by nathan oster
The annual Spring Home and Gift Show provided an assortment of handcrafted and name-brand products from vendors around the Big Horn Basin. The show was held Saturday in the newly renovated Herb Asp Community Center.
Many of the vendors present were salesmen of name-brand products such as Scentsy candles and scent products, Pampered Chef kitchen items, or It Works! health products. The more sought-after booths offered handcrafted goods.
Reggie Henderson was present with his novelty brittle. Basin Brittle Co. has grown to over 85 different flavors and Henderson says he still wakes up in the middle of the night with new ideas.
“I think once I get to 100 flavors, I’ll have to put them into a book,” he said.
The combinations vary from classic, such as PB&J, to more creative flavors like beef jerky with fresh dried jalapenos.
All of Henderson’s brittle confections are made in the microwave and only take around six minutes per batch.
Eric and Tricia Czapla from Powell brought several samples of their authentic Wyoming apple smoked cheeses for shoppers to try. In a process “that many try, but very few have mastered,” Zap’s Smoke Shack cold smokes a variety of cheeses, which the couple buys wholesale.
Cold smoking is a more time-consuming process than hot or liquid cheese smoking, but the cold-smoked cheese retains its original flavor, color, and form, while adding just the right amount of apple awood taste.
Another couple from Powell displayed their Pendleton wool hand-woven rugs, scarves, and linens.
Craig and Barb Pearson used to make handcrafted wooden toys and puzzles, but believe “Gameboys and other video games” put them out of business. So, the two began practicing the lost art of hand weaving.
Weaving Side by Side has been in business for over two years and the couple has conquered just about every pattern that’s out there and have even manipulated or combined some of them to create their own patterns.
“That’s the fun of it,” said Barb.
The spring show offered plenty of unique and creative gifts and had a great attendance from the community.