriguing. What I have in mind is something much more local. And, as my pal Kristin says about her idea of the perfect gift, the best part is you don't have to dust or store any of them.
The first is the 2008 Pacific NW Artisan Cheese calendar, a collection of photos and information from the Pacific NW Cheese Project blog. As it says in the post, "highlights include shots of a Juniper Grove Farm Pyramid, Rivers Edge Chevre Illahee, Pholia Farm Elk Mountain, Mt. Townsend Creamery Seastack" and more. So if you're tired of finding yet another calendar for the relatives full of beauty shots of the Oregon coast or, heaven forbid, kittens rolling in balls of yarn, this might just fit the bill. And for $17.95, that bill isn't much.
The second is the Cheese O' The Month Club from Foster & Dobbs Authentic Foods. Each month you can give (or, better yet, get) three cheeses, including one American farmstead cheese, one European variety and a third selected to go with the other two. Plus they'll include information on the cheeses and suggestions for their use. There are three and six-month subscriptions available at $90 and $180, respectively, and shipping can be arranged for an additional charge.
And, of course, nothing goes better with cheese (or anything, really) than wine. And Vino, my brother's wine shop in Sellwood, has gift certificates to put under the tree or, if you'd like to send a bottle of Oregon pinot to Dad, he can ship your selection and save Dad the trouble of choosing for himself.
So if the idea of the self-liquidating gift is ringing your Christmas chimes like it does mine, you could do worse than to give the gift of tastiness!
Details: 2008 Pacific NW Cheese Calendar available online.
Cheese O' The Month Club from Foster & Dobbs Authentic Foods, 2518 NE 15th Ave. Phone 503-284-1157.
Vino Gift Certificates from Vino, 1226 SE Lexington in Sellwood. Phone 503-235-8545.