I think cooks and foodies are the easiest people in the world to buy for, because they always enjoy a new kitchen device, serving piece, or tasty food item. Even so, if you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas for Christmas gifts, here’s a few suggestions that might help you finish off your holiday shopping.
Made in Vermont, this solid wood pistachio server is designed to offer an elegant solution for storing discarded shells. Upper tier holds 8 ounces of nuts. Cost: $48 at uncommongoods.com.
Lodge Cast Iron Wok
Perfect for heavy “woking.” This kitchen war horse is cast-iron and, like your skillet, it’s known for superior heat retention. The 14″ Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Wok is pre-seasoned and can be used on any stove top or in the oven. From Amazon. Cost: $45.89.
Globe Teapot Red with White Spots
This whimsical polka-dot teapot is 6.75” high, 10” wide and dishwasher safe. The unique teapot is designed by London Pottery with a spout to prevent drips. The inbuilt ceramic filter at the base of the spout stops larger tea leaves from entering the cup when pouring. Holds 6 cups. From Amazon, $30.95, free shipping.
Missouri State Plate
This handmade porcelain plate takes about 2-4 weeks to create. Microwave and dishwasher safe; oven-safe up to 450˚F. Nonstick surface. All 50 states available. Amazon cost: $80+$17.50 shipping.
These handy salad hands come in several different shapes, colors, and woods. Totally Bamboo Salad Hands, $7.99 (7” x 4”) from Amazon. Or the Lipper International Salad Hands made of Acacia wood. Cost: $11.49 at Amazon.
Sparkling Water Maker
This Soda Stream Penguin Sparkling Water Maker offers a good way to break the canned soda habit. Fun and easy to use: simply fill the reusable glass bottles with water, insert into Penguin and press the carbonating “beak” for just the right amount of fizz. If you buy a lot of carbonated water or soda, this is far cheaper in the long run—and healthier. Price: On sale, $199.99 at Williams-Sonoma.
This 20-ounce ceramic mug is just right for the relative or friend hooked on the hot chili sauce. Cost: $13.00 at Sriracha2Go.com.
Schnuck’s Cooks, Kitchen Conservatory, Dierbergs, and Williams-Sonoma, and Weber Grill Academy offer an amazing array of classes. Full participation classes and demonstration classes feature a wide variety of menus and themes for the novice to the gourmet. These classes are great fun to take with a friend or family member. Most are reasonably priced.
La Chambra Black Clay Dish
Handcrafted by artisans in Colombia, South America. Made of natural unglazed clay and completely safe and toxins free. Can be used on gas, electric or glass stove tops, as well as the oven, microwave, or grill. Food goes straight to the table in this attractive cooking/serving dish. La Chambra cookware heats very evenly and retains its heat for a long period. I have several shapes and sizes that I use regularly. Cost: $22.95 + $9 shipping from Amazon.
One of 2016’s best-selling cookbooks, Cooking for Jeffrey is the latest addition to Ina Garten’s collection of 10 previous works. The attractive volume is packed with photos, family recipes and fascinating stories of the award-winning author.
8” Shun Classic Chef’s Knife
Made like a samurai sword, these Shun knives come with a lifetime warranty. The 8″ Shun Classic Chef’s Knife is an all-purpose blade perfect for slicing, dicing, and chopping fruits, vegetables, and other foods. The wide blade keeps knuckles off the cutting board and is extra handy when transferring cut food from board to pan. With its curved belly, the Chef’s knife can be gently “rocked” through fresh herbs or spices. Cost at Amazon: $139.95.
Food Gift Box
There are food baskets to be found at many groceries and other specialty stores in St. Louis. This one from Harry & David is their Founders’ Favorites Holiday Gift Box selling on line for $89.99. It offers an array of fruit, cheese, candy, meats, and tidbits. Some basket include bottles of wine, as well. Prices begin around $40.
These aprons come in six different colors and can be personalized with a name or logo. Made of 100 percent cotton with an adjustable neckband and spacious pockets. Available from Williams-Sonoma. Cost: $15.95-$23.20.
Ice Cream Maker
This 2.1 quart stainless steel ice cream maker has a removable bowl and blade for easy cleaning as well as a motor protection function to prevent damage. The Whynter ICM-200 LS is available at Amazon for $291.99 and has gotten good reviews on line.
And just for fun, I knew you’d want to know about this one:
Full Wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Cost: $2,488,95. No, you didn’t read that wrong. This is an 80-pound cheese, 18” in diameter and 9″ high. The classic cheese is produced in Italy and sold by Williams-Sonoma. Perfect for the friend who has everything and the purchaser for whom money is no object. Bargain: You can get a wheel that weighs just a few pounds less at Costco for $900, though the grade and age may differ.