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GCAC Presents: North Market Holiday Favorites

 Mary Martineau GCAC Presents: North Market Holiday Favorites
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These are a few of my favorite things.

The North Market is a splendid place to work (for me), shop and visit (for all) during  the holidays. If one is nostalgic for “the old days”, the atmosphere of the Market can transport you back to a bygone era and kindle your seasonal cheer. In the holiday spirit, I took a tour of my workplace and noted some of my most coveted and comforting commodities in the hopes to inspire your own visions of this time of year that invokes hopes for peace on earth and good will towards men. Let’s see what my little A to Z mental shopping spree tallies up to, shall we?

When I am in need of a little pick-me-up I stop by A Touch of Earth for a  chai latte ($3.50), or a bag of Haribo Gummi Bears ($4.99#).

I am a big fan of bubbly, any time of the year really, but especially during  the holidays and the Il Follo Prosecco ($14.99) available at The Barrel and Bottle can put me in a holiday frame of mind in no time.

I’m a grazer and I love making party trays with lots of options so I head to Best of the Wurst which carries Boar’s Head brand lunch meats ($8.99-9.99#) and cheeses that are perfect sandwich components.

Better Earth has a lovely array of vintage brooches ($40) any number of which would look fabulous on my winter wool coat!

Urban Chefs barbeque sauce ($4.99) makes everything better (I like to put into and on top of my mom’s meatloaf recipe) and when Anthony’s not here selling it in person I can get it at Bluescreek Farm Meats (along with all of the carnivorous fixings for meatloaf, or a premade loaf if I feel like loafing).

Nothing beats fresh squeezed OJ in the morning and I can pick it up by the half gallon ($12) at Bubbles, the Tea and Juice Co. made fresh right in front of me.

I am a fan of most of the salsas at CaJohn’s Flavor and Fire but my very favorite is the Macioce’s Italian Salsa (6 for $25) in mild or medium. I put it on chips, top my quesadillas with it and it’s perfect for simmering cocktail meatballs.

Being a child of the seventies the Candy Shack’s 1970 nostalgia pack ($19.95) is just that for me. Replete with Reese’s Cups, Big League Chew, Ring Pops, Lucky Strike bubble gum cigarettes, Sugar Babies, Atomic Fire Balls, Tootsie Pops and more I feel like I’m at the five-and-dime store with my allowance.

I love Curds & Whey as Mike carries two of my favorite cheeses, Parrano and Cambozola, but he also stocks Ben’s Sweet and Hot Mustard ($6.99) from Kingston, Ohio which is the perfect afternoon snack with an Omega Artisan Baking pretzel roll ($.95).

If I’m in the mood for something sweet I swing by Expressly Market Bakery and Bistro and hem and haw over whether to pick the peanut butter or oatmeal raisin cookie ($1.75).

When bringing an appetizer to a party I never miss with Firdous Express hummus and pita ($9), Sarefino’s stromboli platter ($45 feeds 20-25), or Holy Smoke BBQ’s smoked chicken wings ($5.99 for 6).

One of my “quickie” meals for my husband and I is to steam a couple pounds of P.E.I. mussels ($3.99#) from The Fish Guys in white wine and shallots. Or Chicken pot pies handmade by North Market Poultry & Game. Or Florentine Ravioli ($12.99#) from Pastaria Seconda with Spinach and Prosciutto sauce from Pastaria ($8.99#)…with a piece of tiramisu ($2.99) to share for dessert of course!

The lamb curry at Flavors of India with a samosa ($8.99) on the side is a great lunch to share when the aforementioned husband joins me for lunch.

Putting The Greener Grocer’s candied rosemary walnuts ($4.99) on top of a salad always impresses my friends.

Heil’s Family Deli carries on another time-honored Market tradition: they carry eggs from the same farm where Dorothy Gatterdam, “The Egg Lady”, bought them ($3.25 dozen).

If I want to feel like I’m back in my hometown of Cleveland I grab some pierogi ($1.50 each) from Hubert’s Polish Kitchen.

Jeni’s holiday flavors ($10/pint) are to-die-for. Try the Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows or the Sweet Cream with Appalachian Elderberries and tell me I’m wrong.

I never go wrong with the #9 ($6) from Lan Viet Market: broken rice, noodles, grilled chicken and fresh veggies. And the Pad Thai ($6.75) at Nida’s Sushi really is the best in town.

Want to laugh hysterically? Stop by Market Blooms and start reading the Mik Wright cards ($3.50 each) with vintage photos and hilarious captions.

Mozart’s North Market Bakery is my source for cut-out cookies ($1.50 each) for all occasions.

I have a decent collection of Le Creuset ($35-$200+) but I am still mesmerized by the colorful display at North Market Cookware and the Fiestaware ($2.80- $21) from The Source by Wasserstrom that fills my cabinets.

Sure to capture my husband’s chocolate-loving heart? North Market Spices’ custom Hot Cocoa Mix ($7.99). A blend of cocoa powder, powdered milk, sugar, cayenne and cinnamon that’s dreamy. Or Dark Chocolate Cashew Clusters ($7.50 for ¼ #) from Pure Imagination Chocolatier.

The sweet and salty kettle-cornesque popcorn ($4 small) at Pam’s Market Popcorn is another get-me-through-the-day snack. Or an amazing waffle ($3.50) from Taste of Belgium to start my day off sweetly.

The North Market is a Columbus tradition that just gets better for the holidays! I went on quite the hypothetical buying binge and managed to spend about $400 in Monopoly money. How would you do?

Want to experience some fun holiday shopping? The North Market Holiday Open House & Craft Extravaganza will take place on Saturday, December 4 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The second floor will host 45 local artisans peddling their handmade wares and North Market merchants will sample holiday fare. For more information please visit our website.

GCAC Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.

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