Hanukah starts on Friday evening thus beginning the season of giving. Whether you are lighting candles or stuffing stockings, I’ve put together some gift ideas for this holiday season.
And, before you put gifts under the tree, think about a sustainable tree. The Living Christmas Tree Company will deliver a live, potted tree to your doorstep. When the holidays are over they’ll come pick it up and replant it in their grove of trees. Next year you can get the same tree and see how much it’s grown.
The Gift of Giving:
- Heifer International (Milk Menagerie- $1000, share for $100, Trio of Rabbits- $60)
- Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
- KCRW Membership
Farm City by Novella Carpenter – An inspirational and sometimes hilarious look at farming in downtown Oakland. Novella is a gem.
The Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal – For a fascinating look into the mind of one of the most creative chefs on the planet and an insight into why a chef veers toward chemistry.
Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson – This was one of my favorite baking books of the year. Easy to make, perfect if you are addicted to Farmers Market Fruit.
My Bread by Jim Lahey – It was Jim Lahey’s recipe for no knead bread that swept into nearly every hobby baker’s kitchen a couple of years ago. Here, finally is his book which explains the technique and offers many delicious variations.
Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois – Use a similar technique to create whole grain loaves full of flavor.
Love Soup by Anna Thomas – These simple comforting recipes, all vegetarian by the way, are so like my own sensibility of simple clear flavors I had to embrace it.
Mix, Shake, Stir by Danny Meyer – The best cocktail book of the year by one of the best restaurateurs in the country.
The Naked Pint by Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune
A Great introduction to Craft Beer for those who already enjoy it and those who thought they’d never drink a beer.
Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Reid – You thought you didn’t need a book to make a milkshake? Well, have you ever thought to make a Corn-Basil Milkshake with sweet summer corn? No? Me neither.
Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl – Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl. Gourmet cookbooks are part of my childhood. Their new publication is a classic.
Gifts for eaters:
Spices: Everyone can use new spices. They say you should throw all spices out after a year. But who among us actually does that? Give someone the gift of new spices (and maybe a trash bag). I love The Spice House. They are the same family as Penzeys but have stayed small. They still grind and roast to order instead of bagging all their spices. Customize a box for a favorite cook. Maybe a selection of cinnamons or paprikas.
Salts: You’ve been reading about fancy salts now for years and you’ve never used them. Buy a selection for a friend and keep some for yourself too. You can even use beautiful slabs of Himalayan Pink Salt for cooking. Surfas has a great selection of salts if you’re shopping locally.
Thai Stone Mortar and Pestle: There is no substitute for a good mortar and pestle. We forget how therapeutic grinding and pounding is! Find one at your local Thai grocery.
Cherry Pitter: I love my Progressive Cherry-It Pitter. In the summer, it’s great when making pies with fresh cherries.
Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer
Le Creuset enameled cast iron round dutch oven (3 1/2 quart).
Popsicles in all kinds of seasonal flavors.
L.A. Cetto Extra Virgin Olive Oil: When my pal Stacie Hunt handed me a bottle of olive oil from Baja California I didn’t know it would become an addiction. What a find! A delicious, affordable, buttery oil. Available locally at Du Vin Wine and Spirits and everywhere else.
Vintage appliances: Refurbished kitchen appliances from the 1950’s and 60’s, made in the USA.
Felt Wine Carrier
These are made from 100% merino wool felt from Swiss sheep by Graf & Lantz design studio. They have a number of stylish wine carriers, tote bags, wallets and ottomans.
If Money is No Object
Gorgeous Custom Gaucho Knives
Brooklyn-Made Custom Shaped Knives
Sous Vide at Home Immersion Circulator
One of the great things about falling down the rabbit hole of pie making is that there is so much cool Pie Stuff!
Pie carry basket: You’ve baked them. Now you need to transport them
Leaf Lard: Necessary for the best pie crusts. Yes, lard!
Pie Classes: Learn to make pie with yours truly.
For the Little Eater/Cooks
Clare Crespo’s Yummy Fun Kooking Club. Kids cooking club where your little cook gets recipes in the mail each month – the real mail! – on recipe cards. Comes with cute recipe box and dividers for the categories. Clare Crespo’s kooky ideas include fun foods for Halloween and Reindeer Cupcakes with pretzels for antlers. At around $25 it’s an original gift for a kid who has everything.
Baking Kids Love by Cindy Mushet – This book was written by pro baker and great friend Cindy Mushet for kids. But it’s got great stuff for adults too. I love looking through it and getting inspired.