Holiday Gift Guide - Page 20 - Local matters

Holiday Gift Guide
- Page 20
Local matters

Inspired gifts show hometown pride


By Elizabeth Schuman, Contributing Writer


Whether you’re shopping for a childhood friend living in a landlocked Midwest state or a relative hankering for hometown love, a Baltimore or Maryland gift packs an emotional punch. Local finds spark memories of time spent here, remind the recipient of you (best gift ever!) and support local businesses. Put iconic Maryland brands, state- or city-monikered keepsakes and homegrown history on your list. Be the gift giver who says … there’s no place like home.




The official state dessert of Maryland, the Smith Island cake has traveled far from its Eastern shore roots, with shout-outs from National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal and Southern Living. Traditionalists might prefer the original, up to 10 thin layers of yellow cake sandwiched with fudge frosting. Others might crave new flavors including red velvet, carrot and lemon. Based in Crisfield, Md., the company ships worldwide. 




If you’re from Baltimore, it’s oh-so-easy to pick up a pack of the cake-like Berger cookie topped with a mound of fudge. Not so much for those who live outside the Old Line State. “If you aren’t in this region, you can’t get Berger Cookies,” says owner Charlie DeBaufre Jr. The Baltimore based firm ships everywhere, including a fair number military bases, too, he says. 




The bold BALT on this graphic pillow is sure to be a conversation-starter. Handcrafted by artists in a small Massachusetts firm, the BALT lumbar-style pillow is individually hand-cut, pieced, stitched and stuffed. The thick, soft pillow is fashioned from 100 percent cotton canvas with an appliqué of wool blend felt. Becket Hitch owner Kohli Flick says this 14-inches-by-21-inches pillow is perfect for a new homeowner in town, a college student or perhaps someone who moved away and pines for B’more. 




Harkening to Fells Point history as a shipbuilding center in the 1700s, the finely crafted polished wood replica of the Privateer Schooner USS Comet takes the ship out of the bottle – literally. Baltimore-built in 1810, the first USS Comet was a United States Navy schooner in commission as a privateer from 1812 to 1813. The perfectly scaled replica reflects the initiative of Baltimore shipbuilders, who adapted traditional cargo ships by modifying the hull for faster passage through water. 




Before the Ravens, there was, well, The Raven. Surprise a literary-minded friend with a trio of Poe-inspired gifts. Considered the father of the modern detective story, likely Poe would have raised an eyebrow (or a drink) to the game Mystery Rummy, based on Murders in the Rue Morgue. No true fan would be without a woodcut print of Poe’s likeness and who wouldn’t want a Poe candle, if only to shed light on the master of macabre. 




Crafted of butcher block and sustainably harvested hard maple wood by local artisans, the cutting board is one of many available Baltimore- and Maryland-themed selections (other states and customizations available). “The board is also great to use as a cheeseboard or for charcuterie,” says Dawn Hudson, Trohv store manager. Give this gift and be in good company: In 2015, the boards were a finalist in the Martha Stewart American made design contest and landed on Oprah’s holiday list. 




No matter if your gift recipient indulges in the salty bivalve, this heirloom-worthy oyster knife packs plenty of merit. To start, the handsome handle is carved by master woodworker Dan German from timbers used to build the Pride of Baltimore II. The limited edition knife is numbered and bundled with a hanging wood plaque and certificate of authenticity. Beyond the cool factor, this gift keeps giving. Proceeds support the Oyster Recovery Partnership and Pride of Baltimore, Inc. 




Designed by Baltimore-born Melissa Weinstein, who