Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last Minute Gifts for Your Favorite Cooks

A Guest Blog by Cyn

Hello Holiday Shoppers!

What to get the Cook in your life?  It's been a hot topic of conversation lately, with friends and family all wondering what to procure for each other for the holidays, and some of my foodie friends sharing their lists for Santa with me.  We've got some great ideas, some of which are even free!!!

For the avid cheffers in your household, here are my favorite to get and receive gifts:

Wicked sharp paring knives, the semi-disposable kind that come in a multi pack at your local home store.  We don't always want to use our 'good' knives for some of the more menial tasks in the kitchen.  Loud and obnoxious colors are a good thing for handles, so don't be afraid to color it up a bit.  The hotter the color the less likely we are to lose the knife in whatever we're peeling.

Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peelers are the best vegetable peelers for my money.
And as veg peelers are nearly impossible to sharpen, you'll want to buy them in packs of 3, which fortuitously, is how these are packaged.  Great stocking stuffer!  (Note of Warning:  these are for advanced peelers - they work best and fastest when you hold the veg in one hand and rotate as you peel with the other, bring the peeler toward you.  More of a professional bad ass style of peeling, but with a little practice, anyone can master this.  It's incredibly fast, and no, you won't cut yourself, regardless of what your mother may have told you.  Good for peeling carrots. <snort>)

Finishing salt.  Some of which can now be found at your local grocer - check the aisle - betcha you find something fancy!

Interesting vinegars.  Champagne, fig, raspberry, we don't discriminate.  Really want to impress us?  Make us a bottle.

Good cookbooks.  Check out James Beard Award Winners, Amazon has a nice list.  If you are lucky enough to have a good used book store in your city, a well loved and used version of a classic cookbook (preferably with notes in the margins) makes a great gift.  Some of my favorite must have food books are, in no order of preference;

The Flavor Bible, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg
Gourmet Cookbook (the yellow one), edited by Ruth Reichl
Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan
anything by Jamie Oliver (what can I say?  I have a soft spot for grungy Brits who have big gardens and want kids to eat well)
and speaking of Brits ----
Nigel Slater's Tender is a fabulous food and garden read
Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is a must for your vegetarian.

Now about those 'free' gifts....find a few of your favorite recipes and copy them onto pretty card stock.  Double points for writing them out by hand.  This is probably one of my most favorite gifts to receive.

Create a coupon for a free kitchen clean up, or for a free recipe organization of everything that's been shoved into that file folder next to the Cuisinart.  It'll cost you some time, but isn't spending a little time with your loved ones really what the holiday is all about?

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely way to hint to Al what to get you for Christmas :) The idea of the hand written recipe cards is lovely. Wishing you both a very happy Christmas xx


Pea on this, Pea on that

Peas have a reputation.  And it ain't good - starchy and a weird color, very often the color of something a babe has recycled. But in fa...