CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Better get a big stocking. There’s lots of stuffing options out there.

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Happy Holidays. Here’s the beginning of a gift guide.

Remember, some of these can be for yourself. Let the games begin!

Tabletopics — Who is the funniest person you know?

What is the best gift you have ever received? Which team do you root for?

Enjoy a quote on one side and flip for stimulating questions. Even people you’ve known a long time will have some new stories stemming from these conversation starters.

The clear box full of orange cards looks sleek on your table — tabletopics.com.

Pando — This draw-the-card game has questions about how well you know the players.

Ask those assembled “What kind of dressing do I get on my salad,” “Did I ride in a limo to prom,” “Am I a good gift giver” and “Who would I consider my mentor?”

Fun, trivial and deep-thinking questions are sure to make a great gathering memorable.

Now isn’t that better than the same old thing? Learn more at playpando.com.

NEFT — The ultra premium vodka is packaged in a tin and aluminum barrel that looks just right in our Texas oil industry.

The black barrel keeps your vodka colder, longer and it’s all about reducing carbon footprints.

Another thing is, NEFT is designed to be consumed neat, with spring water filtered through slate and granite for 50 years beneath the Rhaetian Alps on the border of Austria and Switzerland.

So it’s oxygen-rich. Honestly, that is super-cool info but you don’t need a bit of it to enjoy NEFT.

I was happy to share it with you and very happy to sip some NEFT.

I got a palate of caramel, citrus peel, wet stone, almond, anise and more to go into that barrel — neftvodkaus.com.

Fab Slabs — Cutting board? Sounds like work in the kitchen. Wooden snack board?

Count me in. Put a 100 percent Australian antibacterial board to use in your kitchen with Fab Slabs USA’s beautiful pieces.

When I opened the box, the wood smelled so good I kept it in my bedroom a few days just for the aroma. Now it is in practical use.

Look on fabslabsusa.com to see how they are made, tests to show their durability and how to care for your board.

Need to impress several people? Order an engraving.

Camphor laurel is tough and the oils prevent bacteria. As a person who has spent several months sorting through my late mother’s extremely aged and battered kitchen gadgets, it is wonderful to have a Fab Slab in the house now.

I cut onions and peppers daily, but I do have ideas of presenting one of those tempting charcuterie spreads on a Fab Slab.

Trailheads — You’ve got to look cool on your run even while you’re keeping warm.

Try a running beanie that lets your ponytail come through a couple of ways.

Trailways.com has warm styles that cover your ears, and that’s what drew me to it.

I’ll be birding in warm style even though my hair is shorter. Foodies with longer locks can be styling as they run to the coffee shop.

Efficient fashions for sporty men are also here.

Sport. Fitness. Wellness. CaniBrands promotes with these three words and the phrase “Feel Amazing.”

CBD is non-intoxicating, and people of all ages are finding it effective for a variety of issues including stress, energy and sleep.

Oils to focus and energize include caffeine and vitamins. That’s the boost, and another is called mend.

Fresh is for anxiety and sleep … well, you know. There’s also a spray version.

This line appears to be very trustworthy, and leaders in sports science are endorsing it.

Another “Darragh” likes this brand. Olympic swimmer Dara Torres endorses this brand as a sleep aid. These are working. See what others are saying at canibrandsglobal.com.

Get personal — I’ve carried the same brass D keychain for years, and now Bonds&Wonders has a delicate little glittery D for my neck.

It’s an eye catcher and a conversation starter. May, the creator, has gathered raw gemstones, gold-filled necklaces, etc. to create custom necklaces to honor the wearer or recipient.

How about stones to represent all the women in your family? Or wear names and messages.

Take your time deciding at bondsandwonders.com.

Prato Botanico — Prickly pear for your eyes? Foodies listen up.

Aloe vera, lemon, olive, orange, rosemary, sage, wheat and even tobacco are ingredients in this luxurious line from Italy that comes with wooden lids.

You’ll want to enjoy your dabs a long time and enjoy the look of the bottles as well as the feel of your skin.

I’m loving samples from this line with sustainable organics from the Southern Italian region of Salento. It soaks in and does the job.

Hyaluronic action is included.

Read about the Botanical Meadow experience at pratobotanico.com.

 

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who loves giving as much as receiving. Remember, a simple note or phone call during the holidays is its own gift —darraghcastillo@icloud.com.