Pick a Present
In recent years I’ve told my family and friends that I don’t want any gifts bigger than the proverbial bread box. Keep it small or edible, I say.
If you’re thinking about what to get your foodie friends, you might consider some of the following:
Remember what Julia Child said: “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
20 Goodies and Gadgets for Foodies
Food Basket: Compose your own or get one that’s already assembled. Harry and David offers them at all prices and in all sizes and other seasonal gifts as well.
Cutting Board: My favorite comes from Boos. It’s industrial size, for the serious chopper. When one of my boards began to warp sightly, the company replaced it immediately. Williams Sonoma offers a round, thinner board shaped like an oversized ping-pong paddle, that makes a more decorative serving piece.
Butter Spreader: I’ve not used this little gadget, but I’ve watched the video. Small slotted holes run down the blade edge designed to curl hard butter onto bread. Perfect addition to the food basket.
Balsamic Glaze: I’ve ordered Arrezzio Balsamic Glaze several times after having it recommended by an Italian chef. I first had it on eggplant parmesan, but it can also highlight a tomato caprese, grilled salmon, or roasted vegetables—even ice cream! Available at Walmart and Amazon. Good addition to any Christmas basket.
Ninja Blender: I buy the frozen mixed fruit package (mangoes, pineapple, and berries) from Costco to make this hearty, healthy morning drink in my Ninja Blender.
Chinese Soup Dumpling Kit: I’m a fan of those street delicacies that I came to enjoy when visiting in China some years ago. Now I’m glad there’s a place on Olive called, well . . . what better name, than just Soup Dumplings. But they’re fun and easy to make at home with kids and guests when you use this kit. A number of varieties are available at Amazon.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Vinegar: There’s a great selection (which you can sample) at Extra Virgin: an Olive Ovation in the strip mall on Ladue Road just east of I-170 next to Pasta House. It’s easy to find a gift here among their imported pottery, French table linen, and olive wood accessories.
Immersion Blender: This is my go-to device for soups or anything I want to puree smoothly.
Sparkling Water Maker: I have the Penguin Soda Stream, that turns tap water into sparkling water. When I add a squeeze of lemon or lime, I have the equivalent of the pricey, flavored waters.
Mason-Cash Mixing Bowl: When I use this, I feel so retro. Like your cast iron skillet, this country classic will easily become a family heirloom.
Food Magazine Subscription: I receive several food magazines, but my favorite is Cook’s Illustrated Magazine from America’s Test Kitchen.
Cookbook: Foodies adore cookbooks. They never have too many. Anything by Ina Garten is good. Her latest is Go To Dinners. For an adventuresome, Mediterranean cook, look to the work of author/chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
Ice Cream Bowls: There are many ceramic ice cream bowls online, but my favorite set is the colorful-patterned, stoneware from Williams-Sonoma’s Sicilian dinnerware collection. They also make good dipping bowls.
Restaurant Dinner for Two: I’ve seen a rack of these gift cards at Costco and others can be found online.
Pink Champagne Cake Bites: These are a signature item from Caroline’s Cakes, a bakery in Spartanburg, SC, widely acclaimed for its traditional Southern cakes.
Mug Warmer: I keep my mug warmer near the computer for cups of coffee or tea. It comes on automatically when you set the mug in place and goes off when the cup is lifted.
Pecans: A friend who lives in the pecan-growing part of Texas, sent me a 5-pound bag! Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. A handful a day is suppose to be of health benefit as well.
Lemon Tree: If your giftee has a green thumb, you may benefit from having made this selection.
Cooking Class: This is a good gift for couples, presuming both enjoy the kitchen. I’ve taken a half-dozen, or so, classes around town and a couple in Paris and Florence. Fortunately, Kitchen Conservatory is nearby and offers an array of classes (more than 900 a year) for both beginners and kitchen pros.