Mother’s Day Chocolate and Maine Gift Guide
It’s not all chocolate and flowers around here. A lot of chocolate flowers, sure, as we prep for Mother’s Day, but there are many other things we think about when it comes to honoring our moms. I’ll get back to chocolate in a moment, but here are a few of our favorite non-chocolate items the you might consider for Mother’s Day from the fabulous state of Maine. These are our go-to artists, stores, websites, and ideas for fun, won’t-break-the-bank gifts for Mom:
Hand-painted tea towels, cloth napkins, aprons, table runners, all in colorful designs. I give these towels and napkins whenever I need a gift, and they are always met with real smiles. They are pretty and practical, and they travel easily when I am visiting folks far away. And don’t get me started on the throw pillows. They add sunshine to every room. See Pretty Flours here.
Lisa Gent Handcrafted Jewelry
I have worn the same Lisa Gent necklace almost every day for I-don’t-know-how-many years. My husband gave it to me as a gift when we met Lisa at one of the local Maine craft shows. The necklace is versatile, easy, elegant, and not overly fancy. I get compliments on it all the time! I have since gotten some earrings (good husband!), and given Lisa’s jewelry as gifts to my sister-in-law and niece. Lisa has items in many price ranges, so something is sure to be right for Mom and possibly for you too. Plus, Lisa is a delightful person, who will custom make anything you and she can imagine. You’ll definitely want to check out her website.
Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery
Summer’s coming, and that brings gin-and-tonic season. Sweetgrass’ award-winning Back River Gin is made in Union, Maine with Maine grains and fruits. Given the “Best US Contemporary Gin” blue ribbon by World Gin Awards, Sweetgrass knows how to do this right. And if gin is not your thing (or Mom’s) try the Cranberry Apple wine or the Cranberry Smash. Both are tart and sweet and pair so well with whatever is on your table, including the best-ever Maine lobster roll (see below :O). See Sweetgrass wine and spirits here.
Bite into Maine
These lobster rolls are the real deals. If you are visiting Maine, and you ask us where to find the best traditional (and/or more inventive) lobster rolls, this is where we send you. Bite into Maine has it figured out. If you’re reading this from outside of Maine, they ship! So, on Mother’s Day, order a batch or go out to Fort Williams or any of their other locations for a picnic with a lobster roll as the main course. It’s so easy and soooo good!
These guys started small right here in Maine, repurposing used sails into carry-all, must-have totes and accessories. Now they’ve taken that model and expanded into stores up and down the East Coast, Midwest, and recently in California. That just means there are more designs and bag sizes to choose from, and that choice has never been easy. Now you can find something for everyone and feel good about recycling, reusing, and repurposing a sail turned into a beautiful bag from Maine. Check out the company and their designs here.
Down East Magazine
A real magazine. Retro, huh? But this way, Mom, or anyone else, can curl up with a cup of tea and unplug. It’s so needed these days, even if we don’t always realize it. This magazine covers the whole state, from east to west, north to south, and brings thoughtful, interesting, valuable stories to their readers. Unlike some other magazines that I pick up from time to time, I always get something out of every article I read in Down East. If you love the state and want something comforting and enlightening to sit with and enjoy, this is a great gift for a full year of Maine. Find Down East magazine here.
Speaking of curling up, we love nothing more than a good read from one of our local independent bookstores. There are several right here in Portland and throughout the state. In so many ways, they beat the big warehouse sellers. It’s a joy to be surrounded by books, talk with someone who knows them well, and browse to our heart’s content. Here are just a few of the bookstores we love here in Portland:
If you have a good book and some pretty tea towels and a bag to go on a picnic, all you need now is some great chocolate to complete the day. Here are a few of our favorite chocolate items for Mother’s Day and as the days get warmer heading into summer.
Pretty and delicious, our dark, milk, and (a touch of) white chocolate flowers can be the centerpiece of a Mother’s Day brunch or a focal point of your gift to Mom. Daisies, daffodils, roses, and peonies, each backed by a dark or milk chocolate truffle, are wrapped up in a bouquet of six or twelve flowers. Mom can share if she wants, or she can also stash them away till she has a chance to enjoy them on her own.
This simple gift under ten dollars is just enough chocolate to sweeten her day and it says so much about what she means to you. The three words include “MOM,” “XOXO,” and “❤️❤️❤️,” which really says it all.
Award-Winning Maine Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
As the days get warmer and ice cream takes center stage (maybe it’s always center stage), our Maine sea salt caramel sauce is the perfect topper to take your summer dessert to the next level. A Good Food award winner in 2020, the sauce is made with simple, natural, and good-for-the-environment ingredients. The caramel delivers a sweet/salt mix, an irresistible combo with any of your favorite ice cream flavors.
And while we’re talking sauces, my favorite is our hot fudge sauce. Why? Because it’s dark and rich and sweet and perfect with all kinds of ice cream. It’s probably good with other flavors too, but I love a high-quality vanilla ice cream to contrast the chocolate (peppermint is a close second for me). And just like the Maine sea salt caramel sauce, this hot fudge is made with simple, natural ingredients. Any sundae would profit from having a dollop of hot fudge on top.
We think Mom might agree.