Hyper-Local Housewarming

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The real estate market is going nuts right now, so odds are that you know someone who is moving.

The last year did a number on housewarming “parties,” so that necessitated creativity. As a local (self-proclaimed) foodie, this was a particularly fun challenge for me to care for friends and family as well as support local artisans.

If I know someone living in the area who was moving away, it is nice to give them a little piece of “home” to take with them. If someone is moving in from somewhere else (maybe getting a new neighbor), it is a good chance to introduce them to the area. And if someone is moving from point A to point B in the same area, it’s just a good opportunity to spoil them.

Best part is, all of this is consumable; so I know I am not providing excess clutter for my friends to worry about as they unpack.

I am also a bit of a geek for history and tradition.

Call me sentimental, but I love to infuse a bit of those when it comes to gift-giving. That being said, here are some traditional housewarming gifts, presented in a hyper-local way.

Bread

The traditional meaning of giving someone bread is “so that this house many never know hunger.”

We have some fantastic bakeries here in Colorado Springs. One of my favorites is The Sourdough Boulangerie. The baker, Shawn Saunders uses as many locally sourced products as possible to make his bread and they are a great source of whole grains. My current favorites are the Roasted Garlic Rosemary Sourdough and the Pueblo Chili with one-year-aged White Cheddar Loaf. For an extra touch, pick up a hand roll of Sawatch Artisan Foods butter; you will not regret it.

Salt

The traditional presentation of salt as a housewarming gift is “that life may always have flavor.”

If you have never spent time inside Savory Spice, go treat yourself. The aroma draws you in, and the possibilities keep you there. One current staple in my house right now is Black Garlic Salt. It adds that little something extra to just about everything. If funky garlic is a little too out-of-the-box, at least you have put yourself in the right spot to find about a dozen other versions of salt to add flavor to your friend’s new digs.

Houseplant

The houseplant traditionally means “may your home always have life.”

This one could be a bold gesture depending on just how green your friend’s thumbs may be. But, I am going to throw an option in there anyway. Colorado’s state flower is the Columbine. It appears delicate and graceful, but that little plant is super hearty.

Visit Phelan Gardens to pick out this little piece of Colorado to anoint your friend’s house.A fun historical fact about the Columbine is that botanist and mountain climber Edwin James discovered and named this flower on the first recorded summit of Pikes Peak. Although there are a few different varieties, the Rocky Mountain Columbine is blue, white, and yellow. These colors are said to represent the sky, snow and gold mining history, respectively.

Wine

The traditional gift of wine as a housewarming gift can either indicate prosperity or good cheer. (I like to think it’s probably both.)

For those who choose to imbibe, wine is a welcome gift. Colterris Winery is located in Palisade Colorado and have some pretty phenomenal wines. A bottle of this would be appreciated by most wine-drinkers. And, if not, it is also great to cook with.

We also have another unique winery a little closer in Palmer Lake, Colorado. Evergood Elixers makes wine from lemons instead of grapes. The shelf life is better than wine and the labels are quite cute.

For those who choose not to imbibe (or cannot for one reason or another), Pikes Peak Lemonade Company has some stellar alternatives that infuse a little bit of local into a unique drink that is bound to bring some good cheer.

Honey

Honey as a traditional housewarming gift is wishing the sweetness of life for the recipient.

Local honey is said to have lots of good properties. I believe it, but even if you don’t, its yummy! The Honey Cottage is a great way to find some local honey to add to the mix.

Broom

Yeah, we’re just going to skip this one.

Olive Oil

Olive oil as a traditional housewarming gift is said to represent “health and well-being.”

Venice Olive Oil here in Colorado Springs is an Ultra Premium olive oil distributor and they are consumers of their own product. They have many options for oil and also stock Balsamic Vinegars in a variety of flavors. If you need help choosing, staff is educated to help or to offer tastings.

Wood

The traditional concept of gifting wood is to wish someone stability and peace.

Fine. This one is not a consumable, but it’s handy. Since you have basically gifted your friend half of a charcuterie experience, why not finish it up?

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Rochelle is a desert-rat from Arizona who kept moving north until she hit Colorado Springs; good luck getting her to leave now. She wasted no time snagging her husband under the pretense of athleticism and outdoorsy-ness. Among other things, eleven years of marriage has yielded two beautiful daughters, Harper and Quinn. Momming these super-sassy littles is her biggest adventure yet, and provides for some serious writing material. Rochelle works out of the home also, and has a diverse background in public relations, social work, student advising, youth ministry and pyrotechnics. She is presently finishing up her MBA and is juggling all of it fairly well for a person with little to no hand-eye-coordination. She is a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child and she is beyond grateful for hers.

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