Another Season for Southern Season

Southern_Season_ExteriorOne of my favorite places in the area is Southern Season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (It must be true! This is my second post in as many years!) Southern Season is a specialty shop for all seasons, but it’s especially fun this time of year.

I stepped into Southern Season earlier this week, and the store had been transformed into a Thanksgiving and (mostly) Christmas emporium. True, throughout the place were many of the usual delights: an abundance of fragrant coffee beans, an array of teas, shiny kitchen gadgets, glistening-glass jars of old-fashioned candies…and, of course, Tar Heel Sugar Cookies and Chapel Hill Toffee. But there was more. So much more.

Southern_Season_Sugar

The selection of sugars was mesmerizing. Sugar Crystals. Sanding Sugar. Shimmer Sugar. Even Edible Sugar Confetti. Something tells me that my old-fashioned sugar cookies are gonna look especially festive this year, Sugar Lumps.

Southern_Season_Cheese_Straws

I was resistant to cheese straws for many years. (How un-southern of me!) I didn’t see the appeal, but I’ve since warmed to their charms. And now there’s a charming little box of pimento cheese straws sitting in my kitchen.

Southern_Season_Christmas

Oh, the joy I had peering at the Christmas gifts and studying each ornament. (Sadly, I did not see a single nativity, but it’s possible that I overlooked it.)

Southern_Season_PeppermintBark

The bowl was full when I got there. Just kidding. Okay, I DID have one or two…okay, THREE…pieces of the south’s—nay, the WORLD’S—best peppermint bark EVER. Southern Season Peppermint Bark. Try it, if you can! Fans of peppermint and chocolate will love it, I think.

There were other samples scattered throughout the store. (What a great way to try before you buy!) Besides the cheese straws and the peppermint bark, I saw ginger cookie samples, as well as nuts for anyone so inclined—some all spiced up, and others down-to-earth-plain but plainly delicious.

Southern_Season_Gift_Baskets

This was my favorite display. Maybe it was the pretty, plaid toffee tin. Maybe it was the cardinal theme. Or the berries and boughs. But it was probably all of the above. …And Southern Season’s famous gift basket section can be glimpsed just beyond.

Here’s a bit of trivia—and a puzzle, too! Check out the store’s exterior photo from my first post two years ago and compare it to the store’s exterior in this post (found at the top). Do you see the difference? They’ve dropped the “A” but kept the “Southern Season.”

With stores now in Chapel Hill, Richmond (VA), Charleston (SC), and online, Southern Season spreads its southern appeal to the masses. And continues to grow. Raleigh and Charlotte, it looks like there’s a Southern Season coming your way in January 2015!

Wherever you are, enjoy the season.

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