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Oak Park jam maker Elizabeth Madden has rolled out several new flavors since I wrote about her magnificent Rare Bird Preserves last month. There's apple-caramel, lemon-apple-cinnamon, pear-vanilla-pinot blanc, and chocolate-orange, and by next week she should have Meyer lemon-rosemary ready to jar.
A number of retailers around town are incorporating those jams and others into holiday gift baskets such as Marion Street Cheese Market's "Brie Bird Basket", which features Madden's lemon-apple-cinnamon, a French Camembert (poetic license, I guess), La Panzanella Croccantini Italian flatbread, a California chardonnay, and a round ceramic Brie baker ($82).
The Goddess and Grocer has two gift baskets featuring Rare Bird: "Breakfast Around the Table" contains a jar of jam, Vosges Mo' Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix, Stonewall Kitchens maple syrup and scone mix, a one-pound bag of Intelligentsia coffee, Mighty Leaf tea, Kschocolat Hot Chocolate mix, and Milk & Honey granola ($85). Their "Chi Town is My Town" basket contains a jar of jam, Goddess handmade cookies, Vosges pancake mix and a candy bar, Milk & Honey granola, Beeline Honey, Intelligentsia Coffee, Smoke Daddy BBQ Sauce, Nicole's Divine Crackers, Plocky's Chips, Frontera salsa, Terry's Toffee, assorted truffles from Rich Chocolates, and more. ($150).