I often receive kitchen and cooking-related gifts at Christmas and I love to give them, too. Recently I have found some great gifts for cooks covering a broad price range so I thought I’d share them with you here. (I know I said there were five but I ended up naming seven because there was a lot of good stuff to choose from. We’ll call the last two a bonus!)
1. My favorite dishwashing tool is this little Scotch-Brite ™ “dishwand.” It’s a scrubber that holds the soap in the handle and has a nice scrubby sponge head that can be replaced. I heard some of you groan and chuckle! Commonplace and mundane as it is, I think everyone should have one of these. Under $5. Buy it in any grocery store.
2. A vital necessity for keeping wooden cutting boards from drying and splitting especially in dry climates is Boos(R) Block Board Cream. Amazing stuff to use in between mineral oil treatments. Really works. Buy it in stores catering to cooks and cookware or online. Under $15.00.
3. Lovely New Mexican linen hand-printed dishtowels made by Kei & Molly Textiles, LLC. Beautiful for drying glassware and they make great props for food photography. Only $10. The website is http://www.keiandmolly.com
4. Cooking for only one or two made simple with the Ohsawa (R) Pot. You place this earthenware pot inside of your pressure cooker and you can cook small amounts of rice, beans and other things instead of a big potful. And it comes out great! Starting at about $60. Order from Gold Mine Natural Foods www.goldminenaturalfoods.com.
Gimme Give someone chocolate from Kakawa Chocolate House in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Great “forgive me for being late” gift in case you didn’t shop in time for Christmas Day. And remember, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Prices vary. Quality is consistently excellent. Go to their website: www.kakawachocolates.com or better yet, just come to visit in Santa Fe and get free samples.
6. Amazing and versatile condiments from Olaecea olive oil and balsamic vinegar company. Try expresso dark balsamic, roasted pumpkin seed oil to die for or lemongrass mint white balsamic and dozens of others. Each bottle is under $20.00 You can visit them in Santa Fe too and get samples or visit their website at http://www.oleaceaeoliveoil.com.
7. An excellent cook’s reference book that I keep nearby and use is the New Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst published by Barron’s. Answers all kinds of questions about ingredients, cooking methods, converting measurements etc. with over 6,700 entries. Great for food/cooking bloggers, too, by the way! Under $20 at any bookstore, Amazon, etc.
Happy last-minute shopping!