The time machine on everybody’s wish list this year is unavailable, so how about the gift of something extra-nice to eat? Some specially delicious foodstuff — or a few fancy ingredients, a recipe and/or online class for making something new and lovely — will lend a bright moment to these dark days and, bonus, may be sent contactless from far, far away. With these 10 options, you’re also supporting local food endeavors during very hard times — and on that note, please don’t overlook the option of a gift certificate for a favorite restaurant. And please do also consider all those who don’t have enough to eat this holiday season, much less the luxury of such gifting, and make a generous donation to an organization such as Northwest Harvest (, Food Lifeline ( or a local food bank.

• Send a little Pacific Northwest-style celebration with an Oystergram from the fifth-generation, family-run Hama Hama Company. Your lucky friend receives a red-ribboned box containing a gift card to get some of the region’s most stellar oysters at their convenience, delivered super-fresh from scenic Hood Canal. ($59.95,

• Do Deborah Tuggle’s OG Dough Balls make “THE BEST COOKIES EVER,” as her website shouts? Let someone you deem worthy be the judge of that by sending them a bake-at-home batch to try all warm, chewy, chocolate-chunky and nutty — and tell them that her recipe is the original, fanatically loved Metropolitan Market one. (Half-dozen 5-ounce frozen cookie dough balls, $20,

• Under the careful eye and palate of owner Mehdi Boujrada, local company Villa Jerada imports the best Moroccan and Levantinian spices, olive oils and more — products that places such as Altura, Le Pichet, L’Oursin and Mamnoon use. A gift card for enough to order, say, the Shakshuka Kit, actually does keep on giving in the form of a lovely supper with ingredients to spare — and don’t miss all the great free recipes on the Villa Jerada website while you’re there. (Various price points,

• Give the gift of “the skills you need to make any pie you want” with a copy of Port Angeles pastry-and-filling expert Kate McDermott’s new book “Pie Camp.” Have it sent from her local indie bookstore, Port Book & News, and she’ll sign it, too. ($28,

• Send ready-to-heat-and-eat savory pie greatness to anyone in the Seattle-Tacoma area with a digital gift card from Pot Pie Factory. Owner Logan Niles makes them right, with butter crusts and quality ingredients — plus gluten-free, vegan and halal options, too. Whoever gets some of these to pop into the oven on a cold pandemic day will feel the love. (Various amounts,


• If you’re the kind of weirdo, I mean, perfectly normal and exceptionally thoughtful person, who wants to send a friend a jar of the best Dijon mustard ever (Amora brand), a bottle of the fish sauce chefs love (Red Boat), a couple of pounds of primo cocoa powder (ChefShop’s house-packed) or the special Japanese seaweed salt that Samin Nosrat swears by (Amabito No Moshio), Seattle’s dizzyingly wonderful ChefShop online is your spot. (Various prices,

• Giving people the gift of cheese under normal circumstances is difficult, what with having to say “you need to open this right away” and then acting as if you don’t want to help them eat it all immediately. During COVID-19, however, shipping the beautiful work of Washington artisan cheesemakers to a fellow cheese-freak is an excellent way to help everyone involved get through this difficult time. Order yourself some, too. (Prices vary, — click on “Where can I buy artisan cheese?”)

• This is a fun one: For a fraction of the cost of the prepandemic IRL thing, Sound Excursions’ Chef Box Live offers on-demand video cooking classes from choice local chefs, complete with recipes and shopping lists. Send somebody chef Matt Lewis’ tutorial on his Where Ya At Matt Creole jambalaya, Liz Kenyon’s lesson on a Rupee Bar-worthy squash curry, or a pasta-making class with Osteria la Spiga’s Sabrina Tinsley. Treat yourself to a class, too, and plan a time to cook and eat virtually together. (From $14.99,

• Seattle chef/all-star butcher Kristina Glinoga is a champion of “Meat Education for All,” and her now-online Butchery 101 classes give the gift of excellent meat-technique, along with all due respect and appreciation for the animals’ lives. And if you want to go big, givingwise, consider consulting her on a local/sustainable/ethical meat share — which you could get in on, too. (Prices vary,

• For another carnivorous splurge, family-run, Seattle-based Marx Foods is ready to send a special someone a big box of beautiful meat. They source from all over to get what they pledge is the purest, most well-cared-for, carefully butchered and handled meat, formerly available only to restaurants such as Kamonegi and Manolin, now ready to demonstrate your holiday generosity. (Various price points,