I’m a lover of lists, and this year I’m feeling uncharacteristically festive and benevolent, so: a holiday gift list. I made this list for the serious food freaks in your life. Though really, it’s more than likely you’re the food freak in your life, or you might not be reading this. SO here’s what you should want this year.
1. Enameled mugs – For those of us who like bearded men and plaid shirts, but not camping – especially not in December.
2. The Flavor Bible – Recommended to me by my one friend who actually went to culinary school, this book is a guide for creative cooks who want to know what flavors go and what flavors don’t.
3. Baking steel griddle – This one isn’t technically on the market yet, but I’ll be first in line when it hits. The baking steel is like an amped-up pizza stone – it’s bigger (18×14) and made of super conductive metal so you can get really crispy pizza crusts, even in a home oven. The griddle version is also two-sided: one textured for baking in the oven and one slick side with a trough for stove-top griddling. And that’s as close as I can reasonably get to having a commercial grade flat-top in my home kitchen. I’ll take it.
4. The Searzall – This is like a portable broiler with actual power. It attaches to the top of a regular kitchen torch and delivers even heat that browns instead of burns. I swear this thing is going to be huge, especially with the advances in sous vide cooking we’ve been seeing lately. Oh, and that bruléed topping I was going for in my last post? Should have had the Searzall…
5. Pretty cloth napkins – The best gifts are usually a bit more luxurious than most people would buy for themselves, like cashmere socks or really nice chocolate. A fancy set of napkins might not be the most exciting gift to give, but I think recipients always appreciate having them. These are simple and pretty and would make me feel sophisticated and maybe even a step closer to proper adulthood?
6. A Mircoplane ribbon paddle grater – Everyone needs a microplane, and most people don’t already have this model, which is best for grating cheese and those onions you don’t feel like chopping.
7. Wire cheese cutter – I’m not typically a fan of uni-taskers, but cheese cutters are just unbeatable on blocks of sharp cheddar, which are likely to make an appearance on someone’s holiday table at some point. Plus, this one’s pretty.
8. Prune Cookbook – This is by the author of the book Blood, Bones, and Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton. Prune is Hamilton’s restaurant, and after falling in love with her writing, I’m convinced I want to eat her food.
9. Thermapen – I’m mad I don’t have one of these already. Thermometers are essential for the mastery of steak cooking, deep frying, and even bread baking, and this thermometer is the best, fastest, and most accurate out there.
10. Jacobsen White Truffle Sea Salt – Truffles are expensive and perishable, truffle oil is passé and off-tasting, artisan truffle sea salt however, is long-lasting and perfectly truffle-y.
11. Bay Leaf Wreath – A cute holiday decor alternative for the food lovers.
12. Fat Toad Farm’s Goat Milk Caramel – If I invite you to my house for a holiday party, bring me this caramel and we will be friends 4-eva.
What do you like to give your friends who cook?